Essay on The Chosen: Old Habits Die Hard

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A novel unparalleled to any other during its time period, The Chosen by Chaim Potok introduced outsiders to the life of Hasidic Jews and modern Jews during the horror of World War II and the aftermath of the Holocaust. The Holocaust was not the only time in the history of the Jewish people when they were persecuted and oppressed. Starting long before the thirteenth century, the Jews were always looked down upon and victimized; however, the resentment from torment during the thirteenth century of the Jews had been carried to members of the Jewish sects in the mid-twentieth century. The distinct sects lashed out at each other instead of the world. That hatred carried from the 1200s through the 1950s fueled the revulsion between Danny …show more content…
There is much to be learned from Chaim Potok’ (Sternlitch 44), (Bloom’s The Chosen, 39)
History was included in order to help the reader better understand the motives behind Danny and Reuven’s feud. Without the addition, non-Jews would not be able to fully comprehend the importance of the characters’ roles in the novel. The Jewish community had always carried a long history of maltreatment. During the thirteenth century, Poland recruited Jews to help, “build her economy, organize her affairs, and bring her to life. Jews had a reputation for possessing these abilities, (The Chosen, p. 101).” Through their occupation of helping the nobles, the Jews created a gap between themselves and the oppressed people of Poland. Having to collect taxes from the, “serfs and peasants,” (The Chosen, p. 102), the Jews had enough hatred built up against them to cause an incredible amount of suffering. That suffering was the result of rebellion by the Cossacks. The Cossacks lived on the Ukrainian border, attended the Greek Orthodox Church, and were controlled by the Polish Catholic Nobles. The Jews were in charge of collecting their taxes, possessing the keys for their churches, and opening their churches for religious ceremonies. The Cossacks lashed out at the Jews for revenge. The slaughter

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