The chosen themes
The chosen summary
Danny is upset that his father won't simply talk to and ask him instead of speaking through his friend. He never once mentions the horrible silence he forced upon the two friends. Potok thus develops the idea that the friendship between Danny Saunders and Reuven Malter is one with great religious significance, born of destiny and God's will. Through this he learns to have empathy for others, although he never understands why the innocent have to suffer, as his despair at the end of chapter 12, after he has learned that Billy is permanently blind, demonstrates. In the hospital, this theme continues when Mr. Judaism and Tradition The Chosen takes place in an Orthodox community in Williamsburg, Brooklyn that is shaped by Jewish faith and customs. The novel suggests that Reb Saunders's method of raising his son is too narrow, and leads to unnecessary suffering. By , the American Jewish population had assimilated into American culture and adapted their religious observances to a more relaxed American life. He feels he must teach his son about suffering, and he tries to pass on the wisdom of his own father, who told him that "it is important to know of pain. In the folklore and history of American Jews, peddling is described as the way in which some immigrants gradually moved into retail businesses.
The silence between friends no longer exists, but it still lives deep within the Saunders family. Here there are libraries and books and schools.
The chosen blink of an eye quote
Perhaps the most striking illustration of the importance of father-son relationships in The Chosen is Danny's response to David Malter's question of whether he will raise his son in silence, for Danny's answer that he will do so unless he finds a better way essentially validates Reb Saunders' methods and emphasizes this role of paternal lineage. The Hasidim firmly believe that their manner of approaching God is the correct one and that all other ways are wrong. Sepharad is the Hebrew word for Spain. Reuven respects his father and follows his advice. He cannot communicate his real feelings to his father, and has to follow his own intellectual interests in secret. The main theme in the novel is Danny's conflict between his desire for secular knowledge and his obligations to his father, Rabbi Saunders, and his father's followers. Reuven Malter and Danny Saunders, although they are teenage boys, think more about complex interpretations of Jewish texts than they do about girls… Choosing and Being Chosen The title, The Chosen, introduces this theme immediately into the novel. Knowing something about Jewish history can enhance an understanding of The Chosen. Suffering is present throughout the novel. Also, Jewish population was increasing heavily — the number of Jews tripled during the nineteenth century, and the need for better economic opportunities was urgent.
When Reb Saunders enforces his ban on Reuven after David Malter gives his speech on Zionism, Danny Saunders and Reuven continue to communicate through eye contact and subtle gestures. Reb Saunders acknowledges this in his final explanation to Danny, via Reuven, about how he knew that Danny could not be forced to remain within the Hasidic fold: "This is not Europe.
Silence 3: During the month of August, Reb Saunders and Danny go on a trip to Lakewood, where they spend an excruciating amount of time together on a bus in complete silence.
On the religious front, the majority of Jews who came to the United States from Europe between to were Orthodox Jews. This is dramatized first by the story of Reb Saunders's own life, in which his wife and children were murdered by Cossacks. Potok also endows the paternal relationship with a strong sense of lineage; as the son of a tzaddik, Danny Saunders is expected to be a tzaddik as well, while even Reuven uses his father for his sense of history, which he passes down to his son.
Moreover, because the parents were uneducated in American ways, their children saw them as members of an ignorant, lower-class ethnic world.
This theme serves as a reminder of the morality of the characters, as shown most clearly by David Malter, whose heart attack causes him to confront his own mortality and force Reuven to confront it as well.
Potok argues that every person, every object, everything in his the universe is intimately connected to something else.
The chosen themes
Business life was regulated by a Christian calendar, and many Orthodox Jews, wanting to improve their lives economically, encountered conflicts between religious observances and economic necessities that they had to resolve in favor of American demands. Suffering is present throughout the novel. One immigrant remembers sharing two rooms with two parents and five other boarders — people taken in to help pay the rent. The usual retail store was small, although some Jewish immigrants built great department stores. Although this theme recedes in some degree after the relationship between Danny and Reuven takes precedence, Potok develops this theme through the softball game and the hospital ward. Even while traveling they do not speak. Danny and his father exchange no words except during the study of Talmud. But he seems equally pleased when Reuven decides to become a rabbi.
Not surprisingly, opposition to the Ba'al Shem Tov's teachings grew. This conflict is reflected through an examination of two Jewish communities in the Williamsburg area of Brooklyn, New York. Bythe American Jewish population had assimilated into American culture and adapted their religious observances to a more relaxed American life.
Through this he learns to have empathy for others, although he never understands why the innocent have to suffer, as his despair at the end of chapter 12, after he has learned that Billy is permanently blind, demonstrates.
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