Genna (noachoc) wrote in 50bookchallenge,

I was grazing through the picked-over bins at the ten cent paperback sale and came across a book called Conversations with Rabbi Small by Harry Kemelman. "Oh, neat," I thought, "a book about Judaism. I'd really like to know more about Judaism!" I put it in my sack. Farther along I found another book by the same author called Monday the Rabbi Took Off. "Oh," I thought, "Apparently these are murder mysteries with a rabbi detective. Oh well. I like murder mysteries," and I put that one in my sack too.

Only it turns out that, while Rabbi Small IS a rabbi detective, and most of the books about Rabbi Small ARE murder mysteries, Conversations with Rabbi Small is, in fact, a book about Judaism. Mr. Kemelman just used his rabbi detective to talk about the religion. Me, I'm a semi-lapsed Episcopalian. I go to church pretty regularly, but only because I'm in the choir and have a great fondness both for singing and for the people involved, so reading a book about Judaism wasn't prompted by any desire to more deeply explore my own religion, but more out of a sense that I ought to know more about other people's than I do.

I really really really liked it. I am, of course, going at this from a completely outside perspective, so my word that this was a brilliant book might not count for much. It's possible that it's a completely crappy book on the subject and, if I bought it up when talking to someone in the know, they'd roll their eyes, but I loved it.

Tags: fiction, religious studies

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