3.5 stars (rounded down to 3 stars)
Publisher: Bellrock Press
Date of publication: October 2nd, 2018
Genre: General Fiction, Romance
Ben Zelig thinks he has his life all figured out. Graduate from rabbinical school. Get hired by a spiritually enriched community. Meet a nice Jewish girl and start a family. Simple, right? Naturally, nothing goes according to plan, but life can still work out as long as you have Love, Faith and a Pair of Pants.
Herb Freed, the author of the timeless love story Bashert, is back with a collection of five short stories about the smart, witty, spiritual and, according to his mother, incredibly handsome, Rabbi Ben Zelig. In five stories about a rabbi’s life, Zelig navigates romance, family ties, colorful congregants and the meaning of faith. We follow him through the decades as master storyteller Freed takes us from humor to pathos and back again in an uplifting examination of what it means to be human.
I love to read, which is a given since I maintain a blog that is about book reviews. I also like to read books that other people might pass up. I have found a few hidden gems by doing that. I also like not to turn down books. I very rarely turn down a request for review. So when the publisher emailed me about Love, Faith and a Pair of Pants…I accepted the invite. I wasn’t sure if I would like to read the book but was willing to give it a try.
I am not going to say that I didn’t like the book. I thought that it had a great messages in each section. There were fascinating insights into a rabbi’s life. But this book wasn’t for me.
For one, I couldn’t connect with the main character. Ben attracted drama like honey attracts bees. No matter where he went, drama followed. From his first funeral to the end of the book, it didn’t stop. His obsession with finding a nice Jewish girl did make me laugh a little. By the time Eden came around, I was no longer amused. I thought he was desperate.
I will admit that I was fascinated by the inner workings of being a rabbi. I grew up in a city with a huge Jewish population (the city had 6 temples). Some of my best friends were Jewish. I also dated a guy, for a few years, who was Jewish. So I was familiar with most of what was being talked about in the book. Except when it came to Ben’s duties as a rabbi. I was fascinated and I wish that more time had been spent discussing it.
I lost my focus several times during the book. The book was split into sections and I felt that I was missing out on what happened between the stories. Not something that I usually complain about when writing a review. But I felt that there were gaps. The only section that I didn’t feel that was Eden and that was because, well, I can’t say.
Like I mentioned above, the book did have some redeeming qualities. The messages in each section were great. The lessons that the sections taught were good. I also thought that the other characters (besides Ben) were vividly written. They brought an extra depth to the book.
Would this be a book that I would return to read, probably not. But, I tell people to read it. The messages in each section and the lessons that were taught in them are worth reading.
I would give Love, Faith and a Pair of Pants an Adult rating. There is no sex (there are sexual situations and kissing). There is no language. There is mild violence. There are triggers. They would be the loss of faith, the death of a spouse, the death of a sibling, cancer and estrangement from a parent. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.
I am on the fence if I would reread this book. I would recommend it to family and friends.
I would like to thank the author, the publisher, and NetGalley for allowing me to read and review Love, Faith and a Pair of Pants.
All opinions stated in this review of Love, Faith and a Pair of Pants are mine.