The Thirty-third Hour opens at midnight Saturday, in the study of Rabbi Arthur Greenberg, the leader of the largest synagogue in Miami. The Rabbi has until 9 a.m. Monday morning, thirty-three hours, to investigate a sex ethics charge brought against one of his colleagues by a member of the congregation, Brenda, an attractive widow and the mother of an autistic son.
That colleague, Moshe Katan, an associate from Arthur's seminary days, has been leading an experimental family education program at the synagogue, bringing together parents and children to explore the stories of the Bible in new and challenging ways. Now, piled on Arthur's desk are the video and audio recordings of these sessions and Brenda's journal, which he has to review in a desperate attempt to avoid a disastrous scandal. The reader becomes judge and jury as Arthur seeks to find out what happened and, in the process, undergoes a spiritual transformation himself.