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Tales of the Village Rabbi
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In the late fifties and sixties, Greenwich Village was the quirkiest, most charming, jazzy, eccentric, and urban of environments, the center of all that was both quaint and "cool": brownstones and beatniks, coffeehouses and college students, folksingers and freethinkers, poets and "prophets." Into this fascinating mix of cultural archetypes came a young rabbi, Harvey M. Tattelbaum, who became known as the Village Rabbi of the Village Temple. The spirit of Sholom Aleichem infuses his Tales of the Village Rabbi, a touching and laugh-out-loud-funny memoir of his tenure at a small synagogue in the heart of Greenwich Village. Though his years in this magical place were productive and soul-filling, rabbinical training had not exactly prepared him for the bikers, thieves, ex-cons, eccentric old ladies, drug users, cleavage-baring brides, and other Village denizens he encountered while serving the congregants of his spirited little temple. Rabbi Tattelbaum shares his insider's tales-both downtown and uptown-of wayward weddings (and funerals), contentious Temple boards, irreverent interfaith shenanigans, heartaches, and triumphs. But the Tales also reveal a deep personal struggle with some of the most profound philosophical problems of ancient and modern religion, and are filled with a warm, humane, and rational approach to spirituality and religious meaning.
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