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The Society for the Betterment of Mankind
by Jennifer L Armstrong

Category: Romance Books, eBooks & Novels
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The Society for the Betterment of Mankind by Jennifer L Armstrong
Synopsis

What on earth do you do when your boyfriend, who isn't Jewish, wants to be a rabbi?

If you happen to be El Waller, you come up with an ingenious plan that's guaranteed to take your boyfriend's mind off of his tavs and his yowds. Next, you embark on a summer trip to scenic and exciting New Orleans and find out that love can be awhole lot easier than you imagined. And after that's all done you make some fabulous new friends and form a Society for the Betterment of Mankind. obooko.

I got to be Dave's girlfriend by default. I mean, he would not waste his time with a woman in a million years. His greatest regret is that he wasn't born Jewish and he's dedicated his life to becoming the first Gentile rabbi. But since I hang around him, everyone thinks we're a couple.

Excerpt:

I got to be Dave's girlfriend by default. I mean, he would not waste his time with a woman in a million years. His greatest regret is that he wasn't born Jewish and he's dedicated his life to becoming the first Gentile rabbi. But since I hang around him, everyone thinks we're a couple.

We met in our Principles of Theology class. There's no assigned seating in the sloping lecture hall, so after half a semester of sitting behind him and not being able to concentrate, I decided to make the bold move of taking the seat next to him.

I don't think he noticed me for the first week since the topic was the Hebrew and Greek names for God and he took pages and pages of notes. Finally, one day after class, I just turned to him and said hi.

Then we started talking after every class about whatever had been discussed in the lecture, although, granted, he did most of the speaking since he was the one who had the opinions.

Sometimes I honestly think he just likes me for my name, Ellen Waller, since El is one of those names for God. (That's his blasphemous streak, though, because the ancient Hebrews were terrified to even say the name of God never mind casually calling their friends "Lord", even in jest.)

Right now, in Principles of Theology II, we're in the book of Leviticus covering the ritual sacrifices and I'm getting nothing out of it but Dave loves it. He takes notes with a fanatical glint in his eyes as if he's on the verge of building an alter right there, slaughtering a goat, and making an offering.

"Hey Dave!" I slip into the seat beside him.

"El," he looks up briefly from his leather-bound Bible. "Whatcha doing?"

"Seeing how many sacrifices Joshua offered."

"Good," I nod. I've learned to take everything Dave says as casually as if it's a comment about the weather.

"I was reading more about the sacrificial system last night in the library," says Dave. "I really don't think we're covering it adequately in class."

"But why even worry about it," I say. "We don't have to make animal sacrifices anymore because Christ is our ultimate sacrifice."

I'm rocking the boat, I know. Dave lives and breathes the Old Testament. But I've got to let him know I'm capable of analytical thought.

"I'm going to do a study into my genealogy." He hasn't even heard me he's so busy flipping through his Bible. "I'm sure I've got Levitical blood."

I almost paraphrase the apostle Paul, "Don't waste your time with vain genealogies." Waste your time with me.

After class I ask him what he's doing this weekend.

"Probably working on my bike," he says. His motorcycle is his only interest outside of theology.

"Really?" I project maximum enthusiasm and interest into the word.

"Yeah, I've got to replace the shocks." Dave is carefully putting his Bible into his Mediterranean satchel. An import from the Holy Land.

"Wow, that sounds like fun." Not an ounce of sarcasm in my voice. "Wanna help?" he says.

"Yeah, I'd love to."

"How ‘bout Sunday afternoon? I'll be in the parking lot."

Dave keeps the Sabbath instead of Sunday so he’s never free on Saturday.

"Maybe we can go for a ride too." This comment of his own free volition. It gives me hope.

"Shabbat Shalom," I say getting up to go to my next class. Dave deliberately didn't schedule any classes for Friday afternoon so that he could prepare for the Sabbath