The Importance Of Parent Child Relationships In The Chosen By Chaim Potok

1387 Words 6 Pages
The Chosen written by American-Jewish author and rabbi, Chaim Potok, emphasises the importance of parent child relationships, specifically between Fathers and sons, within adolescent years. Between the ages of 10-19 children are moulded through the environment they’re raised in and the elements of relationship that are present. During this time, they acquire much of their character traits that build individual perspective and provide a structure for the development of one’s own values. Communication, honesty and acceptance are elements that should be prioritised within a parent child relationship. In The Chosen, Danny Saunders and his father, Reb Saunders, have a fractured and distant relationship, which contains a scarcity of the crucial elements …show more content…
If done effectively, it will inspire, encourage and engage children in life and allow them to feel that they belong. Unfortunately, Reb Saunders, due to Hasidic views on Father and, specifically the eldest, son relationships, raised Danny in silence from when he became an adolescent. Danny confesses to his non-Hasidic Jewish friend, Reuven Malter, how he feels about the silence he was raised in on page 200, “do you know what it’s like to feel trapped? / It’s the most hellish, choking, constricting feeling in the world. I scream with every bone in my body to get out of it. My mind cries to get out of it. But I can’t. Not now. One day I will, though.” This quote suggests that the lack of communication between Danny and his Father is the root of Danny’s issues, and although he is sure he will escape from the overwhelming silence, there is an abundance of fear and an absence of confidence refraining him from doing so. The silence is bewildering and frightening, but it comes with reason. A Hasidic destined to become a great Tzaddik shall feel the pain and suffering of his people. He must take the pain from them and eternally carry it on his own back. Reb was raised this way, and so was his Father, however, the mental toll it has on a child causes lack of confidence within oneself and plants the …show more content…
It signifies the fact that you value each other’s differences and are able to communicate together through honesty. “Today is the – the Festival of Freedom. Today my Daniel is free…/ Let my Daniel become a psychologist. I have no more fear now. All of his life he will be a tsaddik. He will be a tsaddik for the world. And the world needs a tsaddik.” (page 250/278) Towards the conclusion of the novel, Reb Saunders comes to accept his son for who he is and who he wants to be, rather than what tradition has labelled him as. Danny did not actively choose to be Hasidic; the characteristic is an aspect of his life that had been chosen for him before birth. He is faced with carrying the difficult burden the label holds at the same time as respecting the tradition. The lack of acceptance within their relationship can be explained by the conflict of abiding by what has been chosen and choosing one’s own path. However, Reb acknowledges the torture his son’s heart had experienced throughout his adolescence and recognises that the temptation of American modernism can have an effect on the eagerness towards traditional Hasidim. Acceptance of his son’s future and the ability for Reb to realise that his son will still be a Tzaddik, however, a modern American version rather than a traditional Hasidic one ties together their relationship and paves a way to a rekindled father son

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