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our relationships that influence us. Relationships are key to Chaim Potok's novel, The Chosen. These relationships consist of the friendship of Danny and Reuven, the relationship between Reuven and his father, and the relationship of Danny and his father. The most important relation is the connection between Danny and Reuven.              The fact that Danny and Reuven are both of the Jewish faith, but Danny is Hasidic shows that they are alike, but different in many ways. One difference is how they are raised. Danny Saunders' father, Reb Saunders, chooses to raise his son in silence because Danny is next in line to be the Tzaddik. As a result of this, he feels isolated from his father and feels like he cannot talk to him. Danny does not want this, so Reuven helps him get along with his father by encouraging him to tell Reb Saunders about his wishes to be a psychologist. When they are at the library, Reuven also encourages Danny not to give up when trying to read Freud. Reuven does want to be a rabbi, so Danny brings him home to his father to study the Talmud. Reuven appreciated Reb Saunders and Danny for this. This appreciation is revoked when Reb Saunders casts a silence between the two of them for Mr. Malter's actions. "It seemed incredible to me, so outrageously absurd. Not Freud, but Zionism had finally shattered our friendship"(Potok 218). Reuven cannot believe that modern thought was not the one to come between them; instead it was their religions and political beliefs. At the end, the silence is lifted, and they reunite.              Other important relationships in The Chosen are father-son relationships, one of these being Reuven and his father. Reuven and his father, David Malter, share a loving, understanding and caring relationship. They talk to each other often about what is going on in their lives. Once when Reuven came home late after b After reading this chapter it is clear to me that the essence of relationships is communication; and yet, even between people who care deeply for each other, communication sometimes becomes blocked. We cannot put our feelings into words. Our partner speaks but we do not hear. We stare helplessly across an abyss of silence, or in frustration we hurl attacks that drive us further apart. In the enthusiasm of the initial courtship, a person who generally has a poor ability to listen may be motivated to change this in order to attract the partner, but later returns to his or her habitual ways. So at the start of a relationship it may not be recognized that important communication skills, such as the willingness and ability to ask appropriate questions and to listen effectively, are not part of the person's normal behavior.              I personally have been in a relationship for about three years and communication has always been an important element of our relationship. In the beginning it was exceptionally difficult for my boyfriend to open up to me but he always enjoyed listening to me. As time progressed, he has been able to talk about particular things or topics that might be bothersome. I remember how frustrated I would get when I would spend an hour pouring out my heart to him and he would just sit there and smile. I realized however, that men and women are completely dissimilar when communicating. For example, I 'm willing to initiate conversation, opposed to my boyfriend who often let's certain arguments linger before even talking about them. After reading the chapter, I also realized the importance of nonverbal communication. 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