My Name Is Asher Lev Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. On what subject matter does the mashpia teach?

2. What type of hat does Yudel Krinsky wear?

3. Yudel Krinsky spent many years in which geographical region?

4. Of all the drawings Asher makes for the mashpia, which person does he not draw?

5. In which academic discipline does Aryeh have a master's degree?

Short Essay Questions

1. At the end of Chapter 3, Asher draws a picture of Stalin in his notebook without realizing it. What do you think is happening in Asher's mind when he draws things without being aware of it?

2. According to the mashpia's instructions, there are three types of Jews. List the types and explain them briefly.

3. What does the mashpia do at Asher's school?

4. Why doesn't Asher want to go to Vienna?

5. What happened to Yudel Krinsky in Russia? Describe some of his life before coming to the United States.

6. During Asher's struggles against going to Vienna, he asks why no one is listening to him. Rivkeh replies, "Everyone is listening. [...] There would be no problem if no one were listening to you, Asher." Explain what Rivkeh means by this statement.

7. What happens to the Russian writers? How do the Levs react?

8. Compare Aryeh's reaction to Stalin's death with Yudel Krinsky's reaction.

9. Out of a deep longing to learn to use oil paints, Asher steals several tubes of oil paint and several brushes from Yudel Krinsky's store. What does he do with them? Why do you think he does this?

10. When talking with Asher about Vienna, what does Yudel Krinsky imply when he quotes, "honor your father and mother"?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Throughout the novel, the question arises whether Asher's art is from the Ribbono shel olom, which is a name for God, or from the sitra achra, which is a name for the forces of evil. Asher himself wonders at various times what the source of his art is. Provide some reasons why Asher's art may possibly come from each source, and then explain whether you think Asher's art sides with good or with evil. If you think his art is completely neutral, explain why. Use specific examples from the novel.

Essay Topic 2

"Vocation" is a word that describes one's choice of career as a way to fulfill one's personhood. This novel heavily emphasizes vocation as a way to follow God. Compare and contrast Aryeh's choice to travel for the Rebbe with Asher's choice to become an artist. Do you think they choose appropriate vocations to express who they are on the inside? Explain.

Essay Topic 3

Describe the Rebbe's relationship with his people. How would you react if you had to ask a leader for permission to make important decisions? How do the Levs react to the Rebbe's wishes?

(see the answer keys)

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