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.