Friendship In Chaim Potok's The Chosen

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What makes a friendship “built to last”? Is it acting nicely, having fun, and seeing what happens? Or is it something else? Chaim Potok, in his novel The Chosen, follows two Jewish teenagers who became unlikely friends on their journey to manhood. Even though they came from opposite ends of the spectrum of Jewish Orthodoxy, Reuven and Danny bonded on a deep level. Over the years, they remained authentic and committed to each other during the ebbs and flows of their friendship. Because of Reuven and Danny’s trust, sacrifice, and commitment, their friendship persevered through the tests of life. Reuven and Danny first saw each other while playing in a baseball game when they were fifteen. During the game, which quickly became a grudge match, Danny hit the ball at Reuven’s face and put him in the hospital. Visiting Reuven, Danny bravely recounted his intense feelings from the heated game. “Do you know what I don’t understand about that ball game? I don’t understand why I wanted to kill you” (66). Although taken aback at first, Reuven appreciates his frankness. A series of these raw, candid conversations built the foundation of trust…show more content…
After returning home from the hospital, Danny invited Reuven to his father’s synagogue, which belonged to an ultra-Orthodox sect of Judaism. At the synagogue, Danny’s father wisely admonished Reuven of the price of friendship. “You think a friend is an easy thing to be? If you are truly his friend, you will discover otherwise” (142). Reuven soon realized the veracity of this statement. Privately, Danny informed him of his desire to break from tradition and become a psychologist instead of a rabbi. Desperate for knowledge and understanding, Danny regularly read Freud’s works and other forbidden books at the library. The tension and anguish that these clandestine activities caused taught Reuven that the cost of friendship is a serious matter,

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