The Chosen could leave a reader with the impression that the Talmud is the most important Jewish text. The characters spend little time discussing the Torah (the Jewish bible and most holy of texts), and instead focus on the Talmud, an ancient interpretive work that provides commentary from various well respected rabbis on Jewish law and customs. All of the characters are highly religious Jews so it is incredibly unlikely that they are not reading the Torah. Potok chooses to focus on the Talmud instead to demonstrate the importance of interacting with and interpreting established knowledge, customs, and tradition. Judaism is greatly concerned with such interpretation (as shown by the very existence of the Talmud), and the characters’ focus on the Talmud demonstrates their own personal relationship with this tradition.
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