55 pages 1 hour read

Chaim Potok

The Chosen

Fiction | Novel | YA | Published in 1967

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Book 1, Chapters 3-4Chapter Summaries & Analyses

Book 1, Chapter 3 Summary

Noises and a blaring radio wake Reuven. The announcer mentions French areas, and Savo tells Bobby today is D-Day—the Allies are landing on mainland Europe to fight Nazi Germany.

Reuven prays with his tefillin and talks with Savo about religion. Reuven wants to be a rabbi, but his dad wants him to be a mathematician. Savo says he should’ve been a priest, but he made a poor choice and became a boxer.

A boy, Mickey, around six, enters the room. Savo says he’s been in the hospital half his life due to stomach issues. Mickey guilts Savo into playing catch until Mrs. Carpenter stops it—Savo needs rest.

Galanter arrives and discusses the logistics of D-Day and the myriad of troops, weapons, and supplies involved. Billy keeps talking about how his uncle is a bomber, and Galanter thinks the uncle is flying right now. Billy asks Galanter why he’s not a soldier. Galanter says he couldn’t “make it.” Billy’s dad isn’t a soldier because his mom died in a car crash so he has to care for him and his younger sister.

Danny shows up with his yarmulke, earlocks (the Torah says Jews shouldn’t shave their face or cut the hair around their temples), and “fringes” (tzitzit; Jews wear them on their clothes to remind them of God).