Originally named Herman Harold, Potok was born in New York City on February 17, 1929, to Polish-Jewish immigrants Benjamin Max Potok and Mollie Friedman Potok. His father had emigrated from Poland to the United States in 1921. Prior to the Great Depression, Mr. Potok sold stationery; following the Depression, he became a jeweler. Chaim Potok, along with his younger brother and two younger sisters, was raised in the Orthodox Jewish religion. (His brother eventually became a rabbi, and his sisters both married rabbis.) As with many young boys raised in the Orthodox Jewish religion, he attended Jewish parochial schools, most notably Talmudic Academy of Yeshiva College. (Orthodox Jews believe that Jewish law and practice must be strictly observed. They believe that the Old Testament, known as the Torah — Tore
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