The Chosen by Chaim Potok

“A word is worth one coin, silence is worth two.”

– The Talmud

In Chaim Potok’s novel, The Chosen, the Hassidic father sits in my head, withholding affection for reasons I still don’t comprehend. He’s dressed in black robes with black curls that hold his stern face. Am I willing to sacrifice my desires for my son? I wonder. Was it worth it?

The Chosen introduced me to a religion that is a thousand religions called Jews. The father teaches me that behind the curtains of human skin and hair are invisible wonders and wounds that we can only see with words.