Asher Lev, a boy with prodigious artistic abilities, is born into a Hasidic Jewish family in 1950s Crown Heights, Brooklyn. When his father, Aryeh, is a man who has devoted his life to bringing the teachings of their sect to Jews around the world, discovers what Asher’s been drawing, he cannot abide it.
Like most of his Hasidic community, which places faith and religious practice above all, he considers art to be foolishness embodied, or even possibly a sacrilegious impulse from the "the Other Side." This leaves His mother, Rivkeh, caught between a son searching for answers and a father doing incredibly important work.
Asher begins studying under Jacob Kahn, a great artist and non-observant Jew, who brings the world of the goyim — the non-Jew — to Asher in ways he never expected, forcing him to reconcile his unshakeable faith with the hard truth that there has never been a single great observant Jewish artist. But when inspiration strikes, how much pain will his gift cause?