The Chosen

The Chosen None

  • Title: The Chosen
  • Author: Chaim Potok
  • ISBN: 9780449213445
  • Page: 103
  • Format: Paperback
  • None

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    About " Chaim Potok "

  • Chaim Potok

    Herman Harold Potok, or Chaim Tzvi, was born in Buffalo, New York, to Polish immigrants He received an Orthodox Jewish education After reading Evelyn Waugh s novel Brideshead Revisited as a teenager, he decided to become a writer He started writing fiction at the age of 16 At age 17 he made his first submission to the magazine The Atlantic Monthly Although it wasn t published, he received a note from the editor complimenting his work.In 1949, at the age of 20, his stories were published in the literary magazine of Yeshiva University, which he also helped edit In 1950, Potok graduated summa cum laude with a BA in English Literature.After four years of study at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America he was ordained as a Conservative rabbi He was appointed director of Leaders Training Fellowship, a youth organization affiliated with Conservative Judaism.After receiving a master s degree in English literature, Potok enlisted with the U.S Army as a chaplain He served in South Korea from 1955 to 1957 He described his time in S Korea as a transformative experience Brought up to believe that the Jewish people were central to history and God s plans, he experienced a region where there were almost no Jews and no anti Semitism, yet whose religious believers prayed with the same fervor that he saw in Orthodox synagogues at home.Upon his return, he joined the faculty of the University of Judaism in Los Angeles and became the director of a Conservative Jewish summer camp affiliated with the Conservative movement, Camp Ramah A year later he began his graduate studies at the University of Pennsylvania and was appointed scholar in residence at Temple Har Zion in Philadelphia.In 1963, he spent a year in Israel, where he wrote his doctoral dissertation on Solomon Maimon and began to write a novel.In 1964 Potok moved to Brooklyn He became the managing editor of the magazine Conservative Judaism and joined the faculty of the Teachers Institute of the Jewish Theological Seminary The following year, he was appointed editor in chief of the Jewish Publication Society in Philadelphia and later, chairman of the publication committee Potok received a doctorate in philosophy from the University of Pennsylvania.In 1970, Potok relocated to Jerusalem with his family He returned to Philadelphia in 1977 After the publication of Old Men at Midnight, he was diagnosed with brain cancer He died at his home in Merion, Pennsylvania on July 23, 2002, aged 73.


  • The book jacket tells us that this was the first book (published 1967) that introduced Jewish culture to a wide American audience.The 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 Jews.Due to a baseball injury, he makes friends with anoth [...]

  • This was required reading for my sophomore-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 required reading, the oh-so-detailed Great Expectations, whi [...]

  • NEW YEAR RESOLUTION NUMBER 62: READ EVERYTHING WRITTEN BY CHAIM POTOK.I think I might actually end up fulfilling this resolution (unlike most of the others), because “the chosen” was a masterpiece.It's a poignant story about friendship, father-son relationship, about 2 Jew families on the other side of the Zionist movement and the reaction of American Jews to the horrors of holocaust. It’s about two deeply religious boys, trying to strike a balance between modernity and their deep rooted t [...]

  • 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 [...]

  • "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 lost"(James Brown, of course)This must have been by far one of the most solemn books I've ever read. It's a poignant story about two teenagers 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. The author explores their friendship, the relation [...]

  • Essere figli. Essere padriQuesto bellissimo romanzo è la storia di un'amicizia fra due ragazzi. Vi è però molto di più : il rapporto di due figli coi rispettivi padri; il fronteggiarsi di due diverse concezioni e tradizioni pur all'interno della stessa religione ebraicaLe vicende si svolgono a New York, nel quartiere dove gli ebrei immigrati dall'Europa hanno ricostituito le loro comunità.Il periodo è compreso tra gli ultimi anni della Seconda Guerra Mondiale e i fatti successivi alla proc [...]

  • 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."

  • 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???

  • 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 more 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 teacher.Whi [...]

  • Ever since I saw the movie "A Stranger Among Us" about a New York cop (Melanie Griffith) who has to go undercover in Brooklyn's Hasidic Jewish community to solve a murder, I have been fascinated with the Hasidim. In "The Chosen," Reuven, an observant Jewish boy becomes best friends with Danny, a Hasidic Jewish boy, during WW2. Theirs is a beautiful odd friendship in their community and comes under considerable strain by the differing viewpoints of their fathers. One is a Zionist, fighting for th [...]

  • My brother Matt suggested this book, and I'm very glad that I read it. (And glad that he was there to fill me in a little more on the history it brings up.) It is very well written, and enjoyable as well as educational. It helped me better understand the Jewish faith and branches of Judaism, the horror of WWII, what is unique about American Jews, and some of the conflict over the Israel as a Jewish state. Leaves you with a warm feeling and lots to think about. "The Talmud says that a person shou [...]

  • The Jewish Talmud exhorts a man to do two things for himself. First, acquire a teacher. The other is to choose a friend.Danny Saunders got the package deal when he made the acquaintance of Reuven Malter. Theirs is a Jonathan and David friendship, the two-bodies-with-one-soul type of friendship that happens rarely in a lifetime.As 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 [...]

  • 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 fascinating.But [...]

  • Well, I just finished this book last night and I must say I was deeply moved by the whole experience. I remembered there was a reason I liked it so much back in high school. I love the relationship between the two main characters, Danny and Reuven. They've reminded me that there are definite friendships that I cherish highly, and that true friends are hard to come by. But when they do, you know in your heart that you will never leave them for the rest of your life. I guess after reading this, it [...]

  • There are a lot of Jewish people in Brooklyn. One of them is my wife, but most of them aren't. There are a bunch of Modern Orthodox Jews, and the US's largest population of Hasidic Jews, based famously in Williamsburg. They're both conservative; one major difference is that Hasidic Jews are anti-Israel, for complicated and dumb reasons. The Chosen is about a friendship between a Modern Orthodox Jew, Reuven Malter, and a Hasidic Jew named Danny Saunders. I only heard about Chaim Potok and this bo [...]

  • The story of an extraordinary friendship between two boys raised by parents with opposing views about how best to practise the Jewish faith. One boy is a genius whose father will go to extreme lengths to preserve his faith in God. I still shake my head at his actions but the power of this story is that it is not only unforgettable but it opens the curtain on Hasidic culture and contrasts it with the more modern but still devout Jew. A fascinating story, a page-turning friendship, and a rite of p [...]

  • Chaim Potok says in his foreword to the book that he wanted to write “an encompassing metaphor. How to make a unity of such disparate entitles—the war in Europe, a childhood eye injury, the mesmerizing quality and dark menace of certain books, Freud, religion, psychology, mathematical logic, sacred texts, scientific text criticism, Zionism, the Holocaust.” In that he did a great job. The book was beautiful and memorable. It teaches history and a few life lessons, but overall, I found it te [...]

  • I was charmed by Reuven and Danny, and their ability to bridge differences to nurture their loyal friendship. That and how the author creates a strong sense of time and the orthodox Jewish culture and lifestyle in the mid 1900's engaged me.Some parts of the book were harder for me to enjoy. I slogged through many of religious details and history and the lectures and debates.I loved Reuven's relationship with his father. Danny's with his was hard to fathom and heartbreaking. The non-religious his [...]

  • This book holds up so well to multiple re-readings. It's a story of friendship, of family love, of the relationships between fathers and sons, set against the background of Hasidic Judaism. This time, I'm unconvinced that raising a child in silence, as Danny's father does, will result in a compassionate child, but I am moved by Danny's struggle to be both himself and what his father and his father's followers need him to be. Reuven, the narrator, serves both as a channel for what the reader (who [...]

  • This should be required reading for college courses in Gay Studies/Gay Literature. It is small wonder that Potok's inspiration for writing came from reading Brideshead Revisted. Reuven's narration, particularly the ways he describes Danny, is a virtual textbook case of repressed desire. This repression is consistent with one of the novel's themes: silence. Having read this book, originally, many years ago, I did not pick up on Reuven's infatuation in the same way I've since come to recognize. In [...]

  • The Chosen is undoubtedly a very character-driven novel. The entire focus of the book is the friendship between two boys, and the relationship they have with their fathers. Which I thought would be super great to read about! And… it was. To an extent. I loved the theme of fathers and sons. And I loved how Reuven and his Father interacted with each other in a close relationship. But I’m still INCREDIBLY confused as to Danny and his Father and what on earth was even going on with them and what [...]

  • I love how Chaim Potok is able to create a story about so many different things. There are dozens of topics within his books to discuss, enjoy and ponder, but he manages to twist and turn his story, so at its end, you get the Rubik's cube sides all neatly back to the same color.Like My Name Is Asher Lev, which I loved, Potok writes about a Jewish boy torn between his own genius and his orthodox father's expectations. Danny Saunders, a genius boy with a photographic memory, is destined to take hi [...]

  • Today I discussed this all-male book with a small group of all-male max security prisoners. They liked it, fascinated by the details of Jewish life and customs, and were eager to talk about the dynamics between fathers and sons. We had a great conversation about why the first fifth of the book is taken with a description of a baseball game. This is one of the few books I know, and certainly the most popular, that makes Talmud study sexy. One prisoner hoped that the Hasidic Danny and the Modern O [...]

  • ( immature boys won't be able to understand/appreciate a close and beautiful bond between two heterosexual boys)I loved this book. I read the Asher Lev books in high school and loved them, but this was great in a whole different way. Explicit (although not too 'in your face') theme of seeing and not seeing, a view of Jewish life and culture in America during and post WWII, and beautiful/touching portrayal of many different types of relationships (with family, friends, and strangers).The book, in [...]

  • Re-reading in July 2015:Review from first reading in May 2014:What an interesting education I received from this book! I learned so much about the nuances of the Jewish faith and the challenges they faced during and after World War II. I never knew of the Jewish resistance to the Israel state. I also found myself greatly engaged and intrigued by the origins of Hassidic Judaism. In addition to being extremely fascinating and highly educational, this book caused great reflection for my own life. W [...]

  • Think you got a great education? Follow these teenage boys as they learn about one another, their faith and their relationship with their fathers. The rigorous studying that they do is foreign to today's youth. A classic in so many ways.

  • La loro strada nel mondoHo trovato questo libro molto interessante perché, attraverso la storia di due ragazzi, racconta due modi antitetici di essere ebrei negli Stati Uniti. Dopo la fine della seconda guerra mondiale si abbattè sul mondo l’orribile scoperta della Shoà e la comunità americana si rese conto che la fiorente comunità ebraica europea era incenerita e stava agli ebrei americani di perpetuare il popolo e la religione ebraica. Buona parte della comunità ebraica americana riten [...]

  • In the last hour I've finished reading Chaim Potok's The Chosen. My five sisters have been reading it, along with our father. Two weeks ago we had an animated discussion about it on a conference call. I was supposed to have finished reading it but had barely begun. We are all to write an essay and share our thoughts. We are having another conference call tomorrow evening to discuss our essays and here I am just making a beginning.Potok introduced me to two fifteen-year-old Jewish boys living in [...]

  • 4.5 starsI started a collection of Chaim Potok novels with the intent that he would not disappoint me in my quest in immersing myself in a great work of literature while also becoming much more informed about Judaism. By no means did Potok disappoint. I felt that The Chosen, being an earlier work of his, would be a great starting point and a great starting point it was. I felt that what I read was a great and important story about a time, place, and circumstance that I am now much more aware thr [...]

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