Reb Saunders used silence to raise his son, Danny, in Chaim Potok's book The Chosen. So while this practice did cause Reb and Danny's relationship to suffer, Tzaddikim are looked up to for wisdom, advice, and support, which are not. Reuven and his father's relationship would be considered healthy by most people. Reuven was telling his father at the hospital about Danny's visit and that he had Reuven's father realizes Danny's loneliness, and gives Reuven some fatherly advice. He comments, "Reb Saunders' son is a terribly torn and lonely boy. In Reb Saunders' mind, he who rules his family by strict Hasidic traditions, Danny Danny and Reuven becoming his own man may further alter their relationship. Reuven learns that Danny's father, a respected Rabbi, only talks to Danny and a man who has been offering Danny advice, revealed to be Reuven's father.
Plot Summary In The Chosen, Danny Saunders, a young Hasidic Jew, struggles to free himself from his inherited position as eventual leader of a religious sect whose views and customs he cannot uphold. It is seen through the eyes of Reuven Malter, a boy who would appear to have much in common with Danny, for they are both brilliant, Jewish, closely tied to their fathers, and near-neighbors who live only five blocks apart. Still, they attend separate yeshivas parochial schools and inhabit very different worlds.Couples Therapy with Juan - David Lopez
Because World War II is raging in Europe, some of the teachers who are in charge of the English subjects at the Williamsburg yeshivas have drawn up a plan to demonstrate to the gentile non-Jewish world that the yeshiva students are as physically fit, despite their long hours of study, as the American students. A baseball league is begun.
A hard ball shatters his glasses and smashes into his eye, sending him to the hospital for a week. Danny dazzles Reuven with demonstrations of his photographic mind, with the quantity of scholarly work he bears each day, and with the intellectual prowess of his English and Hebrew studies—qualities greatly revered in traditional Jewish culture. Danny cannot understand how anyone would choose the very position he secretly wishes to reject. At a time when conflicts are churning within him, Danny finds a needed confidante in Reuven, an empathetic listener who is highly intelligent yet safe—not a Hasid, but a Jew who follows orthodox religious traditions without rejecting the secular possibilities in the world around them.
As the boys become friends, Reuven begins to learn about Hasidism. Though he scoffs at its narrowness, his father tells him he must understand its origins if his is to appreciate the turmoil his new friend is experiencing.
For it is in the Slavic countries of Eastern Europe, Mr. First there were centuries of persecution—Jews fleeing from Germany to Poland in the thirteenth century, academies set up, an economy built—until in the seventeenth century the Jewish community in Poland began to flourish. But one hundred years later it was nearly destroyed at the hands of the Polish Cossacks, and it was at this point that Hasidism began.
The Hasidim lived shout off from the rest of the world; whatever was not Jewish and Hasidic was forbidden. Many separate sects emerged, each with its own spiritual leaders whose every word was considered to be holy.
These leaders, or tzaddiks, were believed to be superhuman links between the people and God. In some sects it was believed that a leader should take upon himself the sufferings of the Jewish people, for their sufferings were so great they would be unendurable if their leaders did not somehow absorb these into themselves.
Such a leader is Reb Saunders. His ways and his teachings are the ways of seventeenth century Hasids and it is this role that Danny is expected to fill when he becomes the tzaddik.
And if it does not kill us, it tempts us! It asks us to join in its ugliness, its impurities, its abominations! It is not the world that is commanded to study Torah, but the people of Israel!
The Chosen () - Plot Summary - IMDb
We are only half alive in this world! Albert Einstein is part of the world…President Roosevelt is part of the world. The millions of soldiers fighting Hitler are part of the world. Weeks before the accident which brings the two boys together, Mr.
At least this way he has some direction from an adult. Malter and Reb Saunders are, in some ways, antithetical characters. Malter, overwhelming grief is followed by a determination to counter the senseless suffering of the millions who died with something meaningful: What does it mean to suffer so much if our lives are nothing more than the blink of an eye?
A man must fill his life with meaning; meaning is not automatically given to life. It will have meaning only if we give it meaning.
It is the will of God. We must accept the will of God! While Reb Saunders suffers, Danny struggles to educate himself in the ideas of Freud and in the problems of contemporary Judaism.
He combines the double load of schoolwork and the rigorous study of Talmud which forms the basis of his relation to his father, with his own attempts to educate himself in his quest for identity.
Reuven, too, is seen to spend many hours of his day in study. There is a passion for learning in these two characters, one that is shaped by the religion itself. To study Talmud is to engage in scholarly work, the novel shows. There are lines of religious text and there are commentaries written by the various rabbis whose opinions are included in Talmud.
Each father, Hasidic rabbi or free-thinking scholar, finds joy in the knowledge that his son will surpass him in scholarly achievements. It is his passion to know, to know the world and to know himself that ultimately leads Danny to reject Hasidism.
He comes to see that the world of his father is too restricted; he begins to feel trapped. I respect him and trust him completely, which is why I think I can live with his silence. And I pity him, too. He was born trapped.
The Chosen Teacher’s Guide
I scream with every bone in my body to get out of it. My mind cries to get out of it. Danny has decided to get out of the life that imprisons him; he will take off the clothing and shun the trappings of the Hasid, go on to graduate school, and become a psychologist. When he has resolved to do this, Mr.
Before Danny can confront his father, however, his father confronts him. Using Reuven as a foil through whom to speak to his son, Reb Saunders reveals that he knows his son will not become a rabbi. Here there are libraries and books and schools. Here there are great universities that do not concern themselves with how many Jewish students they have. I knew in my heart that it might prevent him from taking my place. I had to make certain his would be the soul of a tzaddik no matter what he did with his life.
And it is important to know of pain…It destroys our self pride, our arrogance, our indifference towards others. And of all people a tzaddik especially must know of pain. In NovemberReuven and his invalid father hear a radio news report about the UN assembly voting to establish the Jewish state of Israel in Palestine and Mr.
Malter tells Reuven that they are going to return to their homeland Israel when he is well enough. A few days later, Danny suddenly shows up at Reuven's front door wating to re-establish their friendship after two years of seperation. Danny explains to Reuven that Reb Saunders has relented and accepted defeat, since the new nation of Israel is "no longer an issue; it's a fact.
Danny himself waits in fear for the day following high school graduation, when he must tell his father that he does not wish to succeed him.
Reb Saunders already knows this to be true, after Danny receives an acceptance letter from Columbia University. A few months later inReuven again finds himself a buffer between father and son when the two friends learn Reb Saunders' purpose for raising his son in silence: Reb Saunders had discovered early on that his son's dawning intelligence was far outstripping his sense of compassion for others.
He wanted his son to understand the meaning of pain, so he shut him out emotionally. Finding the grown-up Danny indeed has a heart, and cares deeply about other people, Reb Saunders is willing to give his blessing to Danny's dream of studying psychology.
The Chosen | Pre-AP/AP Lit
Saunders then finally, after many years, truly talks to Danny, asking him to forgive him for the pain he caused, bringing him up as he did. The words finally spoken, he leaves the room, and both boys burst into tears. In the final scene, set ina transformed Danny visits Reuven on his way to Columbia University. Danny has shaved off his beard, cut off his Hasidic hairlocks shorn, and his clothing is up to date. Reuven tells Danny that he has definitely decided he wants to be a rabbi, and is going on to study at a yeshiva in Israel with his father whom has almost completely recovered from his stroke.
Danny tells Reuven that his younger brother, Levi, will take his place as his father's successor, and his own relationship with Reb Saunders has completely changed. Danny is finally set free, and Reuven and Danny taste profoundly the pain in life, and the consolation of deep friendship which is quietly comming to an end.
Danny goes on to study psychology and Reuven leaves for Israel.