The Chosen by yaofenjin


									         The Chosen
         Chaim Potok

Discussion Starters
The Chosen
Chaim Potok
    The Chosen: Introduction

Has your life ever changed in an instant?
         The Chosen: Introduction

In The Chosen, that’s exactly what happens to
Reuven Malter.

  And it’s all because of a softball game.
           The Chosen: Introduction

During the game between two Jewish schools,
Reuven meets Danny Saunders, a player for the
other team.

At first, the two can’t
stand each another.
         The Chosen: Introduction

Danny’s team is made up of Hasidic Jews, who
taunt Reuven’s team for being “apikorsim”—not
religious enough.

To make matters worse, they’re strong
and skilled players.
       The Chosen: Introduction

The game—and their differences—grow so
powerful that Reuven and Danny feel more and
more anger and hate toward each another.

 And then Danny hits
 a baseball right into
 Reuven’s eye,
 breaking his glasses.
 Part of the glass
 goes into Reuven’s
       The Chosen: Introduction

Reuven has surgery on his eye, but there’s
a chance that it could be blinded as a
result of the injury.

A few days later, Reuven wakes up to find
Danny there to visit him.
      The Chosen: Introduction

Danny becomes one of the most important
friends in Reuven’s life.

What makes an enemy become a friend?
          The Chosen: Background

Reuven and Danny are both Jewish, but they
practice different kinds of Judaism.

•Reuven is an
Orthodox Jew.

•Danny is a
Hasidic Jew.

These two groups have different ideas
about their faith and how to live their
         The Chosen: Background

Orthodox Jews

• follow Jewish laws but
are open to the modern
• use modern
academic methods to
guide their study

• usually do not wear
traditional clothing, except
for a skullcap, or yarmulke
          The Chosen: Background

Hasidic Jews

• live in close-knit
communities, separated from
the secular world

• wear traditional clothes
and speak Yiddish

• Separated from Jewish tradition by
  deciding to focus on serving God
  through love and prayer
          The Chosen: Background

Part of Judaism is the study of the Talmud:

 • a large collection of
 civil, religious, and
 ethical laws

 • plus scholarly
 discussions about
 these laws
         The Chosen: Background

The Chosen takes place during World War II,
in which the German army conquered most of
          The Chosen: Background

Germany’s Nazi Party sent millions of Jews and
other people to work camps and concentration
                      The death of millions in
                      these camps—both
                      through the Nazi’s attempt
                      at genocide of the Jews
                      and as a result of the
                      terrible conditions—is
                      known as the Holocaust.
          The Chosen: Background

After World War II and the Holocaust, many
Jewish people demanded their own homeland,
something that some Jews—known as
Zionists—had wanted for years.

However, not all Jewish people agreed shared
the desire for a homeland.
         The Chosen: Background

Despite this disagreement, in 1948 the State
of Israel was created in the Middle East.
      The Chosen: Discussion Starters

Discuss (1)
Reuven and Danny start off enemies, and
Reuven is even injured by Danny’s actions. Yet
they become friends.
• Can you imagine becoming friends with
someone whom you had a strong conflict with?
Why or why not?
• What might make an enemy become a friend?
      The Chosen: Discussion Starters

Discuss (2)
The characters in The Chosen are strongly
devoted to beliefs about life and religion.
• How do ideas about life and religion affect the
choices we make in everyday life?
• What kinds of beliefs impact you in your daily
• How do beliefs create groups of people? How
do these groups view people with different
beliefs? What problems can arise from these

To top