SATURDAY THE RABBI WENT HUNGRY by Harry Kemelman
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SATURDAY THE RABBI WENT HUNGRY

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Zeya git! Or (if your Yiddish isn't kosher pure) ""Very good!"" with the extra warmth that the English doesn't supply. Last year, Friday the Rabbi Slept Late was a real sleeper, selling largely by word of mouth as one reader urged it on another in a chain reaction of approval seldom accorded detective fiction. The young Rabbi David Small, a superbly revealed character, proceeds in his detection by Talmudic logic, a form of hairsplitting argument/deduction called pilpul. Kemelman's achievement in this and the previous book transcends the ordinary shameless deceptions that go into the formation of a suspenseful mystery. The extras are in his Massachusetts town, his Jewish community growing within a Yankee stronghold, and his attention to the differences in religious ritual as well as the similarities among the people who make up any denomination's congregation. The widely shared intense curiosity about what goes on in a temple, how its affairs are run, the exact position of a Rabbi, are all an essential part of the holding mystery with as much suspense provided by the way the Rabbi proceeds with his volatile temple committees as by the question of ""who done it."" Buy it. Read it. Mazel tov.

Pub Date: July 14th, 1966
Publisher: Crown