The Chosen

What history does Mr. Malter give to Reuven about the Hasidim?

Chapter 6 when Mr. Malter is taking awhile to explain to Reuven Danny's life.

Asked by
Last updated by Aslan
Answers 1
Add Yours

Poland actually encouraged the Jews to come to build up the economy, but a Cossack community led by Bogdan Chmielnicki started an uprising against the Polish nobles and their Jewish supporters lasting ten years. When this was over, the Jewish community of Poland was almost completely destroyed. After this uprising, many Jews believed this to be a prelude to the coming of the Messiah. Shabbtai Zvi claimed to be the Messiah and led a great number of Jews, but he was exposed as a fraud. After 1700 in Poland a man named Israel began Hasidism, and competing Hasidic sects also emerged with leaders called tzaddikim. Reb Saunders, Danny's father, is a tzaddik and will pass this position on to his son. David Malter then tells Reuven of a Hasid named Solomon Maimon who was unsatisfied by simply studying the Talmud and was never at peace because of the conflict between the narrow religion of Hasidism and the intellectual study he wanted. He tells Reuven that Danny Saunders has a mind perhaps greater than Solomon Maimon, but he is equally torn and lonely.