Monday, November 22, 2010

The Chosen

I just finished an excellent book, The Chosen by Chaim Potok. The story is about two Jewish boys growing up in New York City at the end of World War II. One boy is a Hasidic Jew named Danny. He becomes unlikely friends with the narrator, an Orthodox Jew named Reuven. Each of their fathers are important influential men, but the boys have very different relationships with their fathers. Danny's father is "raising him with silence", which means he only speaks to him when they are studying the Talmud. Reuven and his father talk about everything, including his friendship with Danny and the way Danny is being raised by his father.

I learned a great deal about Jewish history and thought from this book. I have to say, I admire the seriousness with which the characters in this book take their faith and the great lengths the older generation goes to in order to pass this faith down to their children. We Christians could learn a lot from them.

I can't put into words all my thoughts about this book, since I just finished it this afternoon. But I know it is one I will be thinking about for a long time to come.

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