Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Monday the Rabbi Took Off” as Want to Read:
Blank 133x176
Monday the Rabbi Took Off
Harry Kemelman
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Monday the Rabbi Took Off (The Rabbi Small Mysteries #4)

3.75 of 5 stars 3.75  ·  rating details  ·  594 ratings  ·  25 reviews
It’s Monday and Rabbi David Small is ready to embark on a private exodus to Israel for some much needed rest and respite. But as usual, trouble follows the Rabbi. While his congregation back home is busy plotting his dismissal, the Rabbi has other things to worry about--an incident involving a young American student, Israeli Intelligence, and a group of Arab terrorists who ...more
ebook, 0 pages
Published November 20th 2009 by RosettaBooks (first published 1972)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Monday the Rabbi Took Off, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Monday the Rabbi Took Off

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 862)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
I liked the "Rabbi" series of books a lot. The problem is, after "Wednesday" or so, the formula wore a bit thin: the rabbi has some argument or disagreement with someone in his congregation. Someone gets killed. The rabbi has a fight with the Board of Directors at the shul. He threatens to leave. He solves the murder mystery. He resolves the problem with the person in his congregation and his Board of Directors, and everything is fine. Until the next book, where we repeat.

Still, these are well-c
Rabbi Small goes to Israel around 1971. There's not much to the murder mystery in this one, but the description of his visit is interesting.

I'm amused by the temple politics in this series. I remember being a little shocked the first time I realized that religious organizations have just as much squabbling and politicking among their leadership as any other human institution.
I enjoyed this story. I enjoyed it for the description it paints of Israel in the early 70’s. I enjoyed it for its description of the relationship between Israeli law enforcement and intelligence. An accurate view, in my opinion, based on other things I've read. I enjoyed it for its description of politics in a small town/suburban Conservative congregation. I enjoyed it for the unexpected theological sidebar between Adoumi and Rabbi Small. This included the Rabbi’s definition of an idealist. One ...more
Rabbi (or the detective as a hobby) David Small makes a private exodus to Israel to search himself and soothe his soul. He wants to just enjoy the local scene, go to the synagogue (or not) as he feels. But surprise surprise, there's an international incident and the rabbi gets involved in solving it...

I love the cover of this book, and it also seems very promising, "adventure and espionage in the Middle East".

But it happened to be the third book in a row where the protagonists are Jewish (after
This was an interesting story of Rabbi Small's vacation in Israel a few years after the six day war. The congregation of Barnard's Crossing are bewildered by the Rabbi's not asking for his salary during his vacation and assume he's seeking some kind of profound spiritual renewal by living and worshiping in the heart of the Jewish state. But, he simply travels around the city to parts that he wishes to see. He rarely goes to synagogue which shocks some members of his congregation who are also vis ...more
Andrea Hickman Walker
I enjoyed this, but not quite as much as the others I've read in the series. I did enjoy having the book mostly set in Israel, and the mystery was interesting, especially with the idea that everyone knows everyone within a certain socioeconomic range (kind of like Cape Town, except it's more language-based, I think) and how the plot, or, really, the solution of the mystery hinged on getting the right people with the relevant information together.
In my opinion it's a 4 1/2 star book - depends on what you expect from a good detective story. Because Rabbi novels are more about the climate - spirit of the community. Don't expect thrilling, suspense stories full of violence, spies or conspiracy. Crimes in Kemelman's books are simple, it's the brilliant mind of Rabbi Small, his kindness, humanity, and compassion what's this about.

And - certainly - credit to amazing George Guidall as narrator!
As usual, Kemelman has managed to intertwine Jewish culture and unsolved (or at least incorrectly solved) crime. Monday the Rabbit Took Off isn't the best of the series, nor a book that I'll be likely to reread any time soon, but it was still an entertaining story with colorful, well developed characters. If there's a major flaw, it would have to be that things wrap themselves up too neatly, a failing that's hardly unique to Kemelman.
Nan Silvernail
Rabbi Small has been in Barnard's Crossing for 6 years and now it's the 7th. Usually time for a lifetime contract to be offered and/or some well-earned time off. But the rabbi is weary. Instead of a sabbatical, he yearns for a perhaps-permanent vacation, in Isreal! Will he, Miriam and little Jonathan find what they are looking for in the Holy Land?

Crap just like the other two I read, after reading all three on the shelf, I noticed that Kemelman used some dialoge word for word in the other books. I later Found out that my mother also read these books when she first moved to Scranton and we agree they are crap, but she still reads mindless murdermystery shit.
Jan 20, 2013 Mikemower rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People I like.
Recommended to Mikemower by: My sweet mother.
This was a fun, informative book. It was written in the early 1970s. I learned a good deal about the operation of a Conservative Jewish Temple. As a former BYU student in Israel I enjoyed the murder mystery that unfolded in Jerusalem. If you like Israel and mysteries I would recommend this book.
Sarah Bollt
I really enjoyed reading this. It was a quick read, well-written, and gave me some interesting things to think about regarding synagogue politics.
I read a few if the other books in this series many years ago and remembered enjoying them very much. This book, however, had an extremely slow start as well as a plethora of characters that I kept loosing track of.
so sweet, so dated, so problematic in so many ways... i felt like it helped me understand and gave me compassion for some people i know who are of the same generation as the characters and author.
One of my favorites from years ago but never read this particular book. Interesting his views on Jerusalem.
Monday the Rabbi Took Off: Rabbi Small Series (A Rabbi Small Mystery) by Harry Kemelman (2002)
All seven (Monday thru Sunday) Kemelman books are very good short mystery reads.
One of a series of mysteries that also teach you Jewish traditions/views.
Catherine Woodman
I learned alot about Judiasm from this series and later from Faye Kellerman
Jul 04, 2013 Denise rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Denise by: Deidre
Shelves: mystery
interesting view of life in Israel in the early 70s.
I love Rabbi Small. These book are great
ereader ebook
Rebecca Huston
Different cover.
John Mcvey
John Mcvey marked it as to-read
Apr 16, 2015
Max Rudd
Max Rudd marked it as to-read
Apr 16, 2015
Martha added it
Apr 11, 2015
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 28 29 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Saturday Morning Murder (Michael Ohayon, #1)
  • Too Many Clients (Nero Wolfe, #34)
  • Mystery of the Witches' Bridge
  • The Silence of the Rain
  • Zombies of the Gene Pool (Jay Omega, #2)
  • Death in Blue Folders (Sigrid Harald Mystery #3)
  • Emily Dickinson Is Dead (Homer Kelly, #5)
  • The Burglar Who Painted Like Mondrian (Bernie Rhodenbarr, #5)
  • The Ascent of Everest
  • Stalking the Puzzle Lady (Puzzle Lady, #7)
  • Jupiter's Bones (Peter Decker Rina Lazarus, #11)
Harry Kemelman was an American mystery writer and a professor of English. He was the creator of one of the most famous religious sleuths, Rabbi David Small.

His writing career began with short stories for Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine featuring New England college professor Nicky Welt, the first of which, "The Nine Mile Walk", is considered a classic.

The Rabbi Small series began in 1964 with the
More about Harry Kemelman...

Other Books in the Series

The Rabbi Small Mysteries (1 - 10 of 13 books)
  • Friday the Rabbi Slept Late (The Rabbi Small Mysteries #1)
  • Saturday the Rabbi Went Hungry
  • Sunday the Rabbi Stayed Home
  • Tuesday the Rabbi Saw Red
  • Wednesday the Rabbi Got Wet
  • Thursday the Rabbi Walked Out
  • Conversations with Rabbi Small
  • Someday the Rabbi Will Leave
  • One Fine Day the Rabbi Bought a Cross
  • The Day the Rabbi Resigned
Friday the Rabbi Slept Late (The Rabbi Small Mysteries #1) Saturday the Rabbi Went Hungry Sunday the Rabbi Stayed Home Wednesday the Rabbi Got Wet Tuesday the Rabbi Saw Red

Share This Book