Brooklyn 1944. Despite being the same age, having grown up within blocks of each other, and both being Jewish, late teens Danny Saunders and Reuven Malter don't really know each other - knowing each other only by name and by sight - as Orthodox Danny stays largely within his own Hasidic community, which is just fine in Reuven's mind. An incident between the two which on the surface threatens to tear them even further apart instead blossoms into a friendship between the two. They begin to learn more and more about the other and their lives, which for Danny includes becoming a rabbi, solely as it is a several generations old family calling. In Reb Saunders' mind, he who rules his family by strict Hasidic traditions, Danny becoming the next rabbi in the family is not even a question, despite Danny, deep in his heart, wanting other secular pursuits which he has not told his father. Conversely, Reuven has modern sensibilities, being raised in a two-person household by his widowed academic ...
Did You Know?
Maximilien Schell and Rod Steiger apparently swapped roles just before production begun. See more
While Danny and Reuvan discuss the Ba'al Shem Tov, he is referred to as "Master of the Good Word." "Shem" is Hebrew for name. The Ba'al Shem Tov's name is "Master of the Good Name" - not Master of the Good Word. See more
There is a story in the Talmud about a king who had a son who went astray. The son was told, 'Return to your father.' The son replied that he could not. The king then sent a messenger to the son with the message... 'Come back to me as far as you can, and I will meet you the rest of the way.
Referenced in The Hebrew Hammer
Invention No. 4 in D-, BWV 775
Composed by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performed by Barry Miller
Reuven practices playing the piece on the piano See more