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Sukkot Treasure Hunt

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  • Posted November 21, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Do you know what the festival of Sukkot is?

    Who knows what the Jewish festival of Sukkot is? If you said that it is a harvest celebration, you would be right, but it is more. Literally the "Festival of Booths," it recalls the temporary huts that the Jewish people built as they wandered in the desert after the Exodus from Egypt. Each family of Jews erects a sukkah, and every morning of Sukkot they wave the "four species" up, down, and around. Author Allison Ofanansky follows a young girl, her Abba (father) and Ima (mom), who live in the village of Tzefat, as they go on a scavenger hunt in the surrounding countryside to find the lulav or branch from a date palm, aravot or branches from a willow tree, hadas or nice-smelling myrtle, and etrog or citrus fruit that looks like a big lemon. Will they be able to obtain them all? Along the way, the family also notices a hyrax, a bay tree, a grapevine, a pomegranate tree, a wild orange tree, and an eagle. The visually stunning photographs by Eliyahu Alpern grace this text by illustrating both the plants and animals mentioned and the search by the family for what they need. In the back, there are two pages of "fun facts" about many of the species mentioned in the book as well as more information concerning Sukkot. For those who have read about the Festival of the Booths in the Scriptures, it is very interesting to see how it is observed by Jewish people today. The author, who lives in the village of Kaditah, near the mystical city of Tzefat, has written another children's book, Harvest of Light, also published by Kar-Ben.

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