The Chosen by Chaim Potok

The Chosen
by Chaim Potok

Paperback - 304 pages 
April 12, 1987
ISBN: 0449213447

Click to buy: Editorial Review: Few stories offer more warmth, wisdom, or generosity than this tale of two boys, their fathers, their friendship, and the chaotic times in which they live. Though on the surface it explores religious faith--the intellectually committed as well as the passionately observant--the struggles addressed in The Chosen are familiar to families of all faiths and in all nations. In 1940s Brooklyn, New York, an accident throws Reuven Malther and Danny Saunders together. Despite their differences (Reuven is a Modern Orthodox Jew with an intellectual, Zionist father; Danny is the brilliant son and rightful heir to a Hasidic rebbe), the young men form a deep, if unlikely, friendship. Together they negotiate adolescence, family conflicts, the crisis of faith engendered when Holocaust stories begin to emerge in the U.S., loss, love, and the journey to adulthood. The intellectual and spiritual clashes between fathers, between each son and his own father, and between the two young men, provide a unique backdrop for this exploration of fathers, sons, faith, loyalty, and, ultimately, the power of love. (This is not a conventional children's book, although it will move any wise child age 12 or older, and often appears on summer reading lists for high school students.)

The Chosen 1982 Movie

The Chosen 1982 Movie
starring Maximilian Schell, Rod Steiger, Robby Benson

Paperback - 461 pages 
DVD Release: September 2, 2003

Click to buy: Plot Synopsis: Two Jewish teenagers in 1940s New York meet as playground rivals. After accidentally injuring Reuven, Danny calls on him at home to apologize. Their wariness turns to fascination and close friendship as each discovers and admires the other's differences. Reuven is experienced, practical, and worldly-wise; while Danny is brilliant and mystical, incredibly erudite in some matters, but incredibly naive in others. To humble him, his father, an immigrant rabbi, has followed the stern tradition of raising him in silence. He thirsts for the wider knowledge represented by Reuven's environment; while Reuven is enraptured by Danny's close-knit family and synagogue community. But can their friendship survive the sharp differences between Danny's ultra Orthodoxy and Reuven's Modern Orthodox Judaism? Danny's people oppose the State of Israel as fanatically as Reuven and his father are working to create it. The issue threatens to make them enemies once again.


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