The Chosen

Reuven’s father and an Orthodox Jew, Mr. Malter teaches Jewish studies and writes academic papers on the subject. He has created an educated and religious home for his son and teaches him from early on how to be caring, thoughtful and honest. After World War II Mr. Malter also becomes a supporter and leader of the Zionist movement. His work in this cause as well as his controversial religious papers make him hated by the Hasidic community, but for most of the novel Reb Saunders greatly respects Mr. Malter and his work. Mr. Malter also acts as a father figure to Danny, introducing him to secular authors and providing guidance in lieu of his actual, silent father. Mr. Malter is also sickly from the beginning of the novel, and only becomes more ill as he works himself to the bone trying accomplish what he believes is his life cause: to create a Jewish state is Israel.

David Malter Quotes in The Chosen

The The Chosen quotes below are all either spoken by David Malter or refer to David Malter. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Judaism and Tradition Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Fawcett edition of The Chosen published in 1987.
Chapter 1 Quotes

What annoyed him was their fanatic sense of righteousness, their absolute certainty that they and they alone had God’s ear, and every other Jew was wrong, totally wrong, a sinner, a hypocrite, an apikoros, and doomed, therefore, to burn in hell.

Related Characters: David Malter
Page Number: 24
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 2 Quotes

“Things are always what they seem to be, Reuven? Since when?”

Related Characters: David Malter (speaker), Reuven Malter
Related Symbols: Eyes and Blindness
Page Number: 50
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 3 Quotes

“What I tried to tell you, Reuven, is that when a person comes to talk to you, you should be patient and listen. Especially if he has hurt you in any way.”

Related Characters: David Malter (speaker), Reuven Malter, Danny Saunders
Page Number: 64
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 4 Quotes

“You know what a friend is, Reuven? A Greek philosopher said that two people who are true friends are like two bodies with one soul.”

Related Characters: David Malter (speaker), Reuven Malter
Page Number: 74
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 6 Quotes

“We are like other people, Reuven. We do not survive disaster merely by appealing to invisible powers. We are as easily degraded as any other people.”

Related Characters: David Malter (speaker), Reuven Malter
Page Number: 103
Explanation and Analysis:

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“Reb Saunders’ son is a terribly torn and lonely boy. There is literally no one in the world he can talk to. He needs a friend. The accident with the baseball has bound him to you, and he has already sensed in you someone he can talk to without fear.”

Related Characters: David Malter (speaker), Reuven Malter, Danny Saunders, Reb Isaac Saunders
Page Number: 110
Explanation and Analysis:

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“Reuven, as you grow older you will discover that the most important things that will happen to you will often come as a result of silly things, as you call them – ‘ordinary things’ is a better expression. That is the way the world is.”

Related Characters: David Malter (speaker), Reuven Malter
Page Number: 110
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 11 Quotes

“I am not satisfied with it either, Reuven. We cannot wait for God. If there is an answer, we must make it ourselves.”

Related Characters: David Malter (speaker), Reuven Malter
Page Number: 191
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 13 Quotes

“It is beginning to happen everywhere in America. A religious renaissance some call it.”

Related Characters: David Malter (speaker)
Page Number: 219
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 14 Quotes

The death of six million Jews had finally been given meaning, he kept saying over and over again. It had happened. After two thousand years, it had finally happened. We were a people again, with our own land. We were a blessed generation. We had been give the opportunity to see the creation of the Jewish state.

Related Characters: Reuven Malter (speaker), David Malter
Page Number: 241
Explanation and Analysis:

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David Malter Character Timeline in The Chosen

The timeline below shows where the character David Malter appears in The Chosen. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1
Judaism and Tradition Theme Icon
Fathers, Sons, and Rebellion Theme Icon
...a double. As the next batter comes up, Danny asks Reuven if his father is Mr. Malter , who writes about the Talmud. Danny then says that he told his team to... (full context)
Chapter 2
Fathers, Sons, and Rebellion Theme Icon
Friendship Theme Icon
Mr. Malter comes in, looking unusually disheveled. Mr. Malter tells his son that he had an operation,... (full context)
Fathers, Sons, and Rebellion Theme Icon
Mr. Malter begins to cough and Reuven tells him he should take better care of himself, and... (full context)
World War II and War Theme Icon
Mr. Malter has brought Reuven a radio so that Reuven can keep up with the news of... (full context)
Judaism and Tradition Theme Icon
World War II and War Theme Icon
Mr. Malter has also brought his son his tefillin and prayer book and tells him to pray.... (full context)
Chapter 3
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Mr. Malter comes to visit and is angry with Reuven for not allowing Danny to apologize. He... (full context)
Chapter 4
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Choosing and Being Chosen Theme Icon
Fathers, Sons, and Rebellion Theme Icon
Friendship Theme Icon
...his father about his conversation with Danny, and that he now likes his former enemy. Mr. Malter says that people are not always as they seem to be and he tells Reuven... (full context)
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Reuven says that Danny does not seem like a Hasid and Mr. Malter agrees. Reuven also says that he has been praying from memory even though he can’t... (full context)
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Reuven tells Mr. Savo that Mr. Malter teaches the Talmud to high school students. Mr. Savo warns Reuven that he shouldn’t become... (full context)
Choosing and Being Chosen Theme Icon
Fathers, Sons, and Rebellion Theme Icon
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Mr. Malter walks in and Danny recognizes him. Reuven finds out that they know each other because... (full context)
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Friendship Theme Icon
Mr. Malter is feeling sick, so after a brief talk with his son he returns home. Reuven... (full context)
Choosing and Being Chosen Theme Icon
Friendship Theme Icon
...on the scar tissue. Mr. Savo is happy that Reuven will be able to leave. Mr. Malter comes to pick up Reuven. As he is about to leave, Mr. Savo tells Reuven... (full context)
Chapter 5
Fathers, Sons, and Rebellion Theme Icon
Reuven walks through his father’s room to get to the living room. Mr. Malter does not like to be disturbed while working, but Reuven walks through the dark, book-filled... (full context)
Chapter 6
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The Malters sit down for Shabbat dinner and Reuven asks his father about Danny. Mr. Malter says he will have to go far back in Jewish history to explain. He asks... (full context)
Judaism and Tradition Theme Icon
Fathers, Sons, and Rebellion Theme Icon
World War II and War Theme Icon
Mr. Malter describes the growth of Hasidism in Poland in the 18th Century. Jews were invited to... (full context)
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Fathers, Sons, and Rebellion Theme Icon
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Mr. Malter continues that it was hard to believe in God during this time of tragedy. The... (full context)
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Fathers, Sons, and Rebellion Theme Icon
Friendship Theme Icon
Mr. Malter pauses to asks his son if he is going on too long and Reuven tells... (full context)
Judaism and Tradition Theme Icon
Choosing and Being Chosen Theme Icon
Fathers, Sons, and Rebellion Theme Icon
Mr. Malter tells another story that he says relates to Danny. A brilliant man named Soloman who... (full context)
Choosing and Being Chosen Theme Icon
Friendship Theme Icon
Mr. Malter tells Reuven that Danny needs a friend. He is lonely and confused over whether he... (full context)
Fathers, Sons, and Rebellion Theme Icon
...and tells his father about everything he noticed when he came home from the hospital. Mr. Malter says he wishes Reuven's mother were alive but doesn’t finish the thought. Reuven goes to... (full context)
Chapter 7
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World War II and War Theme Icon
...to their storefront synagogue together in the morning, which is filled with yeshiva teachers like Mr. Malter . During the blessing Reuven thinks about Mr. Savo and Billy and whether he would... (full context)
Fathers, Sons, and Rebellion Theme Icon
Friendship Theme Icon
Reb Saunders speaks with Reuven and tells him that Mr. Malter is a great scholar. He tells Reuven that it is not easy to truly be... (full context)
Judaism and Tradition Theme Icon
Fathers, Sons, and Rebellion Theme Icon
World War II and War Theme Icon
Reuven comes home late and Mr. Malter is waiting up, worried that his son has been out so late. They discuss Reb... (full context)
Chapter 8
Judaism and Tradition Theme Icon
Fathers, Sons, and Rebellion Theme Icon
...he tells his father that Danny has been studying German in order to read Freud. Mr. Malter is surprised but says that there will be no way to stop Danny. Reuven asks... (full context)
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Mr. Malter feels guilty that he has been telling Danny what to read behind Reb Saunders’s back.... (full context)
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...him. Reuven is nervous but tells Reb Saunders everything that Danny is reading, and that Mr. Malter has been suggesting books. He leaves out the fact that Danny has been learning German... (full context)
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Reuven tells his father about everything that happened, including the Saunders family silent treatment. Mr. Malter tells Reuven that he has heard about this before but won't say anything more. Mr.... (full context)
Chapter 11
World War II and War Theme Icon
...on the street, and Reuven realizes that he never really thought of FDR as mortal. Mr. Malter talks to his son about what great things FDR did during the Depression. Reuven feels... (full context)
Fathers, Sons, and Rebellion Theme Icon
Friendship Theme Icon
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...so much school that he has no time to see Danny. Then Reb Saunders and Mr. Malter become ill. (full context)
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Fathers, Sons, and Rebellion Theme Icon
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...hearing about the German concentration camps—about the Holocaust of the Jews. As he is reading Mr. Malter breaks down in tears and cries “like a child.” Reuven can’t comprehend how six million... (full context)
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Reuven tells his father that Reb Saunders believes the Holocaust is ultimately God’s will. Mr. Malter disagrees and says that they cannot wait for God, they need to make an answer... (full context)
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Soon after this conversation, Mr. Malter has a heart attack. Reuven is in a “blind panic.” Manya takes care of him... (full context)
Chapter 12
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...now spend all their time together, and finally have time to discuss Freud. They visit Mr. Malter at the hospital, spend time with Danny’s mother and sister, and read together. (full context)
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...Danny because he does not want to worry him while he is in the hospital. Mr. Malter has become obsessed with the plight of European Jews. He is very sick and weak... (full context)
Chapter 13
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Reuven tells his father that he wishes he would take it a little easy. Mr. Malter responds that it is not the time to take things easy when so much is... (full context)
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Mr. Malter tells Reuven that “man must fill his life with meaning.” Mr. Malter says that he... (full context)
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To change the subject, Mr. Malter tells Reuven that Jack Rose, a non-observant Jew that Mr. Malter has known since he... (full context)
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...this conversation, Reuven tells his father that he is definitely going to become a rabbi. Mr. Malter says that Reuven would have made a great professor, but if Reuven has truly decided... (full context)
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The tutoring with Danny is going well. Mr. Malter now speaks of nothing but Zionism and the education of American Jews. Hirsch College is... (full context)
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Mr. Malter is preparing for a Zionist rally at Madison Square Garden. In his speech he says... (full context)
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Fathers, Sons, and Rebellion Theme Icon
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...should follow him into the bathroom. There, Danny tells him that his father read about Mr. Malter ’s Zionist rally in the Yiddish newspaper and that Danny was no longer allowed to... (full context)
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Reuven calls Reb Saunders a fanatic and Mr. Malter responds that “the fanaticism of men like Reb Saunders has kept us alive for two... (full context)
Chapter 14
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More news of violence comes from Palestine and Mr. Malter becomes increasingly passionate. He becomes even more involved in Zionist activities and Reuven rarely sees... (full context)
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During this time Mr. Malter is looking even more frail and doesn’t even have time to speak with his son.... (full context)
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Mr. Malter has another heart attack. He nearly dies and has to remain in the hospital for... (full context)
Chapter 15
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Mr. Malter returns home from the hospital but is still too weak to do anything. Rav Gershenson... (full context)
Judaism and Tradition Theme Icon
World War II and War Theme Icon
...become more active. They take off some afternoons to help pack supplies for the soldiers. Mr. Malter tells his son that he was asked to be the Zionist General Council in Palestine... (full context)
Judaism and Tradition Theme Icon
Fathers, Sons, and Rebellion Theme Icon
In the second week of May, Israel becomes a country and Reuven and Mr. Malter weep with joy. But the Arab attacks against the Jewish state continue. Mr. Malter becomes... (full context)
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Fathers, Sons, and Rebellion Theme Icon
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...final exams and he goes to the cottage with his father for August. In September, Mr. Malter resumes teaching and Reuven enters his third year of college. He greatly enjoys school and... (full context)
Chapter 16
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Reuven tells Mr. Malter what happened when he comes home and Mr. Malter says, “what a price to pay... (full context)
Chapter 17
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...after the ceremony becomes deathly ill and is taken to the hospital. Reuven then tells Mr. Malter about Danny’s plans to get a doctorate in psychology and not become a tzaddic. He... (full context)
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Mr. Malter encourages his son to speak to Danny about how he will break the news of... (full context)
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...from his father over the meals every day. Reuven suggests that Danny should talk to Mr. Malter . (full context)
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Mr. Malter tells Danny that he needs to prepare very carefully exactly what he will say. Mr.... (full context)
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...the first or second day of Passover. When Reuven tells his father about this request, Mr. Malter gets angry with Reuven. He says that when someone asks to speak with you, you... (full context)
Chapter 18
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...suffering of the world as he needed to. Reb Saunders tells Reuven that he and Mr. Malter have been a blessing. The Master of the Universe sent them when Danny was ready... (full context)
Judaism and Tradition Theme Icon
Choosing and Being Chosen Theme Icon
Reuven tells Mr. Malter , who responds that this was possibly the only way to raise a tzaddic. Reb... (full context)
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...comes over to the Malters’ to say goodbye, now with his beard and earlocks shaved. Mr. Malter says that Columbia is not so far away and they will see each other soon.... (full context)