Hasidic Jew and Orthodox Jew: Is Friendship Possible Between the Two? Essay

Hasidic Jew and Orthodox Jew: Is Friendship Possible Between the Two? Essay

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The Chosen, a novel written by Chaim Potok, is filled with a variety of themes that are brought together through each individual chapter. Chapter 7 in the book had a major impact in bringing forth the novel’s theme. For instance, in this chapter, the narrator, Reuven, starts by establishing the basic plot. He states, “The next day, I met Danny’s father” (Potok 112). Having this plot established is key in the chapter for it is the day that could make or break their friendship in a matter of seconds. Reuven and Danny Saunders have become friends since the incident during the ball game. Yet, there is a conflict in their friendship. Danny is a Hasidic Jew and follows the strict rules and beliefs of the Hasidic faith. Reuven, on the other hand, is an Orthodox Jew who does not follow all of the traditional customs, but does honor his faith. Rev Saunders, Danny’s father, hears from his son about his relationship with Reuven Matler, and wants to meet the young teen to approve of this companionship. Danny has never had a comrade who had not been a Hasidic Jew. This begins to show part of how the two must work through numerous hurdles in order to sustain their friendship and let it grow. Another example in this chapter that supports the basic plot is how Rev Saunders not only quizzes Danny on the Talmud lecture, but unexpectedly quizzes Reuven. He needed to test the boy, not only to approve of him as a friend for Danny, but to see what the son of David Malter knew. Rev Saunders approaches Reuven and says, “I am happy my Daniel has chosen you for a friend. My son has many friends. But he does not talk about them the way he talks about you” (141). He approves of his son’s friendship with Reuven Malter.
Danny and Reuven h...

... middle of paper ...

...erse with each other, they realize that they are not meant to be foes, but friends. During the novel, they work tirelessly in sustaining the bonds of their friendship, and triumphing over any obstacles that they face (having Rev Saunders approve of their friendship, getting passed the fact that Danny put Reuven in the hospital, or having to put their friendship on hold when the two become too involved with their own lives and activities). As Rev Saunder’s stated, “You think a friend is an easy thing to be? If you are truly his friend, you will discover otherwise” (142). They The Jewish duo balance each other out, and are there to support one another no matter what. They express different viewpoints at times, or get into vigorous quarrels with one another, but their friendship never ceases to exist.

Works Cited

Potok, Chaim. The chosen. Fawcett, 1982. Print.

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