• Asher Lev is born to Aryeh and Rivkeh Lev, Jews who practice Ladover Hasidism.
• Aryeh Lev's family have worked on behalf of the Rebbe for a long time and have made great sacrifices to spread goodness throughout an evil world.
• Rivkeh's brother Yaakov is killed in a car accident, which sends Rivkeh into a depression from which she nearly does not recover.
• Upon recovering from her depression, she convinces Aryeh and the Rebbe to allow her to continue Yaakov's work through entering the university to study Russian affairs.
• Asher meets Yudel Krinsky, a Russian Jew who has only recently come to the United States through Aryeh's efforts.
• Before coming to the United States, Yudel had lived in Siberia for many years.
• Asher attends the Ladover yeshiva, or school.
• Asher stops drawing because he feels that it is evil.
• Stalin orders the death of several prominent Jews...
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