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Book details
  • Genre:FICTION
  • SubGenre:Jewish
  • Language:English
  • Pages:250
  • Format:Paperback
  • eBook ISBN:9781543934847
  • Paperback ISBN:9781543929287

The Rabbi Wore Bell-Bottoms

A Novel Memoir

by Art Novak

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If you question organized religion, feel ambivalent about your Jewish faith, and date Gentile girls, what happens when you find yourself Jewish Chaplain's Assistant at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri? You find yourself.
Drafted into the army fresh out of grad school, Dan Berman questions organized religion and feels ambivalent about his Jewish faith. When he finds himself assigned Jewish Chaplain's Assistant at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, he finds himself. It's 1970. American soldiers kill women and children in Vietnam. Catholics and Protestants do battle in Northern Ireland. Muslims and Jews murder one another in Israel. Viewing all this through a stateside lens, Dan has mixed emotions about the cards humanity has dealt him. Then he meets Harriet, Lutheran daughter of the head chaplain on post, Colonel Harold Marshall. One night the colonel discovers Dan and Harriet bedding down together at the Jewish Center. The fallout dovetails with other religious tension simmering at the fort, escalating into satirical jabs at the divisiveness of religion. The fort becomes a microcosm of a war-torn world. As all heaven and hell break loose, Dan relies on his kindhearted rabbi's wise and witty advice to navigate religion and romance. The Rabbi Wore Bell-bottoms grapples with the ways religion colors our perceptions and feelings. The humorous, humanistic voice of Dan Berman, will keep you alternately musing and amused — and just might enhance your understanding of some underlying reasons behind the mass exodus from organized religion.
About the author
Art Novak is the author of The Rabbi Wore Bell-bottoms, a humorous novel, with a serious message, based on his experiences as a chaplain's assistant at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri in 1970-71. A previous novella, Doglegs, demonstrates that — in terms of intuition, devotion, and purity of spirit — dogs are the masters, while humans, all too often, behave like animals. Prior to writing fiction, Art was an award-winning copywriter and creative director. He is Professor Emeritus at Savannah College of Art and Design.
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