Chaim Potok's The Chosen

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Chaim Potok's The Chosen David Malter was part of the Jewish sect that took on a more modern approach. He is very understanding, and he cares very deeply for his son Reuven. Reuven and his father's relationship would be considered healthy by most people. They love each other very much, and they have a very open communication with each other. David Malter sought for every opportunity to teach his son from the Talmud, the Jewish Holy book. At the beginning of the book, Reuven was in the hospital as a result of Danny Saunders intentionally hitting a fast line-drive that hit Reuven in the face. Reuven was rushed off to the hospital were he would spend five days there recovering. It was at the hospital where Danny and Reuven's friendship was planted, but they were off to a rocky start. Danny came to visit Reuven seeking his forgiveness, and Reuven denied him. Reuven was telling his father at the hospital about Danny's visit and that he had come to ask for his forgiveness. Reuven boastfully explained to his father that he ignored Danny's request. In response, Reuven's father taught him an important lesson by saying, "You did a foolish thing, Reuven. Do you remember what the Talmud says? If a person comes to apologize for having hurt you, you must listen and forgive him." (pg. 63) It was this early experience and many more to come that Reuven's father taught him an important doctrine of the Jewish Faith, to forgive those who seek forgiveness. As the story evolves, Danny and Reuven become very good friends. This is a highlight for Danny, given that he has never had a close friend before Reuven. Danny has lived a very lonely life. He has not had any friends because he feels that no understands him. 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. There is literally no one in the world he can talk to. He needs a friend." (pg. 110) David Malter continues by saying, "The accident with the baseball has bound him to you and he has already sensed in you someone he can talk to without fear. I am very proud of you for that." (pg. 110) Reuven's father expresses his confidence to his son very openly which is an important aspect in comparing with Danny and his father's relationship.
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