A prized Torah scroll is stolen from Ohav Shalom. The FBI determines the event to be a "Hate Crime" and initiates an investigation. But Rabbi Gabrielle unearths clues into the theft that lead in another direction. While intensely active in her daily rabbinical duties, her attention is drawn back 65 years to the origin of the stolen Torah in the Ukraine. The discovery brings this liberal rabbi into conflict with the powerful and well-organized Orthodox Jewish community in New York. Internecine warfare between Jewish denominations must be pacified before Rabbi Gabrielle can return to her post at Ohav Shalom.
Rabbi Gabrielle, a young female rabbi in Washington, DC, is called upon to defend an accused rapist in court, imperiling her career. She must negotiate a hostile climate both in her synagogue and in the community, while attempting to live a normal life as an attractive, unmarried woman. Here is a chance to have an internal look at the life of a clergywoman in a profession that has long been a man's proprietary domain.
Rabbi Gabrielle takes leave from her rabbinical duties to pursue a doctorate in biblical studies at the University of Chicago. She is summoned to Israel by the Director of Antiquities in Jerusalem when her scholarly live-in boy friend cannot be found to help investigate the robbery of a newly discovered cave at Qumran, site of the famous Dead Sea Scrolls. In the search to find him, Gabrielle becomes aware of her friend's involvement in this robbery and while attempting to shield him, gets swept into a cloak and dagger intrigue involving the Catholic Church and the Government of Israel.
Rabbi Gabrielle succeeds the senior rabbi at Congregation Ohav Shalom and in this new role must perform a funeral for her favorite Bar Mitzvah boy, now a young man recently murdered in a remote Washington, D.C., park. This death brings her to a ghetto high school where the victim coached its struggling tennis team. An avid tennis player herself, Gabrielle attempts to keep the tennis team going and, because the police are unable to apprehend the murderer, investigates the crime. This brings her into conflict with Washington's thriving gun trade. Pursuit of the killer thrusts Gabrielle into the nation's spotlight, exactly where she doesn't want to be.
Rabbi Gabrielle continues her personal and professional odyssey, this time toying with running for a seat in Congress. In the process she becomes entangled with a Korean computer geek who operates a successful on-line political campaign website for underfunded, unknown candidates. At the same time her congregation has lost a child burned to death in an accident lighting Hanukkah candles.