Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Conversations with Rabbi Small” as Want to Read:
Conversations with Rabbi Small
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

Conversations with Rabbi Small (The Rabbi Small Mysteries #8)

3.9 of 5 stars 3.90  ·  rating details  ·  115 ratings  ·  11 reviews
Shot through with tension, conflict, humor and wisdom, "Conversations with Rabbi Small" is a rich tapestry of past and present beliefs that Jews and non-Jews will find meaningful, thought-provoking, and more than a bit surprising. Told in the form of a novel, this insightful and sensitive book will be accessible to a large audience, from young people to adults.
Paperback, 288 pages
Published December 1st 2007 by iBooks (first published July 1st 1981)
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 Conversations with Rabbi Small, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Conversations with Rabbi Small

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 224)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Sari Lynn
Jul 17, 2008 Sari Lynn rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone interested in learning the basics of Judaism without reading a text book
I remember really enjoying this book when I read it 25 years ago. The author provided an interesting way to explore the meaning and rituals of Judaism, within an interesting fictional story. (However, I could see the ending twist coming a mile away.)
Rabbi Small takes a break from sleuthing to instruct a woman who wishes to convert. Good summary of the tenets of all factions of Judaism.
fantastic Jewish apolgetic
Jamie VW
This was my Yom Kippur reading and it was a fittingly evocative and, at times, infuriating. Unlike Kemelman's other Rabbi Small mysteries, this book reads as a Judaism 201 placed in the confines of a conversation between his most famous character and a young couple, one secularly Jewish and one interested in converting. It is a smart, complex look at Judaism from a Conservative perspective (though with sometimes smarting jabs thrown at both Reform and Orthodox beliefs and practices). However, it ...more
Rose Blum
Love Rabbi Small:) This is one that I had missed after the Monday... Tuesday... Wednesday the Rabbi...series. This book is a bit tedious unless you are really into religious practices, however, Mr. Kemelman presents a truly informative analysis of Judism & other popular religions.
This is an unusual item in the Rabbi David Small mystery series: There's no mystery or crime to solve, the entire book is a pretext for discussions of religion and faith. Which is a good thing, the digressions on Jewish religion were among the things I liked best in the other Rabbi Small novels anyway. Don't expect much from the other characters or the plot, they're really just there to make Rabbi Small talk.

Overall, a very encouraging view of Jewish religion, and it looks like Kemelman put a lo
David Burkam
Not a murder mystery but a fascinating series of conversations between fictional detective/Rabbi David Small and two young people.

The 30 years since this book appeared probably wouldn't change much of the content of these conversations today (no surprise given that these traditions have developed over thousands of years), except for two areas: (1) the role of women and (2) discussions about the state of Israel.

At the time of this book's appearance, women were for the first time being admitted fo
I didn't like this book as much as I liked the other books, however it was interesting to know all the things that the Jewish people actually believe. In the end Rabbi Small still uses his deductive reasoning to solve a mystery - he uncovered something important that no one else involved knew about one of the main characters - and it changes their life forever.
Rebecca Huston
One of the best books on Judaism that I've found. It also gives some of the best reasoning as to why Jews don't eat pork. Presented in a fictionalized setting, the questions and answers are not fictional at all.
I have read this book years ago but it is certainly worth reading again. While being in novel form, it is more a dissertation of not only Jewish, but Christian, beliefs that anyone can understand.
Very educational. Factual information conveyed via fictional story.
Ruth marked it as to-read
Jan 03, 2015
Nancy marked it as to-read
Nov 07, 2014
Julita marked it as to-read
Oct 23, 2014
D marked it as to-read
Sep 27, 2014
Kimberly marked it as to-read
Sep 21, 2014
Susan Crowe
Susan Crowe marked it as to-read
Sep 15, 2014
Anya marked it as to-read
Aug 28, 2014
Barbara marked it as to-read
Jul 28, 2014
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Book of Legends/Sefer Ha-Aggadah: Legends from the Talmud and Midrash
  • Desert Lost (A Lena Jones Mystery #6)
  • Wives and Sisters
  • Through the Door of Life: A Jewish Journey between Genders
  • Syncopated: An Anthology of Nonfiction Picto-Essays
  • Deadly Honeymoon
  • The Talmud and the Internet: A Journey between Worlds
  • Black Beans and Vice (A Supper Club Mystery, #6)
  • Why We Drive: The Past, Present, and Future of Automobiles in America
  • The Finale
  • The Golem's Mighty Swing
  • Novena for Murder (Sister Mary Helen, #1)
  • A Code of Jewish Ethics: Volume 1: You Shall Be Holy
  • Truffled Feathers (A  Carolyn Blue Culinary Mystery, #2)
  • Denying the Holocaust: The Growing Assault on Truth and Memory
  • À la Cart: The Secret Lives of Grocery Shoppers
  • The Plot: The Secret Story of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion
  • The Best American Mystery Stories 1998
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
  • Saturday the Rabbi Went Hungry
  • Sunday the Rabbi Stayed Home
  • Monday the Rabbi Took Off
  • Tuesday the Rabbi Saw Red
  • Wednesday the Rabbi Got Wet
  • Thursday the Rabbi Walked Out
  • Someday the Rabbi Will Leave
  • One Fine Day the Rabbi Bought a Cross
  • The Day the Rabbi Resigned
Friday the Rabbi Slept Late Saturday the Rabbi Went Hungry Monday the Rabbi Took Off Sunday the Rabbi Stayed Home Wednesday the Rabbi Got Wet

Share This Book