The Book of Lights

by Chaim Potok

Book, 1981



Call number




New York : Knopf : distributed by Random House, 1981.


Gershon Loran, a quiet rabinical student, is troubled by the dark reality around him. He sees hope in the study of Kabbalah, the Jewish bok of mysticism and visions, truth and light. But to Gershon's friend, Arthur, light means something else, the Atom bomb, his father helped create. Both men seek different a refuge in a foreign place, hoping for the same thing....

User reviews

LibraryThing member iayork
This book just sucked me in.: This is my second favorite Potak novel. My favorite is "The Gift of Asher Lev".

I had a slow time starting this story, but it didn't take long for me to be drawn into the setting and the story and the characters. Soon I was living inside this novel -- watching every
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scene with rapt attention.

Potok has a way of making me not only think, but to feel deeply. This is one of his most intuitive novels, so I was able to feel this story to the innermost part of my bones.
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LibraryThing member kwmcdonald
Two young men in rabbinical school forge an unlikely friendship. One begins studying Kabbalah, Jewish mysticism; the other is haunted by the knowledge that his father was instrumental in developing the atomic bomb.
LibraryThing member RRHowell
The story of a Jewish chaplain in the Korean War, this also deals with the theme of Kabbalah. It is a thought provoking book and a good read.
LibraryThing member debnance
Not a book that you want to rush through, I found. My first thought was that The Book of Lights is markedly different from My Name is Asher Lev, yet some of the same themes dominate the book. What does it mean to be a Jew? What are one's responsibilities to one's family? Should one go through the
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motions or should one find one's passion? How can a person be both faithful to his family's traditions and faithful to making his way in the world? Important questions, all.
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