While the rabbi is away on an errand, the rabbi's cat tags along with Malke of the Lions, the rabbi's enigmatic cousin who roams the desert with his ferocious-on-demand lion. Some believe Malka to be a pious Jew, others think he's a shrewd womanizer, but the cat will be the one to discover the surprising truth. Back in Algiers, the rabbi's daughter, Zlabya, and her new husband fill the house with their fighting, while the city around them fills with a rising tide of anti-Semitism. On a whim, the rabbi's cat, the rabbi, the sheik (also a cousin of the rabbi), and a very misplaced Russian painter set out on a fantastic journey in search of an African Jerusalem. And it turns out to be fortuitous that the rabbi's cat is not just a talking cat, but a multilingual talking cat!