The Unortho­dox Mur­der of Rab­bi Wahl

  • Review
By – August 10, 2012
In addi­tion to his con­gre­ga­tion­al duties, Rab­bi Daniel Win­ter hosts a week­ly radio show about reli­gion. One evening, a stri­dent out­spo­ken fem­i­nist rab­bi, Myr­na Wahl, a rad­i­cal Catholic nun, and a female Protes­tant min­is­ter appear­ing on the pro­gram get into a heat­ed dis­cus­sion. Rab­bi Wahl is found dead lat­er, the vic­tim of a hit-and-run acci­dent. Rab­bi Win­ter, who exchanged harsh words with her on the air, becomes a prime sus­pect. He must find the real mur­der­er to clear his name. As he inves­ti­gates, he devel­ops a more per­son­al inter­est in the attrac­tive police psy­chol­o­gist assigned to the case. As always, Telushkin com­bines a con­trived plot with Jew­ish teach­ing. In this case, he deals with the issues of for­give­ness and hon­or­ing par­ents. This book was orig­i­nal­ly pub­lished in 1987 and the one-dimen­sion­al fem­i­nist char­ac­ters seem out of place in 2005. Rab­bi Telushkin is a pro­lif­ic author. His non-fic­tion works such as Jew­ish Lit­er­a­cy are use­ful ref­er­ence sources. Mys­tery fans who like a bit of halacha with their clues will enjoy this reissue.
Bar­bara M. Bibel is a librar­i­an at the Oak­land Pub­lic Library in Oak­land, CA; and at Con­gre­ga­tion Netiv­ot Shalom, Berke­ley, CA.

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