Chapter 3 begins apparently on D-Day, June 6, 1944, when Allied forces landed at Normandy, France, and began the military operation designed to force Nazi troops stationed in France into submission. Note that Reuven, while listening to the war news on the radio, initially gets out his prayer book, remembers that he is not allowed to read because of the strain on his eye, and prays instead. Reuven does not reject a secular life — represented by the war news — for a completely religious life, but neither does he choose an exclusively secular life over religion; he balances both secular and religious worlds, as does his father. In the opening scene of Chapter 3, we also learn that Reuven's father wants Reuven to become a mathematician. Reuven, however, is unsure about this career choice, for he toys with the idea of becoming a rabbi. Danny's first visit to the hospital to see Reuven is disastrous. Reuven simply cannot accept that
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