Aaron Posner\u2019s play \u201cThe Chosen,\u201d which officially opened Wednesday night at Long Wharf Theatre, is an engaging exploration of loyalty, friendship, tradition and father-son relationships. It is most beautifully human, however, in its depiction of our need for forgiveness \u2014 especially in granting such grace. \u201cThe Chosen,\u201d which Posner originally adapted from Chaim Potok\u2019s 1967 coming-of-age novel of the same name, is also a sober reminder that the endangered art of listening, especially the cultivated skill of listening to silence, tops the list of survival talents if one aspires to spiritual fulfillment and happiness. \u201cThe Chosen,\u201d which continues through Dec. 17 on the Claire Tow Stage in the C. Newton Schenck Mainstage, is set in 1940s Brooklyn and its four main characters are Jewish men: two sets of contrasting fathers and sons \u2014 one Hasidic, or orthodox, and the other, nonorthodox but devoutly observant. The play is, not surprisingly, sweetly seasoned with Talmudic references, most prominently at its opening and conclusion. \u201cBoth these, and these, are the words of the living God,\u201d Reuven (Max Wolkowitz), the play\u2019s narrator and filter, tells the audience. \u201cIt appears in the Talmud whenever seemingly irreconcilable ideas are presented.\u201d Much of what lands onstage between these references bears witness to such wisdom as the sons learn to reconcile seemingly opposite truths sanctioned by one deity. Deftly directed by Gordon Edelstein, \u201cThe Chosen\u201d unfolds naturally and gracefully. The dual households of Reuven and his father, David Malter (Steven Skybell) and Danny (Ben Edelman) and his most revered father, Reb Saunders (George Guidall) align squarely in view on Eugene Lee\u2019s artfully simple set design in order that we may readily see the similarities and contrasts between both families. The Malters are a study in expressive love and open communication between father and son \u2014 the sort of relationship males wish they enjoyed growing up. The Saunders, however, co-exist in a state of tense silence. Theirs is an emotionally Spartan life. While one feels their mutual love, that takes a distant back seat to the austerity with which Reb Saunders treats his oldest son. The audience cannot help but feel Danny\u2019s silent yearning, nay, screaming for a physical, audible or visible sign of love and acceptance from his stern father. The production is superb and the acting is particularly engaging, selfless and truthful. All four principle actors thrive in this script, with Edelman rendering a brutally beautiful performance as Danny. His character is arguably the true protagonist as he must overcome the greater conflict between the two sons. While Reuven, as narrator and a character in the play itself, is the filter through which we see the action, he navigates smooth seas through his journey. Whatever he chooses to do with his life, his nearly perfect father supports. Danny\u2019s journey is, on the other hand, fraught with friction. His father is a difficult taskmaster and a stern (but loving) father. The outcome of the play depends on whether Danny receives some evidence of his father\u2019s acceptance and love.