A 1967 coming of age story by Chaim Potok set in late-forties New York.

The story features a friendship between two Jewish boys from different sects. One is Danny Saunders, the heir to the Rabbinate of an Ultra Orthodox congregation of Russian immigrants. The other is Reuven Malter, who is from a more moderate and Americanized but still religious family. His father is a noted intellectual and Zionist activist. Danny is being subjected to a curious form of training called "raising in silence" which entails being shunned by one's own father, an attempt to teach him "what it is to suffer" to prepare him to be a Rebbe (kind of like a Rabbi but with more mystic and authoritative, almost priestly connotations). Reuven befriends him in his loneliness and they share the struggles of faith and the normal difficulties of teens as well as the rivalry between their two factions. This book deals with themes like the struggle between family loyalty and friendship and the difficulties of faith amid modernity. It gives many insights into Jewish culture and is popular among gentiles as well as Jews in part because it has many a [[SugarWiki/HeartwarmingMoments Crowning Moment Of Heartwarming]].

Potok later wrote a sequel called ''The Promise''. Not to be confused with the first book of ''Literature/TheStoneDanceOfTheChameleon'', which has the exact same title.

!!Tropes Include:

* AFriendInNeed: Reuven befriends Danny in his loneliness. This, of course, forces him to accept the fate of being an IronWoobie.
* UsefulNotes/ArabIsraeliConflict: As seen from New York.
* BerserkButton: The idea of a secular Jewish state to Reb Saunders.
* TheChainsOfCommanding: Very much on Rebbe Saunders' mind, and also on Danny's - he is the heir and is never allowed to forget it.
* CharacterOverlap: With ''Davita's Harp'', also by Chaim Potok. Most of the book deals with the main character, Ilana Davita, discovering and embracing her Jewish heritage, and in the last few chapters of the book it is revealed that she attends the same yeshiva as Reuven, and they compete for an academic prize.
* CultureClash
* TheDutifulSon: Danny. [[spoiler:Though in the end he takes a different path from what was intended]].
** His loyalty to his father, though, makes him accept the fate of being an IronWoobie without rebelling.
* DysfunctionalFamily: Arguably the Saunders - see previous entry on TheChainsOfCommanding.
* EyeScream: Reuven gets a baseball to the glasses... Also, Tony Savo, who loses an eye to an unspecified injury.
* TheFilmOfTheBook: A film was made in 1981.
* FiredTeacher: Reuven's dad taught at a Jewish high school but left because of a factional dispute.
* FireForgedFriends: Danny and Reuven meet at an unusually intense baseball game.
* GoodIsOldFashioned: Danny's people think this
* GoodParents: Reuven's father.
* GoodShepherd: Rebbe Saunders.
* HeterosexualLifePartners: Danny and Reuven, unless you're one of the readers who saw HoYay.
* IJustWantToBeNormal: Not exactly. Danny most certainly does want to be a Jewish [[TheSmartGuy smart guy]], but he doesn't want to be a Rebbe.
* InadequateInheritor: Rebbe Saunders is desperate to prevent this.
* InsufferableGenius: Rebbe Saunders' brother had been this, which is why he was desperate to prevent his son from becoming this, and thus becoming unfit to be a Rebbe. (He didn't mind the "genius" part, of course. Just the "insufferable".)
* IntelligibleUnintelligible: Danny and his father only communicate through various substitutes like Rabbinical studies or using Reuven as intermediary or simply the vague SilentBob feeling that comes from living together.
* {{Irony}}: Reuven actually ''does'' want to be a Rabbi.
* JewishAndNerdy: [[UpToEleven oh man...]]
* JewsLoveToArgue
* JewishMother: Actually a Jewish Father, Rebbe Saunders, but he is VERY demanding.
* MagneticHero: Rebbe Saunders. He has a forceful personality. Also the {{Backstory}} tells that when in Russia he led his congregation through a time of chaos and took them to safety in America which shows that he has HiddenDepths of heroic leadership.
* UsefulNotes/NewYorkCity
* OddFriendship
* OldMaster: Rebbe Saunders, in a rabbinical sense rather then a martial arts sense but has a similar sort of personality.
* OpenMindedParent: Reuven's father. Reuven is luckier in this respect.
* ThePatriarch: Rebbe Saunders
* PatrioticFervor : Reuven's father.
* PreacherMan: Rabbi Man that is. Rebbe Saunders.
* ReplacementSibling: In the end [[spoiler:Danny's brother became the heir, leaving him to become a therapist]].
** Danny and his father both; Danny's father replaced a brilliant older brother who left the fold, and Danny was actually Reb Saunders's second son, the first having been killed at a very young age in a pogrom.
* ReluctantRuler: Or reluctant Rebbe; Danny
* SevenDeadlySins: Specifically Pride. The reason for the raising in silence is that [[spoiler:Rebbe Saunders is afraid that Danny's intellectual prowess will make him disdain others the way his brother once had. This is successfully prevented, and Danny becomes "a righteous man"]].
* TheSmartGuy: Practically everyone, but especially Danny.
* SoProudOfYou: In a [[SugarWiki/HeartwarmingMoments Crowning Moment Of Heartwarming]], [[spoiler:Rebbe Saunders tells Danny this because, even if he won't be a Rebbe, he has proven to be a righteous man]].
* SternTeacher: Rebbe Saunders. Excruciatingly so.
** Also one or two of the faculty at the college Reuven and Danny go to.
* {{Subculture}}: Judaism is a larger-world example, but Hasidism which is a subculture of a subculture, and a more visible example of the trope in the book, as the Gentile world hardly factors into the plot of the first book at all.
* Literature/TheTalmud: Everybody major character is skilled with it and it figures prominently. This is after all a book written by a Rabbi.
* TakeOurWordForIt: The various Talmudic debates that occur during the novel. Potok goes in depth about how Jewish scholars go about the debate, how they study for such debates, and what rhetorical tactics they use, but we never hear a single word of any of these debates. Also, Reuven's scientific reconstruction of a difficult Talmudic passage set by Rav Gershonson. Potok goes into quite a bit of detail describing the process of scientific criticism, but again, never quotes from the work itself. Considering that Potok is a ordained rabbi and a doctor of Jewish theology, he could very well have written all of those arguments in full, but such arcane ''pilpul'' would probably fly over everyone who didn't receive a full ''yeshiva'' education.
* TeenGenius: Danny. Who memorized ''Literature/{{Ivanhoe}}'', reads Freud as a teenager, and does all this while studying a rigorous quota of the Literature/{{Talmud}} every day.
** Reuven too, although he never quite gets the credits he deserves due to being constantly overshadowed by Danny. Reuven did, after all, managed to read through Bertrand Russell's ''[[DoorStopper Principia]]'' for fun (in High School), managed to recognize an obscure ''gematria'' on the fly (which requires a good knowledge of Hebrew--this was before the creation of Israel resurrected Hebrew, so only scholars would have learned it--and the ability to do mental arithmetic at light speed), and knows the Talmud well enough to start doing textual reconstructions.
* TrainingFromHell: Raising in Silence.
* WellIntentionedExtremist: Rebbe Saunders.
* WhenYouSnatchThePebble : Danny's father deliberately makes errors in front of the whole congregation in a homily on Rabbinic lore to see if Danny can catch it. He usually does. On one occasion it is Reuven that catches it proving that he is also a SmartGuy . Danny tells Reuven that his father will stop planting the mistakes when he starts studying under Rav Gershonson.
* UsefulNotes/WorldWarII: From the Home Front.