The Chosen By Chaim Potok Character Analysis David Malter

In contrast to Reb Saunders, David Malter recognizes the importance of secular knowledge. Thus Mr. Malter can allow his son, Reuven, to select a profession in the secular world and still be confident that Reuven will practice Orthodox Judaism (although Reuven ultimately decides to become a rabbi). As a Modern Orthodox Jew, Mr. Malter finds a balance between practicing his faith and remaining active in the world at large.

A basic difference between Mr. Malter and Reb Saunders is that Mr. Malter wants to do something in this world to help the survivors of the Nazi mass murder of Jews; thus he works hard in the Zionist movement toward the creation of a Jewish homeland in Palestine. In contrast, Reb Saunders can only wail at the slaughter of the Jews and say that it must have been the will of God. This contrast between the two men shows that while Reb Saunders is rooted in the spiritual world, which tells him that God determines men's fates, Mr. Malter is more practical, scientific, and Western-oriented. He uses logical reasoning to interpret issues, questioning data and discussing different points of view, whereas Reb Saunders explodes with feeling and passion on issues, sometimes at the expense of logic. However, Mr. Malter certainly is not without feelings. For example, we can see in his relationship with his son that he is a kind and loving man.

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