The Chosen

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 10th grade September 2001

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Dear Journal, Hello, my name is Reuven Malter. I am Jewish and I live in a Jewish neighborhood. It is populated by Orthodox Jews, including some hasidic sects, all of whom attend Jewish parochial schools in the area.

I met Danny Saunders during a very big baseball game at my high school one Sunday afternoon in June. My team coach, Mr. Galanter, shouted out instructions and words of encouragement while watching us warm up. During warm up, I noticed right away that Danny was a strong batter, and oh boy was I right! I'll explain how well he hit later.

Before the game started, I heard the rabbi or Danny's team tell his boys to "remember why and for whom we play." I implied that this game must be very important for them. I later found out that they played very well! They invested the game with great religious significance.

My friend Davey told me that the yeshiva boys play "like it's the first of the Ten Commandments." The players seemed to be competing not just to prove their athletic prowess, but also to defend their way of practicing Judaism.

Many of my teammates got injured that game, including myself. First, Sidney Goldberg hurts his hand while catching a hard hit. Then, one of the members of the yeshiva team running from first to second smashed right into me like a truck, knocking me over and then, I hurt my hand. Next, Danny nearly hits Schwartzie, the pitcher on my team, in the head, but luckily, he ducks in time. This is exactly how I got hit in the head! While I was playing pitcher, Danny hit the ball really hard and fast, and while it was coming at me, I tried to put my glove at me head...