Chosen Book Analysis Essay

1813 words - 8 pages

The Chosen by Chaim Potok
1)Judaism and Christianity are the origin and end of each other, and the many similarities they have are equally contrasted by the differences. Both religions have gone through reformations and divisions made over differing interpretations. For example, Christians can be separated as Catholics, Protestants or Lutherans, likewise Judaism branches into sects like Russian Hasidism. For a Christian to compare Christianity to Hasidism, one must understand what Hasidism is. Hasidism as shown in The Chosen is a strict and exclusive sect of Judaism in which there is little tolerance. Hasidic Jews adhere to stringent laws regarding their appearance, men wear dark suits and white shirts with black skullcaps adorning their earlock framed heads while women are garbed in long sleeved dresses, with kerchiefs covering their heads. A Hasid conforms to not only a certain attire but also to specific social rules. The father of a household has absolute rule, evidently seen, when Reb Saunders chooses his children’s friends and spouses. Hasidic Jews mainly interact with themselves and therefore outsiders are rarely socialized with, like in the case of Reuven Malter. Reuven was approved by Reb Saunders at first, but after David Malter’s (Reuven’s father) actions he was banned from seeing Danny Saunder’s (Reb’s son). The daily rituals of a Hasidic Jews sharply contrast to that of a Christian’s. Christians not only accept other denominations of Christianity but also entirely different religions. To accept these religions, we mean to accept their nonviolent members and not prejudice against them. Modesty in word and action is a standard all Christians should observe, even though there is no Christian uniform with exceptions for those who join religious groups (e.g. Marianists). Hasidic Jews and Christians have similar core beliefs but how the two groups interact with others in the world distinguishes us.
2)To age is to grow and to grow means change has occurred in your physical and mental maturity. The Chosen starts with 15 year-old Reuven and Danny facing off in a baseball game that would change the course of their lives forever. Danny clops a ball straight into Reuven’s eye sending him to the hospital, where when they first meet they do nothing but argue. Over the course of time, however, they become friends and start to learn about each other’s worlds. Danny strictly follows his fathers’ expectations of becoming a rabbi despite truly desiring to be a psychologist. Reuven, although not obligated to be, wants to become a rabbi or a mathematician. Danny goes through a series of events that show how he is degrading his own strength by following his passion in secret and his father’s wishes publicly. When he struggles to read Freud’s work and later finds out his father knows he was reading forbidden books he becomes gloomy and distraught. When Danny faces issues with his psychology teacher’s agenda, he becomes more bitter and angry especially...

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