Mark Mirsky's third novel returns to the Boston/ethno-Jewish world (geographic and mental) of his first, eschewing the convoluted prose and psychic nightmares of Proceedings of the Rabble for the cheerfully obsessive insanities of decaying Dorchester. There first and second-generation Jews make a valiant last stand against the influx of schvartzes and the occasional desertion to Newton or Beacon Hill. Rabbi Lux presides over his gossipy and not-so-faithful flock -- beaming with divine forgiveness at the bookies, loan sharks, crooked merchants, and political hustlers -- until Mrs. Blatz' endless phone calls about her missing son Harvey (lost 150 miles behind the lines in Korea) finally drive him to railing against his errant congregation. Only Harvey's ""miraculous"" return saves the Rabbi and his jealous wife Yehoodiss from insanity, turning this scathing satire into a transcendental fable about justice, suffering, and God's grace. The maniacal self-mocking prose transports the slight plot with its apparently endless enthusiasm for humans in all their endless pettinesses and vagaries -- a love comprehensible only by compassion which the narrator shows to such a marked degree.