The Chosen, By Chaim PotokFriendshipWhile many obstacles get in the way of friendship, true friendship still lives, even in silence. In the book, The Chosen, By Chaim Poto k, two boys, Reuven Malter and Danny Saunders, who are very religiously different and both raised in completely opposite ways, develops a deep friendship. Their friendship opens up their worldview to many other different viewpoints in life. The friendship between these two boys is one with great religious significance, starting off with destiny and Gods will. As Danny and Reuven's Friendship develops, it teaches them to respond wisely to the values of the more complex and secular world. It also teaches the true value of friendship.
Because Danny's father, Reb Saunders, raised Danny in silence, Danny and Reuven's relationship was also a way that Reb Saunders could talk to his son, through Reuven. There friendship grows and they become closer and closer. Many things were pushing Danny and Reuven to become friends at first, but after being open to the fact of a friendship, they instantly became friends and it was easy for them to discuss there activities, desires and their fears. The two boy's initial distrust and hatred for each other still didn't make it hard for them to talk, the talked with comfort and no fear " Yesterday I had hated him; now we are calling each other by our first names. I sat and listened to him talk. I was fascinated just listening...
." (pg. 68) Even though there friendship started off with hatred after talking, they got to know each other. They shared their goals, dreams, their education and their families with each other freely. Mr.
Malter, Reuven's father, tells Reuven what a friend is defined as, and tells Reuven to give Danny a chance to get to know him better, because Danny needs him. "You Know what a friend is Reuven? A Greek philosopher said that two people who are friends are like two bodies with one soul" (pg 74) The Differences between these boys are what set them apart, but when they finally talked, under the instructions of their fathers, they developed a strong connection which later on led to a deep friendship. After Reuven Rejected Danny for what he did to him, Mr. Malter tells Reuven a little bit about who Danny is, and why he needs a friend like Reuven." Reb Saunders son is a terribly torn and lonely boy, there is literally no one in the world he can talk to, he needs a friend... I am certain you and Reb Saunders son can help each other in such a friendship." (pg 106) Mr.
Malter tells his son what it means to be a friend and what has to be done. He needs someone to talk to and Reuven will listen. And they both need each other, to grow. What bound them together was the accident with the Baseball, But after being somewhat forced to get to know each other talking, and then having no fear of each other, they became bound together and helped each other's life open up to the world and to be brave as they grew up in a challenging world.
Danny and Reuven's friendship went through many trials and after one challenging block in their relationship, it silenced them both. And even though there friendship was banned, it withstood till the end. Danny and Reuven's friendship wasn't only beneficial for them, so they could talk and be open, but it was beneficial to Reb Saunders as well. Because of Danny and Reuven's relationship, Reb Saunders could talk to his son, through Reuven." Reuven, he has already talked to Danny about it, he has talked to Danny through you" (pg 101) Danny and Reuven's relationship was a link between father and son, but this grew into something more, something life-long and unchanging.
This friendship was true, it meant a lot to both of them, and their parents. However, after large disagreements in both Danny and Reuven's religious lives and families, Reb Saunders excommunicates Reuven from the Hasidic community and Danny's life. "Never would he let his son be the friend of a man who was advocating the establishment of a secular Jewish state run by Jewish goyim" (pg 217) Both Danny and Reuven go through pain without each other. But they both knew and understood that they are now communicating in silence.
There friendship still lived, but without words. Thankfully, Danny and Reuven's relationship is brought back together when the anti-Zionist movement was over, and they talked after a two-year silence. There friendship was re-opened and stronger than ever." I was crying too, crying with Danny, Silently, for his pain and for the years if his suffering, knowing that I loved him" (pg 208) "Walking in silence and saying more with that silence than a lifetime of words" (pg 209) Reuven and Danny grew so close after being re -acquainted that they become like brothers, feeling each others pain and being comfortable with the silences between them, knowing what they are thinking. Even though they knew that there would be many more years of silence, they also knew that there friendship would never change. What Reuven and Danny all went through made there relationship stronger.
After everything they had to work through, they had to work for, together, which made them strong, not only independently, but strong together as well. The many obstacles in Danny and Reuven's Relationships didn't exactly get in the way, but it helped build their friendship. Danny and Reuven became more comfortable with who they are and with each other. After Danny and Reuven's hate for each other, many things pushed them to become friends and not only Danny and Reuven needed each other to go into a relationship, but their parents needed them too. There friendship was undeniable.
Even after there friendship was banned, they became silenced, but lived on. It was hard, but because of there true friendship, when there relationship was renewed and the banned was lifted, they became stronger than ever. There friendship helped each other live their lives and make choices that were from there own heart, and not the heart of there parents or community. This topic shows us that even though it doesn't always seem likely that a person needs a friend, some people need someone to talk to or someone to help them open up and to be revealed to a whole new life. We should learn by this topic that our friends shouldn't always be clones of ourselves and we should be listening and helping our friends. Even through the toughest times, through silence, true friendships always last..