The Chosen

The Chosen

4.03 (71,564 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

Out of a Baseball game that nearly became a religious war, two Jewish Boys become friends. Danny comes from the strict Hasidic sect that keeps him bound in centuries of orthodoxy. Reuven is brought up by a father patiently aware of the twentieth century. Everything tries to destroy their friendship, but they use honesty with each other as a shield and it proves an impenetrable protection.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 288 pages
  • 109.22 x 177.8 x 20.32mm | 362.87g
  • Penguin Books Ltd
  • London, United Kingdom
  • 0140030948
  • 9780140030945
  • 803,976

Review Text

This first novel, ostensibly about the friendship between two boys, Reuven and Danny, from the time when they are fourteen on opposing yeshiva ball clubs, is actually a gently didactic differentiation between two aspects of the Jewish faith, the Hasidic and the Orthodox. Primarily the Hasidic, the little known mystics with their beards, earlocks and stringently reclusive way of life. According to Reuven's father who is a Zionist, an activist, they are fanatics; according to Danny's, other Jews are apostates and Zionists "goyim." The schisms here are reflected through discussions, between fathers and sons, and through the separation imposed on the two boys for two years which still does not affect their lasting friendship or enduring hopes: Danny goes on to become a psychiatrist refusing his inherited position of "tzaddik"; Reuven a rabbi.... The explanation, in fact exegesis, of Jewish culture and learning, of the special dedication of the Hasidic with its emphasis on mind and soul, is done in sufficiently facile form to engage one's interest and sentiment. The publishers however see a much wider audience for The Chosen. If they "rub their tzitzis for good luck," - perhaps - although we doubt it. (Kirkus Reviews)show more

Author information

Born in 1929, Chaim Potok grew up and was educated in New York. After being ordained as a rabbi, he took a Ph.D. in philosophy at the University of Pennsylvania. He was a chaplain with the US Forces in Korea from 1955-1957. He died in 2002. His novels The Chosen, The Promise, In the Beginning, The Book of Lights, My Name is Asher Lev, The Gift of Asher Lev and I am The Clay, have all been published by Penguin. He is also the author of Wanderings, a history of the Jews; of a children's book, The Tree of Here; and of three plays, Out of the Depths, Sins of the Father and The Play of Lights.show more

Rating details

71,564 ratings
4.03 out of 5 stars
5 37% (26,468)
4 37% (26,813)
3 19% (13,602)
2 5% (3,417)
1 2% (1,264)
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