At one point, Reb Saunders passionately declares, “It is not the world that is commanded to study Torah, but the people of Israel!” This statement underscores Reb Saunders’s belief in a dichotomy between the outside world and Jewish tradition. On a deeper level, Reb Saunders’s statement refers to the novel’s title, interpreting what it means to be a member of the “Chosen People.” Reb Saunders argues that Jews, by virtue of their birth, must bear unique burdens that give privilege as well as obligation. This definition of “chosen” implies a sense of separation from the outside world, but also a sense of entitlement. Both Reuven and Danny struggle to reconcile their unique obligations with their feelings of obligation to the outside world.