In New York during the 1940s, Danny and Reuven first meet at a baseball game. The teams treat the game like war and both are desperate to beat the other. The game is important to both teams while they fight to win.
After Reuven takes a baseball to the eye, he ends up in the hospital. Danny comes to apologize and the two boys become good friends. They make plans to spend time together once Reuven is out of the hospital.
When Danny and Reuven spend time in the library, they begin to talk about the future. Danny wants to be a psychologist, but is forced to be a Rabbi. While Reuven wants to be a Rabbi, but is influenced to be a mathematician. The two are ironically jealous of each others plans.
Danny brings Reuven to the synagogue to meet his father, When Reuven arrives, he is greeted by an entire room of Hasidic Jews. Reueven is an Orthodox Jew and is treated differently and becomes an outsider.
Danny and Reuven spend time in the library almost everyday. One day, Danny begins to read Freud's works. He then decides to teach himself German so he can read the original writing. Danny reads Freud in the hopes of being able to use it in the future.
Danny is told to stay away from Reuven when the Zionist and Anti-Zionist groups begin to form. The two split apart and spend a decent amount of time away from each other.