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The saying, “Opposites attract” actually comes to life in The Chosen, by Chaim Potok. There are both similarities and differences between Reuven and Danny. Usually, close friends have more similarities than differences, but not Reuven and Danny. They really are total opposites. They have differences on almost every aspect of life. They have different beliefs and ways of living. They even have differences in almost all of their relationships. Reuven and Danny are completely unlike.

Reuven Malter is a Zionist; he was a Jew who wanted a Jewish state, before the Messiah came. He has always been good at math, not like Danny. He wanted to be a Rebbi when he grew up, although at first he wanted to be a mathematician. “The gematriya for prozdor is five hundred and thirteen (134).” Reuven really doesn’t think for himself, he always has his father help him with his problems. “I told him (251).” This pretty well sums up Reuven’s relationship with his father, he told him absolutely everything and never solved his own problems. Unlike Danny, Reuven and his father communicate really well together. Reuven hates Reb, Danny’s father, but Danny “Respects” him. “I hate Reb (221).” Contradictory to Danny, Reuven goes out with women on his weekends, while Danny sits at home studying. Reuven said, “I was dating regularly now on Saturday nights (250).” There are even some differences in appearance, such as, Reuven wears glasses and he doesn’t have ear curls.

Danny Saunders is an anti-Zionist, which means he opposes Zionists. Danny was great in the study of the Talmud; Reuven on the other hand was kind of slow at it. Danny never actually wanted to be a Tzakkid; he always wanted to become a psychologist. “I don’t know, Probably a psychologist (69).” He constantly showed that he thought for himself, because every problem he had, he usually solved it by himself, he never got the answer like Reuven. Between Danny and his father, there is an uneasy silence, but Reuven and his father get along perfectly. “There was never any simple human kind of conversation between him and his son (184).” This is talking about Reb and Danny. Danny never says he loves his father, he only respects him, but Reuven however, despises Reb Saunders. Danny really couldn’t experience dating like Reuven; he was pre-married when he was born. Dissimilar to Reuven, Danny has finally learned to listen to silence, which is a big thing for a Tzakkid to know. Danny said, “You’d learn to live with the silence (243).”

In conclusion, Reuven and Danny are nothing alike. They have different beliefs, relationships, and ways of living. They have almost no similarities. Every aspect of there life is extremely diverse. Really, it is amazing that two people who are so exceptionally different can become friends. So, Danny is tremendously different form Reuven.


The Chosen by Chaim Potok

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