Mass Market Paperback ☆ The Chosen PDF ↠

The Chosen ❰Reading❯ ➶ The Chosen Author Chaim Potok – Thomashillier.co.uk It is the now classic story of two fathers and two sons and the pressures on all of them to pursue the religion they share in the way that is best suited to each And as the boys grow into young men th It is the now classic story of two fathers and two sons and the pressures on all of them to pursue the religion they share in the way that is best suited to each And as the boys grow into young men they discover in the other a lost spiritual brother and a link to an unexplored world that neither had ever considered before In effect they exchange places and find the peace that neither will ever retreat from again.


10 thoughts on “The Chosen

  1. Jim Fonseca Jim Fonseca says:

    The book jacket tells us that this was the first book published 1967 that introduced Jewish culture to a wide American audienceThe story centers around two boys growing up in the Jewish neighborhood of Williamsburg in Brooklyn in New York City of the 1940’s The main character is a high school aged boy who lost his mother years ago and is raised by his father a teacher at a Jewish school and a housekeeper They are devout Orthodox JewsDue to a baseball injury he makes friends with another devout Jewish boy who is a Hasidic Jew destined to inherit his father’s position as a rebbe tzaddik The boy is so exceptional – the main character’s father says he has a mind that is seen once in a generation that the father encourages him to befriend the boy Both boys are exceptional scholars In addition to going to school from 6 am to 6 pm and then coming home to do hours of homework they manage to read 3 or 4 books of outside reading each week The Hasidic rebbe raises his son “in silence” – never talking to him outside the context of Torah lessons We follow the two boys through various troubles World War II enters into the story As the boy recovers from his sports injury to his eye in the hospital he listens to radio news about the D Day landing The war ends in 1945 news of the horrors of the Holocaust is absorbed by the community and shortly after 1947 Israel is founded The main character’s father becomes a fund raiser and a political advocate supporting the establishment of the Jewish state This causes a rift between the boys because some members of the Hassidic community thought it was blasphemy to re establish Israel prior to the coming of the Messiah Interspersed with the plot the book gives us details of other differences between Orthodox Jews and Hasidic Jews The latter culture grew out of the Eastern European Jewish tradition Ashkenazi after the mass atrocities committed by Cossacks against the Jews known as the Chmielnicki uprising This took place in Poland in the 1600’s The community was so devastated 100000 killed that its faith was impacted False messiahs and mysticism appeared which generated the Kabballah Non sensical scholarship pilpul which reminds me of ‘how many angels on the head of a pin’ in the Christian tradition was pursued by some The tzaddiks evolved – rebbes of inherited position who are so revered that their followers want to touch them Another permutation of the faith was gematria – assigning numerical values to letters and words in the Torah and searching for multiple meanings through what outsiders would call numerologyWe follow the boys as they mature and they don’t necessarily fall into the paths expected of them This is a good read The author does a good job of interspersing the cultural and historical details into the narrative so that it remains a novel not a sociological text I should add that many of the words I’ve used in this review have alternate spellings from those used in the edition I read photo of Chasidim in Williamsburg from vosizneiascom


  2. Mads Mads says:

    This was reuired reading for my sopho year honors English class; upon reading chapter one I prepared myself for great disappointment firstly because the chapter was entirely about baseball which although I’ve tried to enjoy I can’t seem to get in to I’m sorry to say and secondly because it was so descriptive It was hard to imagine me being interested in something soflowery in some time I’ll post a review on another reuired reading the oh so detailed Great Expectations which hasn’t improved for me even through chapter thirty sixComing into the later chapters of The Chosen I began to enjoy it a lot Not only was the storyline interesting and the characters likable but its deeper meaning was insightful and reminded me of the events happening in the U S concerning Jews and the Holocaust—about Mr Malter rallying for a Jewish state about Reb Saunders opposing this movement and most prominently sticking out in my mind the uote from the Hasidic boy who told Reuven that Hitler destroyed the Jewish body but you destroy the Jewish soul paraphrased It gave me a certain perspective that makes me regret not having read the book soonerThis is one of those books that I love but can’t really explain why With Dune it’s easy great story great characters it’s got everything I’ve ever asked for With Harry Potter it’s got great people great creatures great symbolism With The Hobbit it gives you a fun story and lovable characters But like The Chosen books like The Invisible Man 1984 and Fahrenheit 451 all leave me mind boggled I love those books They make me think They make me wonder It’s like the brief fleeting moment in Algebra when you realize that you’ve got it and it’s all clicking into place there are no words to describe how you feel when you realize Hey I understand what the author means by this I see it’s deeper meaning—all just before the feeling goes and you’re left paralyzed by the knowledge that you’ve understood what it’s all about even if you don’t understand it now uite as completely as in that moment but instead of the movement of clicking into place it’s like you’ve understood it all along With these kinds of books there’s a supernatural element to them that entirely surpasses other novels and your literary understanding is taken to new levels and into new lightsThese are the kinds of books I want to be reading for the rest of my lifeThe Chosen is one of those booksand as much as I’m disliking Dickens at the moment I’m glad I had that bit of reuired reading


  3. Greta G Greta G says:

    This is a man's worldBut it wouldn't be nothing nothing not one little thing without a woman or a girlHe's lost in the wildernessHe's lost in bitterness he's lost lostJames Brown of courseThis must have been one of the most solemn books I've ever read It's a poignant story about two teenagers Reuven and Danny who grow up in Jewish Orthodox families in Brooklyn during the period between the end of the second world war and the creation of Israel Reuven is a Modern Orthodox Jew and his friend Danny is raised in a Hasidic family The author explores their friendship the relationships with their fathers and the struggle between faith and secularity; Modern Orthodox and Hasidic beliefs These boys’ lives seem to revolve around the study of the Talmud and orthodox scholarship and there are extensive passages about it in the book To my surprise I uite enjoyed reading this as it immersed me in a world of logical reasoning and critical thinking which to me have always seemed incompatible with the study of any religious texts without losing your faith Zionism is also a theme the book touches upon in particular the radically different views within the Jewish communities The story is told in a rather straightforward style and has a sad tone throughout I believe it were this tone and writing style that prevented me from really loving the book although it’s not always clear why I liked a book but didn’t love it The book immerses the reader not only in a fundamentalist atmosphere but also in a man's world in which women are almost totally absent This book at least offers women a glimpse in these men’s peculiar world You ought to get yourself a girl it's a wonderful tonic for a suffering soulThis was by far the best advice Reuven gave to his friend Danny 710


  4. Alisa Alisa says:

    Danny Saunders was raised in silence to save his soul His father saw that his mind was so keen that his soul would be lost if there was not some awful tragedy to break his soul into a living space So his father raised him in silence never speaking to him until Danny learned to listen to that silence to hear in the silence the cry of millions of his people as they were slaughtered starved beaten and experimented upon by Hilter's army It did not make Danny a rabbi but it saved his soul in the end It gave him the ears of a psychologist as he could listen to that silence As I read this I kept thinking about how God has raised us in silence We are only allowed communication with him in certain ways through rituals through scripture All else is silence In this silence we long for a closer relationship We suffer We hold respect for God and the methods used for communication And in that silence we hear the suffering of the world of each child that dies every five seconds of hunger We hear that silence and I hope it gives us a heart


  5. Katie Hanna Katie Hanna says:

    I'm 23 years old and I've been reading for most of the time I've been alive In all those years of reading I can recall openly sobbing on only two occasions The first time was in Little Women when Beth March died And the second time was in The Chosen when Reb Saunders said this In the silence between us he began to hear the world crying


  6. Quo Quo says:

    Chaim Potok's 1967 novel The Chosen mostly set during WWII is a fascinating study of two families linked by ethnic roots religion geography but still held at a considerable distance from each other At the center of the novel are Danny Saunders Reuven Malther both Orthodox Jewish boys of the same age living in the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn a very diverse polyglot area of New York but with intensely self contained pockets of families defined in critical ways by the specific synagogue or church they attend And what could be a democratic all American way to bring the two lads together than the game of baseball except that these two teams seem to taunt one another from the sidelines with Danny's ultra Orthodox Hasidic team regarding their somewhat less Orthodox opponents as only marginally Jewish calling them apicorsim or apostate Jews as such a threat to their way of regarding the world marked by a much stricter code of dress behavior interpretation of the Talmud the foundational book of Judaism The Hasidic team also speaks Yiddish rather than English being far protective of their particular way of life in a country that seems to pride itself on the erasure of formal differences But when Reuven pitches is struck by a batted baseball hit by Danny breaking Reuven's glasses imperiling his eye with broken glass the two boys become rather dramatically connected in what will eventually become a lifelong bond Both Danny Reuven are gifted students attending the same school but different synagogues yet both boys are driven to expand their own uite separate universes with a public library being another point of commonality for them As Danny delves into Freud psychology Reuven keenly explores symbolic logic Throughout the novel while both Danny Reuven study the Talmud to the exclusion of most everything else for both boys are the sons of rabbis expected to follow their fathers in that path Reuven is given far greater flexibility to expand his mind while Danny is very circumscribed by Hasidism its traditions including having had his wife chosen for him ages ago Added to that Danny's father is a tzaddik an exceedingly righteous spiritual leader from many generations of such rabbis afforded great authority almost magical powers within his Hasidic congregation As the bond grows between the boys after Reuven forgives Danny for seeming to intentionally injure him with a batted baseball they discuss their dreams with Danny's future much rigidly definedI have no choice It's like a dynasty if the son doesn't take his father's place the dynasty falls apart My family has been our Hasidic people's rabbi for 6 generations I can't just walk out on them now I'm a little trapped Danny turned away from the window began to play with his earlock braided hair caressing it twirling it with his index finger Then he shook his head declared that the world was a crazy place because while Reuven doesn't have to be a rabbi but wants to be one Danny has to become a rabbi but doesn't want to be oneThroughout the novel Reuven's father is a source of consolation guidance for his son while Danny's father is marked by rigidity only willing to speak with his son about the Talmud Nevertheless the two boys continue to share confidences to support each other at least until they are midway through a Brooklyn rabbinic college that also allows courses in science with the Talmud studied from 9 until 3 the afternoon devoted to secular courses There is a very memorable scene inside Danny's synagogue with his father Rebe Saunders avidly testing his son rabbi in training on the Talmud in the midst of the congregation with Reuven having been invited to attend the evening gathering but feeling rather like an alien in their presence The sense of distance was palpable for Reuven especially with the male members having blocked the steps to the synagogue allowing him to enter only because Danny took his arm causing the other Hasidic members to part in a wave almost akin to the Red Sea suddenly allowing a pathwayHowever after WWII the extent of the Holocaust comes to light the issue of the creation of the state of Israel causes the 2 families to come to an impasse with Reuven's father manifestly Zionist and Danny's father contending that there can be no Israel until the Messiah comes to lead the Jewish nation not a secular leader a Jewish goy like Ben Gurion At this point Danny is forbidden to even speak to Reuven The Chosen is a tightly paced wonderfully sensitive novel about both transitions transformations that are at times subtle at other times almost revolutionary for the two boys as well as their families Additionally it is a novel that speaks of the importance of forgiveness reconciliation And it also considers the value of silence as when Danny confides in Reuven bewildering his friend by stating that unlike other rabbis the role of a tzaddik is to know how to silently carry the weight of pain on his shoulders embodying the suffering of his peopleThere's truth in this than you realize You must learn to listen to silence Reuven I've begun to realize that you can listen to silence learn from it It has a uality a dimension all its own It talks to me sometimes I feel myself alive in it It talks has a strange beautiful texture Sometimes it cries you can hear the pain of the world in it It hurts to listen to it then But you have toI won't in any way reveal how The Chosen concludes but Chaim Potok's deeply expressive highly recommended novel points to the importance of tradition but also the need for children to be allowed to create their own narratives in life sometimes uite at odds with the ones their parents envision a very American book but one with ualities that seem universal Photo images within the review include the author Chaim Potok; 2 Jewish lads in the midst of a baseball game one Hasidic the other not; lastly Hasidic school boys in Brooklyn While I was previously aware of the novel it was especially recommended by Prof Barry Wimpfheimer as a part of an Adult Education course on the Talmud that I recently took part in at Northwestern University And in some very important ways the novel seems to parallel some aspects of Prof Wimpfheimer's life as shared with his class


  7. Poiema Poiema says:

    The Jewish Talmud exhorts a man to do two things for himself First acuire a teacher The other is to choose a friendDanny Saunders got the package deal when he made the acuaintance of Reuven Malter Theirs is a Jonathan and David friendship the two bodies with one soul type of friendship that happens rarely in a lifetimeAs the oldest son of the tzaddik righteous leader of a strict Hasidic Jewish sect Danny is the chosen Upon the death of his father he will be expected to step up as head of the dynasty Thus his father the brilliant but eccentric Reb Saunders focuses his full attention upon the proper upbringing of his sonBut what is a proper upbringing for a genius? Listen to the agonizing dilemma of Danny's father A man is born into this world with only a tiny spark of goodness in him The spark is God it is the soul; the rest is ugliness and evil a shell The spark must be guarded like a treasure it must be nurtured it must be fanned into flame Snip Anything can be a shellanything Indifference laziness brutality and genius Yes even a great mind can be a shell and choke the spark Reuven the Master of the Universe blessed me with a brilliant son And he cursed me with all the problems of raising him Ah what it is to have a brilliant son Not a smart son Reuven but a brilliant son a Daniel a boy with a mind like a jewel Ah what a curse it is what an anguish it is to have a Daniel whose mind is like a pearl like a sun Reuven when my Daniel was four years old I saw him reading a story from a book And I was frightened he did not read the story he swallowed it as one swallows food or water There was no soul in my four year old Daniel there was only his mind He was a mind in a body without a soul It was a story in a Yiddish book about a poor Jew and his struggles to get to Eretz Yisroel before he died Ah how that man suffered And my Daniel enjoyed the story he enjoyed the last terrible page because when he finished it he realized for the first time what a memory he had He looked at me proudly and told me back the story from memory and I cried inside my heart I went away and cried to the Master of the Universe 'What have you done to me? A mind like this I need for a son? A heart I need for a son a soul I need for a son compassion I want from my son righteousness mercy strength to suffer and carry pain that I want from my son not a mind without a soulReb Saunders makes a very unusual choice for his son He chooses to raise him in silence Except for weekly dialogue over the Talmud and Torah no words pass between father and son Though it seems cruel it is the father's best hope that the suffering it creates will fan into flame that spark of a soul that lies within DannyReuven becomes the counter balance for Danny's relationship with his father As a liberal Jew Reuven is able to bring a rational element into an otherwise emotionally volatile situation Without their friendship it is easy to see that Danny would crumple either from rage or simply from the heavy load of expectation he carries as a burdenUltimately Reb Saunders can claim at least partial victory for his son's upbringing Danny will break the the multi generational traditions of his ancestors; he will not step into the chosen role of Tzaddik Rather he will be a tzaddik for the world a different kind of a healer in his chosen field of psychology But he will remain a practicing Jew a man with a soul in whom the spark of life burns brightlyI loved this book It was fascinating to look behind the scenes at the traditions of the most orthodox sect of Judaism The Jews have remained a people apart separate from the nations This story gives a glimpse of the challenges they incurred as a people group after WWII The struggle was to keep their traditions intact but at the same time to acclimate to their new home country of America Rich rich rich I have scouted out two others by the same author The Promise which is a seuel to The Chosen and My Name is Asher Lev which some feel is Chaim Potok's best work


  8. Mike Mike says:

    At its core The Chosen is about the relationship between two Brooklyn boys Danny and Reuven the world they grow up in and their relationship with their fathers Both are Jewish but while they share the same faith they belong to radically different portions of that faith Danny is Hasidic What's he is the son of a Rebbe and expected to take up the mantle with the passing of his father Reuven on the other hand is part of modern Orthodox Judaism and is the son of a Talmudic teacherWhile growing up mere blocks from each other they do not cross paths until a baseball game brings them together and then sends Reuven to the hospital when Danny slams a line drive into Reuven's face breaking his glasses and sending glass into his eye So not the best foot for a relationship to get off on Danny visits Reuven in the hospital and while Reuven is initially hostile to Danny his father convinces him to give Danny and chance and they begin to become friendsThe relationship between the two boys blossoms as they grow up We discover Danny is brilliant with a once in a generation mind who fears being trapped into the role of his people's Rebbe His father only speaks to him when they discuss the Talmud and forbids him from reading world book such as Freud and Darwin Reuven while still very smart is much mathematically inclined than Danny In spite of their differences they become great friends spending many evenings and Sabbaths together In the background WWII is coming to a close and the horrors of the Holocaust are being reveledThis leads to the big clash in the book Zionism Immediately post WWII when the full horrors that had been visited on the Jews was made widely known there was a resurgence in Zionism specifically a homeland in British Palestine While many Jews were in favor of a return to their historic homeland the religious ones such as Edah HaChareidis thought that their could never be a Jewish state until the return of Messiah Danny's father passionately felt this way while Reuven's father was an ardent Zionist This matter was further complicated by Jewish terrorist attacks as well as attackes by Arabs and the British on Jewish neighborhoods and immigrants It was a huge mess and naturally the boys are caught in the middle with Danny's father forbidding Danny from seeing or interacting with Reuven Potok's writing in conveying all the emotions Reuven experiences throughout the book is stupendous We see him grow both as a person coming into his own as a man and his relationship with Danny We see his evolving attitude towards his own religion and how he chooses it to affect his life Naturally Potok an orthodox rabbi himself treats all these conflicts with a deft and empathetic hand There are no good guys or bad guys just people trying to navigate the turbulent times they live in Even the rather monstrous silent treatment Danny's father subjects him to comes from a place of love and compassion The tragedy of the book is what circumstances people find themselves in through no fault of their own and how it affects their relationships with others But such is the nature of life so beautifully encapsulated by this novel


  9. Radhika Radhika says:

    i was litterally gnna shoot myself when reading this boook i couldnt evn stand it so i decided to buy the audio version on itunes and that was even worse and cost me like 20 dolllaa i wass like heyllll nawww im not reading dissss but den i did cuzz i kinda had too its about a jewish nerd who gets hit in the eye when the rivalryy jewish team hits him they dont like eachother or something i dont know it was all downhill from there ysaaaaa heardd???


  10. Emily Emily says:

    I'm really struggling with how to review this book It was beautifully written The relationships between Danny and Reuven and between Reuven and his father were real and touching I enjoyed learning about different systems of Jewish faith and the interactions or lack thereof between their communities The historic insights into WWII and its aftermath particularly the realization among American Jews of the extent of the Holocaust and the formation of the state of Israel were fascinatingBut I was so distracted and disturbed by Reb Saunders's coldness toward his own son his lack of willingness andor ability to even talk to him outside of Talmudic discussion that it's difficult for me to get past it His explanation toward the end of the book didn't really help It was obvious that he loved his son and was incredibly proud of him and that he truly believed that he made the best choice he could at the time in how to raise his son with a soul though he admitted when asking for forgiveness from Danny A wiser fathermay have done differently I am notwise My heart just ached for the pain and suffering he had put both himself and his son through And I was especially disheartened that Danny said he may raise his own son in silence too if I can't find another way I don't understand the reasoning behind being cruel to your child because this was definitely emotional abandonment and neglect if not outright abuse in order to teach him compassion There are better ways to teach compassion even to intellectual geniuses like DannyFor book reviews visit my blog Build Enough Bookshelves


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *