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Quotes

Quote #1

Every Orthodox Jew sent his male children to a yeshiva, a Jewish parochial school. (1.7)

Reuven, our narrator, is informative. He’s always giving us little bits of interesting information, like any good teacher.

Quote #2

Danny and I probably would never have met […] had it not been for America’s entry into the Second World War and the desire this bred on the part of some English teachers in Jewish […] schools to show […] that yeshiva students were as physically fit […] as any other American student. (1.9)

Education, religion, fate, and patriotism converge on the baseball field. Of course, somebody gets his eye poked out.

Quote #3

[…] Hebrew was the Holy Tongue and to use it in ordinary classroom discourse was to desecrate God’s name. (1.261)

Reuven is giving us the Reb’s position on education: class should be taught in Yiddish, the language of the people, and education is secondary to honoring religious tradition. When the Reb learns that his son doesn't necessarily agree, he freaks out. But, he gets over it. By the end of the novel, we find that the Reb is a (somewhat) flexible guy.

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