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Sunday The Rabbi Stayed Home (2002)

Sunday the Rabbi Stayed Home (2002)
3.73 of 5 Votes: 3
0743452380 (ISBN13: 9780743452380)
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Sunday The Rabbi Stayed Home (2002)
Sunday The Rabbi Stayed Home (2002)

About book: If you've ever been part of a congregation where a split seems likely, this book will resonate. Kemelman does a nice job of drawing a picture of the time that stands up even in retrospect. The stresses between generations. The increase in illegal drugs, particularly marijuana. The civil rights movement and the conversations about social justice. Questions about why a young black man who was visiting friends becomes the preferred suspect. Great tie-in to the story of Passover and how it reminds the people that they were once oppressed, and how that creates a sensitivity to when outsiders and others are mistreated and scapegoat.Also, it's interesting to listen to a book where youth are using the slang of the time (ex: Make the scene.), but as a listener not of that time, it sounds so quaint.

I'd heard of this mystery series since I was a kid--I think my mom read them--and given my newly acquired taste for mysteries and my current run of Judaism-related books, I thought now was an apropos time to read one. This is the third book in the series, written in 1969, and well, it doesn't really hold up to the test of time. With its quaintness and with teens figuring heavily in the story, I felt like I was reading a Nancy Drew mystery with some temple politics and pot thrown in. Plus, I didn't like the rabbi--but I guess nobody in his congregation really does (which was kinda funny). Maybe I need to read the first book.
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Slightly different than the first two books, as the murder doesn't occur until halfway through the book. Up to that point it's all civil rights, marihuana, teenagers, and lots of temple politics. Written in the 1960's the issues and language are dated, as in the other two books. The "religious fanatic" is an interesting character, sort of a precursor to being "born again" (don't know if those types were around in the 60's). Of course Rabbi Small gets involved. Another quick and easy read. Better than "Saturday."
I love this series even though it's a little dated. Rabbi Small has slowly cultivated the respect and admiration of the young adult members of the synagogue. He listens to them and doesn't judge or lecture them on their feelings or attitudes. The adult's don't seem to try and listen and exchange ideas with Rabbi Small. They get angry and frustrated when the Rabbi disagrees with their priorities for the synagogue. They also can't understand why Rabbi Small is able to talk to their children when they as parents cannot.
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