Monthly Archives: February 2017

Two voices speak in Romans 1-4, not just Paul’s. You might recognize in these chapters a kind of Greek writing style known as “diatribe.” This means something different in the context of Greek literature than in modern usage, where a diatribe is a harangue against a person or idea. A Greek-style diatribe is something else,…

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Chaim Potok wrote a short history of the Jews called Wanderings. That depth of knowledge must be why he is able to make history shine in The Chosen. He reveals an unfamiliar world, helping us understand the backstory that illuminates the lives of Reuven Malter and Danny Saunders. We can see it. We can understand…

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“The sidewalks of Williamsburg were cracked squares of cement, the streets paved with asphalt that softened in the stifling summers and broke apart into potholes in the bitter winters.” With descriptive powers of a superb poet, Chaim Potok reveals a whole world to us, a microcosm of Jewish life in the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn.…

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Though it’s been years since I read Chaim Potok’s The Chosen, the theme I remember it most for is freedom, specifically freedom of the mind. Reuven’s father already has been practicing intellectual freedom and his Modern Orthodox stance on Judaism looks frighteningly like abandonment of the faith to some people. Danny is a person trapped…

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