I bring you up to believe that nothing is good enough for you, and you grow up to be good for nothing.
Thus, Mrs. Bindle, on learning that Ben, her only-begotten son, has decided to be a Rabbi; what is more, a Rabbi in a small provincial town in Scotland. Her anxiety proves to be not unjustified, although Ben's chosen career has its compensations-perhaps Helen, the promiscuous teenage daughter of his housekeeper; perhaps Simmy, the young wife of an elderly parishioner; perhaps the whole incident-prone pace of the pawky Scottish town in which this richly-human story is set.
First published in 1965, Chaim Bermant's third novel has all the wit, warmth and colour of its critically-acclaimed forerunners.
Chaim Bermant (1929-1998) was born in Breslev, Poland and moved to Glasgow, Scotland at the age of 8. He was educated in Glasgow and became a teacher before joining Scottish TV and then Granada. Bermant became a prominent Anglo-Jewish journalist, and had a regular coloumn in The Jewish Chronicle and occasionally to the national press, particularly The Observer and The Daily Telegraph.
During his lifetime, Bermant wrote a number of scripts for both Radio and Television, including the BBC, as well as several for Anglia TV. Bermant's book, The Squire of Bor Shachor was serialized on the Radio and Bermant also appeared in several productions in person, including, in 1981, one of the BBC's 'Everyman' series. Bermant wrote a total of 31 books; his novels and non-fiction works reflect his sometimes controversial opinions and his observations on Anglo-Jewish society.
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- Mary Carnegie
A Jewish "Annals of the Parish"!
Well narrated. Humorous, well-observed social comedy about a small Scots-Jewish "parish" told by its young (English, rich) Rabbi- who nevertheless adjusts very quickly to the culture shock, manages his snobbish mother (who regards the rabbinate as an occupation not much better than drug-dealing!), relates his experiences with an amusement and love that neither Rev Micah Balwhidder, of John Galt's ill-recognised masterpiece, or Rabbi David Small, Harry Kemelman's wee town amateur detective in Eastern USA, ever achieved.
Scots-Jewish humour is hard to beat, though maybe Irish-Jewish would match up.
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