On a hot June afternoon in 1944, in Brooklyn, softball teams from two Orthodox Jewish parochial schools play against each other. The two teams have a rivalry based on their different religious beliefs. Reuven ( Roo ven) Malter, a Modern Orthodox Jew, narrates the story. His team, with their coach, Mr. Galanter, gets to the softball diamond first and practices while Mr. Galanter encourages them. Their opponents, a team of Hasidic (Hah see dick) Jews, arrive. Their coach insists that his team get five minutes of practice time, then he proceeds to sit on the bench and ignore the players while he reads a religious book in Yiddish. Reuven reminds himself that his father, a Modern Orthodox scholar and teacher at a yeshiva, doesn't mind the differing beliefs of Hasidic Jews but does object to their self-righteousness and their belief that their congregation's leader, or tzaddik (
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Ode, The Chosen,
Reuven, Hasidic Jews, Jewish parochial schools, Modern Orthodox Jew, Modern Orthodox scholar