The climactic discussion between Reb Saunders, Danny, and Reuven is less dramatic than may be expected, for Reb Saunders is resigned to his son's decision to seek a Ph.D. in psychology. Symbolically, as though giving himself spiritual support, Reb Saunders rubs his fingers over the spine of his Talmud: "[H]is fingers caressed the Hebrew title of the tractate that was stamped into the spine of the binding." As expected, he talks to Danny through Reuven.In his explanation of why he raised Danny in silence, Reb Saunders finally defines his own world philosophy. People are born with only a small amount of goodness in them; this goodness is comparable to a person's soul. However, when Danny was very young, he was a "mind in a body without a soul." That is, Danny intellectualized everything rather than emotionally feeling the pain and suffering of others. Danny's head ruled his heart, which Reb Saunders abhorred. Speaking of
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