Chaim Potok's young protagonists, Nava and Danny, in spite of their great differences in the way their were brought up, and their religion, encounter many similar situations in their stories. Some that are more obvious then the others but all hold an important factor in each of their lives and will forever change them.
In the story Nava, Nava's life in changed when she stands up to Tim Boynton, a drug-dealing classmate. Though her time of trouble she could reply on her parents to talk it through since they were really close, although her father would never tell her or answer her question on what he was like in his earlier years, before Joe Redhill saved his life. At the end of her story, Nava was ready to know his secret.
Danny Saunders, In The Chosen, also had a secret kept from him most of his life. The secret of silence and why Reb Saunders apposed it upon him.
Danny is an extremely brilliant Orthodox Hasidic who is being trained to take over his father's job as a Rabbi. He becomes friends with Reuven Malter an Orthodox Jew, as they get older Danny is faced with telling his father he does not wish to become a Rabbi but wants to go to college to study psychology. When Reb Saunders confronts Danny and Reuven the secret of the apposed silence is said and Danny's decision to not become a Rabbi is approved.
The secret of silence was kept from Danny, and the secret of Nava's father was kept from her they were both told in due time. This secret prevented Nava to ask her father about his past life and prevented Danny to ask anything but Talmud questions to his father leaving him to find the question himself.