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39 of 47 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars NOT a source for information about anything Jewish, October 4, 2011
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This review is from: The Lord Is My Shepherd: The Psalm 23 Mysteries #1 (Paperback)
This was a nice little mystery but I was dumbfounded by the lack of knowledge this author showed about Judaism. Why use a Rabbi as a character in your book if you don't at the very least have a rabbi friend who could edit your information? There were so many mistakes I found myself getting angry at her ignorance. A few of the most glaring errors included:
* Any synagogue that cleaned for a traditional seder could NOT allow the handling money at a seder (additionally, giving each child a silver dollar would be insanely expensive and beyond the capability of most synagogues even if Jews were allowed to handle money on a holiday or Sabbath)
* The day following a seder isn't a day off for a rabbi it is a day for services - the synagogue parking lot would NOT have been empty as the author described but the synagogue would be full of people praying, not running or picnicking in a park.
* The prayer over the wine at the seder is a mess and does indeed contain a mixture of two disparate blessings and an addendum for the holiday of Sukkot, not Passover. The two seders are so badly described that look much more like a church's pre-Easter seder event than a Jewish festival.
* The author had the rabbi eating breakfast at a restaurant with Cindy during the holiday - that would be impossible for a traditional rabbi and actually insulting.

Read this book to enjoy a little (albeit very bloody) murder mystery but don't fool yourself into thinking you will learn anything about Passover or anything about Jewish practice on this holiday. You can't.
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Showing 1-6 of 6 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Nov 4, 2011 6:03:56 PM PDT
Lectrice says:
Apparently this rabbi is very, VERY Reform! She also gets some things wrong about Christian Holy Week.

I think is where we move to "willing suspension of disbelief."

Posted on May 10, 2012 4:55:39 AM PDT
Thanks for the heads up. This is disappointing as one of the enjoyments of reading mysteries is learning a bit about the background. As a Christian with Jewish friends I was looking forward to learning more about the faith.

Posted on Jul 30, 2012 7:18:35 PM PDT
I'm very disappointed to hear this. I assume you are indeed Jewish? I have participated in a Christian Seder and it sounded very much like that one. Do Jewish people clean their houses the way it was stated in the book? I was amazed at the amount of work that went into the cleansing. I hope to hear from you to hear more.

Posted on Dec 20, 2012 10:08:24 AM PST
Caroline B says:
I should have read your review before I bothered getting this. Luckily the only thing I lost was a few hours spent reading it.

Everything you said struck me too. I posted my own review after I was half way through, and the errors only got more egregious after that. The author clearly knows NOTHING about how Jewish holidays are celebrated (and very little about a real seder). On a yomtov the synagogue office would NOT be open but there WOULD be services; a Rabbi wouldn't be driving around, or checking his voice mail, or making/answering phone calls (unless it was necessary to save a life), and there wouldn't be any kosher (let alone kosher l'Pesach) take-out available on a yomtov.

I certainly won't be bothering with any more in the series.

In reply to an earlier post on May 24, 2013 6:13:25 AM PDT
Yes, we clean like crazy people. (Sometimes, while scrubbing out my cabinates, I think about how Christians get St. Valentines day with chocolates and sex and we get Passover and Yom Kippur with cleaning and fasting.)

If you want to read some good mysteries and see a more accurate view of Judaism, try reading the Lazarus/Decker series of mysteries written by Faye Kellerman. Start with "Ritual Bath" and if you like it, you will find that her Judaic background is good and the knowledge permiates the novels. The Ritual Bath: The First Decker/Lazarus Novel

In reply to an earlier post on May 24, 2013 6:15:10 AM PDT
Have you read the Faye Kellerman books? Her Decker/ Lazarus series is great. Start with "Ritual Bath"
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