Spiritual Conflicts In The Promise By Chaim Potok

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In his book The Promise Chaim Potok leads the reader on a heartbreaking journey full of spiritual conflict and decision. As a sequel to The Chosen, The Promise picks up with Reuven Malter, the main character and a Jewish man now in his mid-twenties, attending Hirsch University, a Jewish seminary in Brooklyn, New York. Reuven keeps his friendship with Danny Saunders, whom he met on a baseball field during his teenage years and later went to college with, even though they now go their separate ways as Reuven becomes a rabbi, and Danny practices psychology. During the summer Reuven dates Rachel Gordon, the niece of Abraham Gordon, a man excommunicated from the Jewish society, and meets Abraham’s son, Michael, a stubborn teen with a mental issue. Also, over the same summer Reuven’s father, David Malter, wrote a controversial book about the Talmud. These people along with Reuven’s ranting teacher, Rav Kalman, form the intricate web of conflicts and friendships in The Promise. After the summer Reuven continues his course under Kalman; Michael enters a center for mental treatment, and Danny becomes his therapist. Even …show more content…

With many problems stemming from each other, the book keeps readers interested in how the ordeal will work out. For instance, the conflict between Reuven, his professor, and the Gordons keeps people reading eagerly and with trepidation– will Reuven follow his professor’s warning that he should “not set foot in that school,” or will Reuven continue to see the Gordons? Also, Potok makes the reader contemplate religious questions. From questions like “[d]o you believe the world was created in six days” to less obvious questions about how a person should treat others with different beliefs, The Promise causes the reader to view his or her life and beliefs through the book’s questions. Undeniably, Potok draws the reader in through the many problems and the questions that stem from

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