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Last Updated on October 26, 2018, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 389

Ozzie Freedman has been attending a synagogue Hebrew school in preparation for his Bar Mitzvah confirmation. He is a bright student, but entirely too inquisitive for the comfort of his teacher, Rabbi Marvin Binder. Binder is irritated by Ozzie’s inability to accept traditional doctrinal answers to fundamental religious questions, and he has summoned Mrs. Freedman three times to discuss her son’s disruptive influence on his class.

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During the Wednesday afternoon class prior to their third scheduled meeting, tensions between Ozzie and Binder precipitate a crisis. Earlier, Ozzie resisted Binder’s facile dismissal of Christian claims for the divinity of Jesus. He was also dissatisfied with Binder’s explanation for an airplane crash and for why Jews were particularly grieved over the number of Jews on board. Now they clash over the issue of God’s omnipotence.

During the free discussion period, none of the boys volunteers any comments or questions. Binder, however, sensing that Ozzie has something on his mind, goads him into speaking. Ozzie wants to know why, if God can do absolutely anything, it was not possible for Him to have arranged a virgin birth for Jesus. His insistence that Binder does not know what he is talking about provokes an uproar in the class and an angry reaction from the rabbi.

When Binder slaps him, Ozzie runs up onto the roof of the synagogue. The fire department is summoned, and Ozzie soon finds himself looking down at a growing crowd of spectators....

(The entire section contains 389 words.)

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