Chaim Potok Biography | Author of The Chosen

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Two life experiences have been major influences on the work of Chaim Potok. They are the world of Orthodox Judaism in which he was raised and the larger world he experienced when he served as an army chaplain during the Korean War. His war experience made him realize that growing up in a strict Jewish community had limited his aspirations to become a writer. Artistic endeavors were not considered the proper pursuit for Jewish boys. Instead, they were expected to study the Talmud, the combined body of writings on Jewish traditions.

Potok was born on February 17, 1929, and was raised in the Bronx, New York. His parents, Benjamin Max and Mollie, had fled persecution in their native Poland. As a young boy, Potok studied in a parochial Jewish school, called a yeshiva. While his early training was in the Hasidic tradition (a sect originating in eighteenth-century Poland that emerged...

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This section contains 691 words
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