In the beginning of the book Asher described himself as a "mocker of ideas sacred to Christians" and a "blasphemous manipulator." Although Asher Lev was a great artist whose art sold for hundreds of dollars, he had to put up with the gossips and rumors about him. Asher Lev struggled with his fame and his notoriety. He also struggled with his family's acceptance to his art. He could not identify himself into any group of people. In fact, he suffered from an identity crisis where he said "I am none of those things. And yet, in all honesty, I confess that my accusers are not altogether wrong: I am indeed, in some way, all of those things" (1). His identity also becomes a big factor in his struggle to be an accepted Jewish individual and to do the thing he loved doing. .
These were the various things that Asher Lev struggled with and had to give up to pursue his career. They were indeed huge sacrifices but his art was definitely worth it. Many people would have lost out on enjoying Asher's works if he had blocked out his gift. Besides that, Asher was a very talented artist whose art surpassed even Jacob Kahn's. If he was to block out his gift, not only does he suffer, the entire world of art suffers. If Asher had not struggled to keep his art skills, not only will he lose, his entire family will also be at a lost. Their family struggle brought maturity to himself, his father, his mother, the Rebbe, and others. They began to see what Asher saw and like a young rose bud, they began to open themselves up. Asher learned so much from his experiences. He realized that he can be both an artist and an observant Jew at the same time. He also learned more about himself and his family. .
Any art, fine or applied, requires some sort of sacrifice. The most obvious sacrifice is time, strength, sweat, pain, and blood. However, the sacrifices go further than that. Many artists risk relationships with their family members and friends.