The Hasidic Rebbe’s Son
The Hasidic Rebbe’s Son
by Joan Lipinsky Cochran
About The Hasidic Rebbe’s Son
The Hasidic Rebbe’s Son (A Becks Ruchinsky Mystery)
2nd in Series
Perricot Publishing (March 30, 2021)
Number of Pages – 318 pages
Digital – ASIN : B08ZVF86VF
Boca Raton reporter Becks Ruchinsky is stunned when her son, Gabe, brings an ultra-Orthodox friend home from college and asks her to hide him. Six days later, his body is found floating in a canal. When police deem his death an accident, Becks launches her own inquiry—a journey that takes her from secretive Hasidic enclaves to the seedy underbelly of South Beach’s glitzy club scene—to find his killer. What she discovers jeopardizes her son’s life and challenges her religious conviction.
The Hasidic Rebbe’s Son is an intriguing and compulsively readable mystery that contrasts the beauty of Hasidic tradition with the unbending rules that may lead to desperation and murder.
A Sad Goodbye to Naive Expectation
It’s funny how you grow up with a set of expectations and, BAM, something happens to blow them out of the water. Like learning my dad was a gangster and may have done some pretty nasty things in his youth. In fact, the last book in which I appeared–The Yiddish Gangster’s Daughter – was about my reaction and near-death experiences related to that discovery.
In the latest novel in the Becks Ruchinsky mystery series, I’m hit with the fact that the super-religious Jews I grew up thinking were “better” than me – more religious or moral – aren’t, in fact, that way at all.
Let me back up a little. About six months ago, my son Gabe came home for the weekend with this ultra-Orthodox kid from his dorm named Menachem. Gabe has Asperger’s Syndrome and when I sent him off to college with an invitation to bring friends home, I hardly expected him to show up with what my dad, Tootsie, less than politely referred to as a curly … a term he uses for Hasidic people with payos, or long sideburns. He asked me to the hide the young man, who suspected he was being pursued by someone who wanted to abduct him and haul him back to his Hasidic community.
My son doesn’t have all that many friends and, though I didn’t buy into Menachem’s cockamamie story about the abduction, I agreed. Six days later, his body was found floating in a canal.
That was a big enough shock. Then along come the police, insisting Menachem’s death was an accident. Which it clearly wasn’t. So I decided to look into the boy’s past –which meant venturing into South Beach’s glitzy night club scene and the insular world of Hasidic Judaism.
Suffice it to say the night club scene was as seedy and full of thugs as I expected.
What I wasn’t expecting was to be rebuffed by the Hasidic individuals whom I’d considered, at least distantly, “my people.” From Menachem’s father , who disowned his son and told me the boy’s death was fate, to the rabbi who wasn’t above hiding his Chabad’s doings to protect his reputation, to the elderly lady who was so afraid of her community’s leaders that she refused to share life saving secrets. It was tough. More like running into a brick wall that being greeted with the warmth and helpfulness I’d anticipated.
Heck, at one point I thought my own son’s was going to be killed. Thank God he wasn’t, but he drove me nuts with his own foray into the world of ultra-Orthodox Judaism.
It was quite a ride, and I swear I’m not getting myself sucked into another one of these murder investigations. Then, again, that’s what I said after digging into my dad’s criminal past.
About Joan Lipinsky Cochran
Joan Lipinsky Cochran is a South Florida-based writer whose crime and mystery novels focus on subcultures of American Judaism. In her latest novel, The Hasidic Rebbe’s Son, her protagonist is compelled to explore the glitzy South Beach nightclub scene and the secretive world of Hasidic Judaism to find a killer. It is the second in The Becks Ruchinsky Mystery Series. The first, The Yiddish Gangster’s Daughter, is the story of a woman whose world is upended – and life threatened – when she discovers her father was a member of the Jewish mafia.
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