Danny and Reuven spend time together every day once school ends. Danny studies Talmud every morning, and Reuven spends three days studying and three days playing baseball. Reuven and his father study very slowly (unlike the Saunders) and very carefully.
Danny’s life is unchanging: the summer months involve the same study as the school year. Reuven’s life is more balanced. Here we are also introduced to Mr. Malter’s form of studying Talmud, which will become important later.
Reuven goes over to the Saunders every Shabbat to discuss the Talmud with Danny and his father. Reb Saunders doesn’t talk about Danny’s secular reading anymore but he is clearly bothered by it.
Reb Saunders is worried about his son’s reading, but he knows that there is nothing he can do about it at the moment. He understands how important it is to Danny.
The Malters closely follow the progress of the war, covering their home with more New York Times maps. Although most of the news is good the war seems to be moving slowly.
Although we haven’t been hearing about it as much, the war is still an important part of the Malter’s lives.
Danny is struggling through Freud. Although he has basically learned German, Freud uses very complex terms that he cannot decipher even with a dictionary by his side. Yet Danny still believes that Freud is a genius and he needs to read him. He is in a bad mood for their Shabbat Talmud studying. All of a sudden Danny takes a deep breath and looks excited. Later Danny tells Reuven that he has realized how to read Freud: he needs to be studied like the Talmud along with commentary.
Danny is using the very skills that his father taught him to read a text that criticizes religion. Reb Saunders, however, would say reading Freud like a religious text is sacrilegious to begin with. This shows that Danny is falling deeper into his secular passions, and it will be increasingly difficult to reconcile his issues and differences with his father and his fate.
Reuven leaves for the Catskills for a month with his father and Danny has started to make slow but steady progress with Freud. The narrative skips the Malter trip and starts again after Labor Day.
The pace of the narrative keeps speeding up as the boys become older. Potok skips the Catskills because it has nothing to do with the friendship between Danny and Reuven.
When Reuven gets back he sees Danny who looks older, has read more Freud and wants to talk with Reuven about it. Reuven says he will but school starts soon after and never gets around to discussing, or even thinking, about Freud.
Reuven doesn’t have time for Danny when school starts. They both have their separate busy lives and get wrapped up in their daily activities and responsibilities.