Chapter 3 Notes from The Chosen

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The Chosen Chapter 3

While Reuven is still asleep in the hospital, loud screams and noises rise within the hospital walls. Tony Savo jumps onto his bed mocking the orderlies while they listen to the radio and learn that it is D Day and the Americans have landed on the Normandy Coast. Reuven is still calm and puts on his teffilin to pray, dodging the painful bump that remains on his forehead. Tony teases Reuven over his observant religious practice and wonders if he'll become a priest one day. Reuven tells him that his father wants him to be a mathematician, but he may want to become a rabbi.

Mickey, a young boy with chronic stomach problems comes across the ward to ask Tony to play ball. He does so in order to give the little boy joy and to enjoy himself while hospitalized, much to the chagrin of the head nurse, Mrs. Carpenter. Mr. Galanter visits Reuven with New York Times in hand, and talks to both him and Billy about the war. Billy's uncle is a fighter pilot in the war and his father couldn't be a soldier because his mother died in the accident and he has to take care of little Billy. Mr. Galanter is affected by Billy's story and becomes morose and solemn, on account of his inability to participate in the war.

Topic Tracking: Friendship 2

Mr. Galanter leaves and Reuven closes his eyes to nap and avert the sunlight. He soon opens them to see Danny Saunders standing above his bed. Shocked by his presence, Reuven allows his anger to dominate the short conversation. He scolds Danny and tells him to go home and feel miserable for having possibly blinded another person. Danny tells him that he feels terrible and came to talk, not to fight. Reuven's silence forces Danny to leave.

When Mr. Malter visits Reuven shortly after Danny's exit, Reuven tells him of the conversation. Mr. Malter scolds Reuven for his maltreatment of Danny:

"'You must remember what the Talmud says. If a person comes to apologize for having hurt you, you must listen and forgive him...What I tried to tell you, Reuven, is that when a person comes to talk to you, you should be patient and listen.'" Chapter 3, p. 68

They talk about the invasion and the war and Hitler. When Mr. Malter leaves, Reuven begins to feel terrible about his words with Danny. Billy's father comes again to visit and asks Reuven if he will call Billy when they get out of the hospital.

Danny Saunders comes nervously to visit Reuven once again, this time with success. The two begin to talk. Danny came to visit Reuven to tell him how concerned he has been about the game since he hit Reuven. Danny cannot understand why he truly wanted to kill Reuven on the field. Reuven doesn't know how to handle such news coming so frankly out of Danny's mouth. They talk about the game, the heat and power of the war of it, and call each other by his first name. "I looked at him [Danny], and suddenly I had the feeling that everything around me was out of focus...And here was Danny Saunders talking English, and what he was saying and the way he was saying it just didn't seem to fit in with the way he was dressed, with the side curls on his face and the fringes hanging down below his dark jacket" Chapter 3, p. 72.

The two boys talk about how much they practice baseball to become good players, how much they study Talmud each day, and what they want to do with their lives in the future. Danny tells Reuven that he has a photographic memory, which helps him study four pages of Talmud each day. Reuven wants to become a rabbi one day to help all types of Jews, despite his father's wish for him to become a mathematician/professor. Danny is surprised by Reuven's goals, for he is to take his father's place as rabbi solely from inheritance. He would rather become a psychologist. He tells Reuven that his father doesn't say much. "He told me once he wishes everyone could talk in silence" Chapter 3, p. 76. Reuven doesn't understand this practice of communication, but welcomes his new friend's company. Danny leaves with excitement of visiting Reuven the following day.

Topic Tracking: Friendship 3
Topic Tracking: Silence 1

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