book is called My Name is Asher Lev
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I don't know that Asher does hold onto his faith. As a Jew, he is part of the community, part of a family. His culture revolves around the synagogue, but his own world revolves around art. When he depicts the crucifixion, it isn't meant to be an insult or rejection of his faith; it's a statement about what he sees. In the end, he ends up back in Paris after being shunned by the community in which he was raised.