Chaim Potok Quotes (48 Quotes)



    I learned a long time ago, Reuven, that a blink of an eye in itself is nothing. But the eye that blinks, that is something. A span of life is nothing. But the man who lives that span, he is something. He can fill that tiny span with meaning, so its quality is immeasurable though its quantity may be insignificant. Do you understand what I am saying? A man must fill his life with meaning, meaning is not automatically given to life.

    But it would have made me a whore to leave it incomplete. It would have made it easier to leave future work incomplete. It would have made it more and more difficult to draw upon that additional aching surge of effort that is always the difference between integrity and deceit in a created work. I would not be the whore to my own existence. Can you understand that? I would not be the whore to my own existence.

    If a person has a contribution to make, he must make it in public. If learning is not made public, it is a waste.

    How should a Jew feel? There we went through the seven gates of hell for matzos. Here I stand in matzos over my head. So how should a Jew feel? You are an angel of God, and the Rebbe, he should live and be well, the Rebbe made miracles and wonders for me. At night, I tell myself it is a dream and I am afraid to wake up. If it is a dream, better I should not wake up, better I should die in my sleep.


    I've begun to realize that you can listen to silence and learn from it. It has a quality and a dimension all its own.


    No one knows he is fortunate until he becomes unfortunate, that's the way the world is.

    I looked at my right hand, the hand with which I painted. There was power in that hand. Power to create and destroy. Power to bring pleasure and pain. Power to amuse and horrify. There was in that hand the demonic and the divine at one and the same time. The demonic and the divine were two aspects of the same force. Creation was demonic and divine. Creativity was demonic and divine. I was demonic and divine.

    The blink of an eye in itself is nothing. But the eye that blinks, that is something. A span of life is nothing. But the man who lives that span, he is something. He can fill that tiny span with meaning, so its quality is immeasurable though its quantity may be insignificant.

    My name is Asher Lev... I am a traitor, an apostate, a self-hater, an inflicter of shame upon my family, my friends, my people; also, I am a mocker of ideas sacred to Christians, a blasphemous manipulator of modes and forms revered by Gentiles for two thousand years.


    Seeds must be sown everywhere. Only some will bear fruit. But there would not be the fruit from the few had the many not been sown


    A man is born into this world with only a tiny spark of goodness in him. The spark is God, it is the soul; the rest is ugliness and evil, a shell. The spark must be guarded like a treasure, it must be nurtured, it must be fanned into flame. It must learn to seek out other sparks, it must dominate the shell. Anything can be a shell, Reuven. Anything. Indifference, laziness, brutality, and genius. Yes, even a great mind can be a shell and choke the spark.


    He taught them that the purpose of a man is to make his life holy--every aspect of his life: eating, drinking praying, sleeping. God is everywhere, he told them, and if it seems at times that He is hidden from us, it is only because we have not yet learned to seek Him correctly.

    Well, in The Chosen, Danny Saunders, from the heart of his religious reading of the world, encounters an element in the very heart of the secular readings of the world - Freudian psychoanalytic theory.

    In other words, Judaism is not Calvinism.

    What I have in advance are people I want to write about and a problem or problems that I see those people encountering and that I want to explore - it all proceeds sentence by sentence, paragraph by paragraph, and scene by scene.

    Apocalyptic versions are fall-back systems when the normal systems cease to offer effective answers to the dilemmas of existence.

    A non-fiction writer pretty much has the shape of the figure in front of him or her and goes about refining it. A work of non-fiction is not as difficult to write as a work of fiction, but it's not as satisfying in the end.

    I get up around 6:30. I work from about 8:00 to 1:00, take a break for lunch, work again until about 5:00, and then go for a long walk and have dinner. Then, if my wife and I have no previous plans, we decide what to do for the evening.

    I'm constantly revising. Once the book is written and typed, I go through the entire draft again.

    I think that to a very great extent we are partners with the divine in this enterprise called history. That is an ongoing relationship, and there is absolutely no guarantee that things will automatically work out to our best advantage.

    Come, let us have some tea and continue to talk about happy things.

    A man must fill his life with meaning, meaning is not automatically given to life.It is hard work to fill one's life with meaning.

    Each work seems to give me the most trouble at the time I'm working on it.

    I'm not altogether certain that a fundamentalism of necessity has to argue that it is the only reading of the human experience in order to stay alive.

    Yes, there is some thought about making a film of My Name Is Asher Lev.


    More Chaim Potok Quotations (Based on Topics)


    Man - Life - World - Work & Career - Custom & Convention - God - Mind - Reality - Time - People - Creativity & Innovation - Name - Family - Writing - Quality - Home - Books - Nature - Art - View All Chaim Potok Quotations

    More Chaim Potok Quotations (By Book Titles)


    - My Name Is Asher Lev
    - The Chosen

    Related Authors


    Virginia Woolf - J. K. Rowling - Upton Sinclair - Salvatore Quasimodo - Robert Fitzgerald - Lu Yu - Jane Roberts - James Allen - Harriet Beecher Stowe - Emily Post


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