Notes on The Chosen Themes

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The Chosen Topic Tracking: Zionism

Zionism 1: Both baseball teams know that Mr. Malter, Reuven's father, is a stark Zionist and writer. Zionism is the love, passion, and devotion to allowing Palestine to become the Jewish state of Israel. During the World War II period, Jews were divided between Zionists and anti-Zionists.

Zionism 2: Mr. Malter lectures Reuven on the history of the Hasidic Jews and their belief in the coming of the Messiah. They believe a Jewish homeland can only be formed when the Messiah comes, and therefore are opposed to the post-war rallies in favor of the state of Israel.

Zionism 3: Mr. Malter explodes on the importance of establishing Palestine as a Jewish homeland. He begins to rally loudly for Palestine, especially after the Holocaust. With most European Jews slaughtered, he believes America is the place to rebuild Judaism.

Zionism 4: While Reuven eats breakfast with the Saunders, he brings up the idea of creating Palestine. Reb Saunders explodes at the table, screaming about the necessity of the messiah to arrive for a Jewish homeland to be established.

Zionism 5: Mr. Malter prepares for his Zionistic rally in Madison Square Garden. Although he is a devoted professor, he has never before prepared so sufficiently as he does for this rally, for it is part of his heart and soul. He believes in Zionism more than anything and is giving all his energy to the cause, forgetting his suffering health and curious son.

Zionism 6: Reb Saunders forces silence upon Reuven and will not allow Danny to speak with him. He places a ban on their friendship, shattering Reuven's heart and confusing his mind. He cannot believe that Zionism has destroyed his friendship with Danny.

Zionism 7: Reb Saunders forms a staunch anti-Zionist rally that finds support, but is not as effective as the Zionist rally led by Mr. Malter. Reb Saunders also issues a ban against all Zionist businesses, and distributes anti-Palestinian pamphlets.

Zionism 8: The state of Israel is finally formed, bringing joy to the Zionists and pain to the anti-Zionists. Reb Saunders dismantles his group and discontinues the distribution of his pamphlets, finally allowing Reuven and Danny to speak again.

Zionism 9: When Reuven finally visits Danny's home, he shakes Reb Saunders' hand and is welcomed back into the family. We find out that Reb Saunders was concerned that Danny's intelligence would prevent him from being compassionate, so he shut Danny out emotionally, hoping he would experience pain and want. Reb Saunders asks forgiveness from Danny and gives him his blessing to study psychology.

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