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The Chosen, Chaim Potok

Set in Brooklyn in the 1940s, The Chosen follows the lives of two young Jewish men and their relationship with their fathers and with each other. Rueven is a secular Jew with a Zionist father, and Danny is a brilliant rabbinic scholar from a Hasidic background. Despite their different backgrounds, they form an enduring friendship and together face issues raised by the Holocaust and by the nature of commitment to one's faith. Woven throughout these themes is the larger theme of love—the love between father and son and between friends.

Related Readings

Proverbs 3:13-18, from the Tanakh—sacred text

from the Talmud, "In Search of Oil"—sacred text

from The Classic Tales: 4,000 Years of Jewish Lore—classic Hasidic tales

"My Father Sits in the Dark"—short story by Jerome Weidman

"Walking Away"—poem by C. Day Lewis

"Paths"—poem by Josephine Miles

"The Dispersal of European Jewry"—radio broadcast by Albert Einstein

"40,000 Here Seek Way to Save Jews"—newspaper article from The New York Times

Study Guide (PDF)


McGraw-Hill / Glencoe