Book Notes Chapter 17 Notes from The Chosen

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The Chosen Chapter 17

Danny and Reuven begin their final year of college in September and joke about Hasidim and Judaism. Reuven tells Danny an offensive joke about Hasidim that disturbs him, until he explains the silence of learning:

"'You can listen to silence, Reuven. I've begun to realize that you can listen to silence and learn from it. It has a quality and a dimension all its own. It talks to me sometimes. I feel myself alive in it. It talks. And I can hear it.'" Chapter 17, p. 262

Topic Tracking: Silence 7

Reuven has been dating regularly and advises Danny to do the same. Danny alerts Reuven that his wife has already been chosen. This old tradition presents another problem in his decision to leave the fold of Hasidim to become a psychologist, because more than simply his family will be affected.

Levi, Danny's little brother, is Bar-Mitzvahed on an early Monday morning. Although he is called to the Torah successfully, he is still very weak and ill. Soon after the Bar Mitzvah, Levi becomes violently ill and is rushed to the hospital. Danny is worried about his brother, not only for his health, but also because Levi is to continue the family dynasty when he becomes a doctoral candidate for Psychology. Reuven tells Mr. Malter about Danny's decision to become a doctor, bringing upon worry for both men. Mr. Malter warns Reuven that Danny may not be prepared for such a grave change in lifestyle and that he will need Reuven more than ever now. A friend is not an easy thing to be.

Reuven explains all of the minute details that may cause familial problems to Danny over his application to graduate schools. Mr. Malter gives Danny advice on how to speak with his father and warns him that everything is now between the two of them. Danny will not take over his father's position and will not marry his intended wife.

Danny's sister becomes pregnant and Reb Saunders continues to ask why Reuven does not come over anymore. Reuven dislikes him intensely and offers Danny his home before he realizes that he cannot do so because of Danny's strict kosher laws. Danny struggles with the applications and decision to tell his father over his future attendance of Columbia.

Mr. Malter forces Reuven to listen. Reb Saunders is not simply asking to study Talmud with Reuven, but instead wants to talk to Reuven about Danny. As soon as Reuven realizes this, he makes plans to go over to their house on Passover.

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