The Chosen by Chaim potok

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Potok encapsulates the differences between conservatives and ultra-Orthodox Jews by presenting us with what each branch of Judaism does...The result is enchanting and captivating...Other than drawing the lines of religious boundaries, Potok tells a story about fathers and son and how to handle the generational difference of opinion.
-Tablet Magazine

Synopsis

"Anyone who finds it is finding a jewel. Its themes are profound and universal."
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
It is the now-classic story of two fathers and two sons and the pressures on all of them to pursue the religion they share in the way that is best suited to each. And as the boys grow into young men, they discover in the other a lost spiritual brother, and a link to an unexplored world that neither had ever considered before. In effect, they exchange places, and find the peace that neither will ever retreat from again....


From the Paperback edition.
 

About Chaim potok

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Chaim Potok was born in New York City in 1929. He graduated summa cum laude (with highest honors) from Yeshiva University in 1950, and received an advanced degree from Jewish Theological Seminary in 1954, when he also became an ordained Conservative rabbi. After two years of military service as a chaplain in Korea, Potok married Adena Sarah Mosevitsky in 1958. The couple had three children. Eventually Potok returned to school and received his Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania in 1965. Potok has held a variety of positions within the Jewish community, including directing a camp in Los Angeles, teaching at the University of Judaism in Los Angeles at a Jewish Theological Seminary in New York, and working as an editor on various religious publications, Potok's first novel, The Chosen, was published in 1967, and he quickly won acclaim for this best-selling book about tensions within the Orthodox and Hasidic Jewish communities. This and later books have been both critically and popularly successful. Many of them explore the meaning of Judaism in the modern era, focusing on the conflict between traditional teachings and the pressures of modern life. The Chosen was nominated for a National Book Award in 1967 and made into a successful film in 1982. Its sequel, The Promise (1969) was the winner of an Athenaeum Award. Potok is also the author of a nonfiction volume, Wanderings: Chaim Potok's History of the Jews (1978), as well as several short stories and articles that have been published in both religious and secular magazines.
 
Published January 1, 1970 by Penguin Books. 288 pages
Genres: Religion & Spirituality, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction, Education & Reference, Biographies & Memoirs, History, Romance. Fiction
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Critic reviews for The Chosen
All: 8 | Positive: 7 | Negative: 1

Kirkus

Below average
on Apr 06 2012

The explanation, in fact exegesis, of Jewish culture and learning, of the special dedication of the Hasidic with its emphasis on mind and soul, is done in sufficiently facile form to engage one's interest and sentiment. The publishers however see a much wider audience for The Chosen...although we doubt it.

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Tablet Magazine

Above average
Reviewed by epublishabook on Dec 30 2011

Potok encapsulates the differences between conservatives and ultra-Orthodox Jews by presenting us with what each branch of Judaism does...The result is enchanting and captivating...Other than drawing the lines of religious boundaries, Potok tells a story about fathers and son and how to handle the generational difference of opinion.

Read Full Review of The Chosen

Teen Ink

Above average
Reviewed by Cammie on Aug 08 2015

Reuven Malter is the narrator, we see what’s happening through his eyes. He is very brilliant at math which is why his dad wants him to be a mathematician, but Reuven wants to become a Rabbi...This book was rather interesting. I really liked it. It made me open to new cultures and religions.

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Teen Ink

Above average
Reviewed by Alisabeth on Aug 08 2015

Chaim Potok does an amazing job in describing how two different but similar boys become friends. He describes with warmth and sadness the relationship between fathers and sons in a phenomenal way. He creates insight into Danny and Reuven’s lives; making the reader want to keep reading.

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Brothers Judd

Excellent
Reviewed by brothersjudd on Jul 27 2015

This is a wonderful and warm hearted novel, a coming of age story, an immigrants tale, most of all a novel of ideas...This is an extraordinary book, one of the truly great American novels. I can't recommend it highly enough.

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Publishing A Book Is An Adventure

Good
Reviewed by Patricia de Hemricourt on Sep 04 2012

Other than drawing the lines of religious boundaries, Potok tells a story about fathers and son and how to handle the generational difference of opinion. Get The Chosen. I recommend it!

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Publishing A Book Is An Adventure

Above average
Reviewed by Patricia de Hemricourt on Sep 04 2012

Concentrated wisdom in written form. Chaim Potok, as usual, uses the background of intricately complicate rules of the Hassidic world to convey messages that are valid for all, regardless of their color or creed...Potok tells a story about fathers and son and how to handle the generational difference of opinion.

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Life As I Know It

Above average
Reviewed by Lisa on Feb 22 2012

The baseball game which comprises the first chapter is the most action that takes place in the entire story; the rest is a lot of conversations and reflection...Anyway, the story spans about five or so years, during which time we learn how Danny is in line to take over his father’s position as tzaddik, only Danny doesn’t want to.

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Reader Rating for The Chosen
82%

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