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THE PROMISE by Chaim  Potok


by Chaim Potok

Pub Date: Sept. 15th, 1969
ISBN: 1400095417
Publisher: Knopf

This tributary from the surprisingly successful The Chosen (1967) pursues the careers of Reuven young Orthodox student awaiting his examination for the Rabbinate, and Danny, the "liberated" Hasid. Again the exigencies of their fathers' religious stances and accommodations are visited upon the sons. Reuven finds himself defending the critical methods of his father's scholarship before the thunderous attacks of his teacher, Rav Kalman, whose burning dedication survived the horrors of the concentration camp. Danny pursues his career in psychiatry, painfully feeling his way from the Hassidic vision of his father's leadership. Young Michael, son of Abraham Gordon, the brilliant and controversial "liberal" theologian, is almost destroyed by the virulence of his father's enemies. Danny, who eventually marries Rachel, Michael's cousin, takes over the treatment of the seriously ill boy and attempts a frightening "therapy of silence." As the crises are resolved some light illumines dark corners — Danny's father's acceptance of Rachel into the family; Rav Kalman's recognition of Reuven's reverence and strength of intellect; Michael's growing understanding of his parents. Somber, meticulous in religious matters, although a bit muddled in psychoanalytical processes and practices, with dialogue as thuddingly persistent as a pendulum, this is nonetheless, snugly secure in the wake of The Chosen.