|Det. Abe Lieberman
(creator: Stuart M Kaminsky)
|Det Abe Lieberman was a tolerant but conscientious Jewish old-time Chicago homicide detective, with more than 30 years experience on the street. He was "thin, a bit less than average height, and probably nearing 70. His hair was curly and white, and he had a little moustache that was equally white." He was more concerned with seeing that justice, rather than just the letter of the law, was carried out but had "one of those perpetually sad looks".
He explains, "Sometimes I think God created the world and everything on it including us and then left us, on our own, went to some other world, tried again. Maybe He comes back to look in on what He left behind. Maybe He doesn't. I like to think He doesn't. If I thought He did, I'd be a little angry that He doesn't say 'stop'."
Stuart M Kaminsky (1934-2009) grew up in Chicago, was awarded a BS in journalism, followed by an MA in English literature from the University of Illinois and a PhD in film studies from Northwestern University, where his dissertation was on the film director Don Siegel. He taught film studies at Northwestern for 16 years, and then taught at Florida State for six years. He wrote over 60 novels, as well as story collections and non-fiction works. These included a series of 10 novels about the veteran Chicago police officer, Abe Lieberman, a character that was said to be based on Don Siegel. He was twice married and ended up living in Sarasota, Florida.
Confession is a short story describing how Det Lieberman is walking through a synagogue lobby on police business when another visitor (overhearing him being called Rabbi by a joking colleague) mistakes him for a real rabbi and insists on confessing to the murder of a young man who had attacked him. Lieberman explains who he really is but reassures him, "Cheer up. I'm not sure your confession is admissible." Then it turns out that the young man isn't really dead, so the two of them set off to visit him in hospital where only the intervention of the real Rabbi Wass saves the young man's life.
It makes an entertaining little story that I have included here because I can think of no other example of a police officer pretending to be a rabbi!
There is a Wikipedia site about the author and there are several obituaries.
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|The short story, Confession, is included in Mystery Midrash, an anthology of Jewish Mystery and Detective Fiction.|