The following questions about Potok's The Chosen were asked by students in Prof. Sienkewicz' Freshman Seminar at Monmouth College, Monmouth, Illinois. August, 1997. If you have comments or suggestions about this material, you may contact Prof. Sienkewicz at

QUESTIONS about Chaim Potok's The Chosen

Why was Reuven accepted by Rev Saunders so fast?

Why did Danny's father like Reuven's father even though they disagreed on many issues?

I want to know whether Billy's eyesight going to return. What was wrong with Mr. Savo?

Why does Danny think he has to read Sigmund Freud?

It kinda seems weird how Danny and Reuven just all the sudden form this special friendship through a baseball game.

What is the symbolism of the eyes?

Why don't the women play a larger part in the book?

How are such religious people so full of hate

Are all of [Hasidic]families like Danny Saunders'? Do the fathers not talk to their sons? Does their religion force the fathers not to talk to their sons?

I would like to learn more about Hasidic Jews and the rest of their culture.

Why would bringing Danny up in silence be a better way to teach him to feel than, say, just acting normally around him? How do you pronouce the word apikorsim?

Why is there so much silence in the Saunders household? I understand that Torah supports that but why can't they have a somewhat normal relationship with one another? (Bro/Sis, Mom/Son...)

Why didn't Reuven's father tell Reuven he knew Danny Saunders?

Why were the boys playing softball, (12-inch since they used gloves) instead of real baseball?

Why does Mr. Malters support a Zionist state?