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Book Reviews

The Big Kahn

Reviewed by

Now here’s a tale that couldn’t possibly get further away from classic themes. The Big Kahn is the story of a family that wakes up one morning and discovers that the man of the house, the Rabbi David Kahn, was not only lacking in any formal rabbinical training, but he wasn’t even Jewish. Too bad for the family that the outing happens publicly at Rabbi Kahn’s hesped, or funeral. The scandal causes Kahn’s son, also a rabbi, to lose his job; Kahn’s wife is tormented by two-faced housewives; Eli, the youngest, gets beaten up in stairwells; and daughter Lea carries on all the more unkosherly. This is a story about waking up a cockroach, or at the least waking up to find that you are not what you thought you were. “What are you going to eat if you didn’t have to keep kosher?” asks a friend. Its also a story about belief and truth-in gods, marriages, and selves. Rather primly told and illustrated, the book would be an interesting addition to all high school, community, and church libraries. Excellent for book clubs and study groups as well.

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