Jenny Bacon appears lit from within as Asher's loving, gentle mother, Rivkeh, and greatly alters her personality to also portray a sophisticated gallery owner and a model. Rivkeh constantly tries to mediate between her son's belief in his gift and her husband's inability to accept that a "Torah Jew" could defy centuries of family tradition and follow the "foolishness" of art.
Prophetically, Kahn warns his young prodigy that, "Every great artist has freed himself from something — his family, his nation, his race... Something. A truly great artist must be tied only to his art." The story of Asher Lev provides a compellingly personal yet universal perspective on the demands of an artistic gift that cannot be denied.