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The Rabbi

3.64  ·  Rating Details ·  1,150 Ratings  ·  57 Reviews
Michael Kind was a rabbi, but he was also a man. A man who couldn't help that his heart led him to Leslie, a beautiful minister's daughter. Defying parents and teachers, they dare to love one another and build a life together, in this sweeping drama of love and identity, compassion and crueltly, and a complicated world that will not accept their decisions....
"A rewarding r
Paperback, 448 pages
Published August 12th 1987 by Fawcett (first published 1965)
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I've enjoyed Noah Gordon's style in his Historical Fiction books. There's an earthiness to his writing that makes the past feel immediate and his characters real.

Unfortunately, I like those qualities much less in a contemporary setting. Even though The Rabbi focuses on a way of life that is less familiar to me, that earthiness becomes too realistic and depressing - and even boring - in a setting that is too close to current day for my comfort. Contemporary here is the 1960s, but it feels very m
Sharon Tzur
The book is certainly readable - Gordon has a nice writing style, but I found the book rather disappointing. The book has an interesting story, but everything related to "being a Rabbi", or Judaism, is so superficial.

First, Michael Kind's decision to become a Rabbi come out of nowhere - the only clue being the name of the book. The link with his grandfather and some months study is not enough to explain why he suddenly decides to become a Rabbi. And then, despite his learning with an Orthodox R
Feb 01, 2013 Diane rated it really liked it
The Rabbi was Gordon's first book. It is the story of Michael Kind, a rabbi who was raised in the NY / NJ area in the 1920s-1940s. He is heavily influenced by his close relationship with his grandfather who was an immigrant from eastern Europe. Michael meets, falls in love with and marries a minister's daughter who converts to Judaism. The story is told from Rabbi Kind's present time (in the 1960s) back to his childhood, then through the years as a teen, college-aged young man, and as a rabbi, m ...more
Sam Shiraishi
Jul 15, 2010 Sam Shiraishi rated it it was ok
I loved Gordon's 11th century story (through Europe to an Arab medical school in Ispahan, Persia) where The Physician studies under the immortal physician Avicenna.
But his first novel, The Rabi, the story of Michael Kind, a young rabbi who falls in love with the daughter of a Protestant minister was boring. I can't understand how The Rabbi was on the The New York Times bestseller list for 26 weeks - or maybe I can imagine 'cause it's an epic of Judaism in America.
Ein gutes Buch über einen Rabbi anfangs/mitte 20.Jahrhunderts. Einblicke über das Judentum erhält man zwar viel besser in Noah Gordons „Der Medicus“, aber der Werdegang des Rabbis, seine Begegnungen, Konfrontationen sowie die Gründung einer Familie mit einer Christin werden, ohne aufkommende Längen in der Geschichte, stets unterhaltsam und interessant erzählt.
Sep 29, 2014 Remo rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novela, 1995
Relato intimista que tiene por base la vida de un rabino que no ha alcanzado casi éxito en su ministerio. A pesar de todo, él es feliz. Muy bonita, aunque me pilla lejos el personaje. Hay partes emotivas y ola lectura es agradable, pero no es lo mejor de Gordon.
Mar 05, 2017 Justreadin rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: tbr, audible
a little boring.
Feb 19, 2011 Pnyxis rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
El Rabino es un libro que encontré estas vacaciones, en la casa rural en la que pasé quince días con mi familia. Ya había leído dos libros de Noah Gordon, El Médico, que me gustó mucho y Chamán, que también me gustó aunque me resultó algo lento.

El libro narra la vida de Michael Kind, un rabino reformista, desde su infancia en un barrio judío de Nueva York hasta sus variadas experiencias como rabino en varias comunidades estadounidenses, pasando por su historia de amor con Leslie, hija de un reve
Jun 28, 2014 Sue rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, usa, jewish
Rabbi Michael Kind is married to a woman who converted to Judaism in order to marry him. This has caused issues with the various synagogues where he has served, as well as causing issues in his marriage. The story alternates between the present (1964) and the past as Michael grew up, began ministry, met Leslie and they travelled together around the country.
An enjoyable read and interesting statement on American Judaism. The only real downer for me was the scattering of Hebrew which was not tra
May 06, 2013 Charlotte rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is written in the voice of Michael Kind, a rabbi. The book begins in 1964 when he is dealing with a major crisis in his life. However he flashes back in the story to his childhood, the decision to become a rabbi, falling in love with the daughter of a minister, the birth of his children and challenges within the parishes he serves. When Leslie, his wife, realizes she is in love with Michael, and knows that for Michael marriage to her would mean giving up being a rabbi, she begins a stu ...more
May 20, 2014 Cyndi rated it really liked it
Shelves: religion, judaica, fiction
Noah Gordon's first novel. About a man's journey (told through several layers of flashbacks, plus some other character viewpoints) to becoming a Rabbi and finding the congregation that fits him. Most of the book is a 3 but I gave it a 4 because it grew on me. The characters interested me less than the journey. The different styles of Judaism and of synagogue life. Each and every one of his congregations was completely different from the other, despite all of them technically being Reform.

Fred Roldan
El autor tiene una forma agradable de narrar una historia, pero la historia en si misma no es muy buena.
es la historia de vida de un rabino, desde si niñez , escuchando las voces de su abuelo, hasta que ser consolida en una sinagoga con su esposa e hijos.
trata temas interesantes, pero no profundiza en ellos y al cambio de hoja deja atrás un problema para iniciar otro. Además hay muchos momentos que pudieron ayudar a conocer la cultura judía y el autor supone que conozco los ritos y tradiciones
Taryn Fink
Dec 10, 2014 Taryn Fink rated it liked it
This book was very well written, but I didn't like it nearly as much as the last Noah Gordon book I read, The Last Jew. I kept wondering throughout my reading it why it was a story worth telling. The whole book is merely the story of a rabbi from when he first decides to become a rabbi, through his life. It was a nice story, but again, I couldn't figure out why a fictional rabbi's life deserved an entire book. Having been to a youth group convention the weekend immediately following finishing th ...more
Aaron Benarroch
Feb 10, 2016 Aaron Benarroch rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A pesar de la mejorable traducción de Adolfo Martín, es un libro que no puede faltar en la colección del buen "gordonista". Porque es la primera de sus nueve obras; porque se vislumbra aquí la línea narrativa que le llevarán a la cumbre (inalcanzable) de "El Médico"; y porque, lejos de ser su mejor trabajo, este libro es de todos modos una prosa 100% Gordon. A saber: cero ampulosidad y una escritura que deja el protagonismo a los eventos. No nos embriaga con escaladas de suspense o ardides lingü ...more
Jan 18, 2015 Marilyn rated it really liked it
Very good read (fiction) about the life of somewhat itinerant rabbi starting his career and his adult family life. Lots of stream of consciousness on various moral and religious topics, with Yiddish words thrown in, usually with some interpretation. Perhaps written for those who have some grounding in the workings of Judaism but certainly can be enjoyed by all who have had any angst during his/her career or bumps in the road of life! Lots of family relationship issues also.
Fernando Delfim
"E embora haja muita coisa feia no mundo, há alturas em que é maravilhoso estar-se vivo. Basta beber água quando se está com muita sede, ou ver alguma coisa bela, qualquer coisa que seja bela. Os bons momentos compensam os maus."

"[...] diz o padre ao rabi: Olha lá, tua devias era provar presunto, é delicioso; e o rabi diz ao padre: Olha lá, e tu devias era provar raparigas, são melhores do que presunto..."

Jun 20, 2009 M rated it it was ok
If it looks like trash, it is trash. This had potential - rabbi falls for Christian woman - but since none of the conflicts were actually featured in the story I am not sure what this author had in mind. I will say, though, that the traveling salesman rabbi life was captured quite nicely and I got a kick out of his wife saying at every new home they moved into - oh, I can see us staying here forever! Ha.
Heather Doherty
Mar 18, 2012 Heather Doherty rated it liked it
I discovered Noah Gordon a few months ago. I get a big thrill when I find a new-to-me historical fiction author, and I really liked the first 2 volumes of his Physician trilogy. This was his first novel and although it was not as smooth as those which followed it was an engaging story. As with the others I have read, the characters were the finest element. They are fully developed and inspired my empathy.
Joseph Janus
May 02, 2013 Joseph Janus rated it liked it
Not bad but sort of slow in the beginning. It is a story of a true life and it really pulls you into the struggles of the character. I must say it tugged at my heart strings towards the end because of my mom recently passing away. It really is about life; not perfect but with all the ups and downs.
Paule Bailey
I read this book many years ago when it first came out and loved it. UNfortunately, I have been unable to read other than ebooks since then and cannot afford too many. Recently read The Jerusalem Diamong which was offered as a special on Amazon and loved it. Looking for more of his ebooks now but only for a really low price.
Sharon Ziegler ron
Aug 18, 2015 Sharon Ziegler ron rated it it was ok
I picked up this book at a random gift shop in Europe mainly because it was in English, seriously cheap and I was in search of a weekend read.
I found it pretty irritating, the characters were way too black and white, the actions in the book were too extreme and exaggerated. I wouldn't recommend it.
Aug 07, 2014 Zoe rated it liked it
A decent book, much better than the over-dramatic cover and synopsis here. It lacks conclusion as well as real empathy or sympathy for the main female character, Leslie. Her mental illness is used as a rather clumsy vehicle for flashbacks and we never really find out what was her problem. Worth reading but not nearly as good as "The Physician" by the same author.
H. P. Reed
Apr 09, 2016 H. P. Reed rated it liked it
Noah Gordon's first novel is good, adequate, workmanlike. The reform Rabbi Michael Kind and his family are well drawn. It's a very 60's/70's work with its nostalgia for the past and it's ironic rule breaking. Gordon's writing improves with each new book, which is how it should be. So this is a far cry from the richness of his Cole family trilogy, but we can see the beginnings of excellence.
Kiko Fábregas
nota: 5

Es una historia doble de un rabino sobre los años 1960 y la evolución de este rabino hasta esos años desde que era niño. En la que se ven los problemas de los judíos y además se da una historia de amor que supera las religiones.
Es muy descriptivo
Apr 17, 2012 Monica rated it liked it
This novel follows Michael Kind, who is my parents age, from childhood through college and rabbinical training and his first assignments as a rabbi. I didn't find it at the same caliber as The Physician, but still liked it and found it interesting.
Kilian Metcalf
Dec 10, 2014 Kilian Metcalf rated it really liked it
An engaging, if dated, account of the life of a rabbi from his graduation from Columbia in 1941, to the turn of the century. Noah Gordon is a gifted storyteller, still writing in his 80s. I liked this book a lot, and now I will return it to bookshelf in the laundry room so others can enjoy it, too.
Angel Serrano
Lo más interesante de la novela es el retrato que nos muestra de un rabino y de las diferentes comunidades en las que ejerce, desde la más exclusiva a la más necesitada y cómo su mujer se nefrentará a su familia por amor y le seguirá por el resto de su vida.
Dec 23, 2008 Florence rated it liked it
The characters developed and grew over a 30 year period. The story made me nostalgic for the 50s and for my lost Jewish heritage.
Oct 16, 2010 Matt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Me gustó. Aunque no sé si es bueno que lo lea alguien que no sabe mucho de judaísmo... tiene muchos errores y prejuicios.
It was entertaining to read about the life of a rabbi as a person instead of as a religious figure.
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Noah Gordon is an American novelist. Some of the topics covered within his novels include medical history and medical ethics. More recently he has begun to focus more on themes relating to the Inquisition, and Jewish cultural history. His novel Shaman won the first James Fenimore Cooper Prize for Best Historical Fiction in 1993.

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