Clouds of Glory: Legends and Stories About Bible Times

Overview

Where is God? What are angels? Who made them? Such questions have arisen over the ages and are answered with a type of story Jews call Midrash-Midrashim in the plural. The Hebrew word means "search and explain." The search takes place in the pages of the Bible. The explanation, the Midrash, is based on an answer found in those pages. New stories led to others, and eventually to a vast library of Midrashim. A selection of these have been woven into the stories in this book, retellings from the Book of Genesis: ...

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1998 Hardcover Brand New. 100% Money Back Guarantee! Ships within 1 business day, includes tracking. Carefully packed. Successful business for 25 Years!

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Frampton, David New York 1998 Hard Cover New 8 1/2 x 10. Glossy pictorial hardcover. Illustrated with beautiful color woodcuts. Established rabbinic Midrashim about the Book of ... Genesis are here retold with freshness, wit, and clarity. Read more Show Less

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Where is God? Who are the angels? The Bible holds the answers to questions and puzzles raised in Bible text - if only you know how to look. The body of Jewish literature known as ... Midrash, which in Hebrew means "to search and explain," consists of stories that have arisen to answer such perplexing questions. Established rabbinic Midrashim abou the Book of Genesis are here retold with freshness, wit, and clarity. Chaikin recasts the Creation story, the story of Cain and Abel, the legen of Satan's fall from grace, the Emerald Book of Secrets, and many other Midrashim in a new narrative light. David Frampton's masterfull woodcut illustrations in full color illuminate Miriam Chaikin's charming retellings. The world she creates lives on. 118 pages, including notes and references, and books for further reading. 4to - over 9?" - 12" tall. Read more Show Less

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Overview

Where is God? What are angels? Who made them? Such questions have arisen over the ages and are answered with a type of story Jews call Midrash-Midrashim in the plural. The Hebrew word means "search and explain." The search takes place in the pages of the Bible. The explanation, the Midrash, is based on an answer found in those pages. New stories led to others, and eventually to a vast library of Midrashim. A selection of these have been woven into the stories in this book, retellings from the Book of Genesis: from Creation to the world of angels, the fall of Satan, Cain and Abel, the Emerald Book of Secrets, good King Methuselah, Noah and Naamah, and the binding of Isaac. Stunning woodcut illustrations accompany these graceful, witty stories in a book that will illuminate familiar texts in a thought-provoking and entertaining way.

Presents twenty-one stories, in a single narrative, about God's relationship with His creation, from creating angels on the second day to testing Abraham's love.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Chaikin introduces a little-known body of literature known as Midrash in this collection of stories rooted in Bible text. Midrash is translated from Hebrew as "to search and explain," and Chaikin explains that these stories have been developed by rabbis throughout history to answer the often puzzling questions raised by the Bible. Rabbis have embellished midrashim with elements of folktales and other traditional storytelling forms to make them lively and interesting. Accessible retellings of how the archangel Satan was banished from Heaven and how the angels assisted the Holy One in creating humans from "earth from the four corners of the world" cast new light on the book of Genesis, for example. While some readers may at first be uneasy with these perspectives, they will soon begin to see how each tale fits the definition of midrash: it must answer a question raised by the Bible and be based on biblical teachings. The 21 chapters make the book easy to digest in small doses, perhaps as a family read-aloud. Frampton's crisp, richly colored woodcuts have an ancient, reverential quality that complements the dramatic subject matter. Readers who go along on Chaikin's fascinating journey will not be disappointed. Ages 9-up.
Children's Literature - Judy Chernak
The esoteric for kids: Midrash are legends based on Bible stories, with a healthy dose of innovative supposition threaded through the interpretations. Traditionally, Jews believe, the Torah contains everything needed by humans: one must simply study its words, turning them in every direction and cogitating upon their plain as well as hidden meanings. Every question leads to new answers and possibilities, many of which are offered in this well-written book of stories to explain such things as: Where does God live? What are angels? Is there evil in God's plan? Why was there the great flood? Does God need us? Although many of the concepts are difficult to envision, Clouds of Glory is a mind-stretcher. Parents are advised to read it themselves or, guaranteed, they'll be floored by the questions their kids may toss at them. The colorful woodcut prints are reverently charming, and the endnotes carefully attribute which ideas and language come directly from sources and which are "author invention." A follow-up project might be to have children invent their own stories to explain things that puzzle them; in other words, create their own Midrash.
School Library Journal
The first 22 chapters of Genesis contain some of the best stories in the Bible and some tantalizing omissions. Jewish tradition has responded with Midrashim, theological scenarios created to fill in the gaps, reconcile contradictions, and add explanations to what is puzzling. Drawing on the body of Midrash, Chaikin retells the tales of Creation, the fall, Cain and Abel, Noah, Abraham, and the sacrifice of Isaac. She has added her own invention, making the angels Michael and Raziel female, and given new importance to 'The Emerald Book of Secrets' (a mystical history of heaven and earth). Some elements of Midrash can be theologically controversial; for instance, God implants "an evil urge" into the hearts of humans, and He Himself changes and learns. But for the most part, the stories are given an additional dimension by these traditions. Chaikin's language is neither formal nor vernacular, but a blend, as her project also blends the sacred and the mundane. Seven full-page woodcuts are decorative and colorful in a restrained way. Frampton's naive style and static, big-eyed figures in balanced compositions suit the text's combination of simplicity and seriousness. However, the pieces are few and far between. The result is not a picture book, but a read-aloud that will appeal to Christians and Jews interested in widening children's sense of the foundation myths of their religion. Patricia Lothrop-Green, St. George's School, Newport, RI
Horn Book Magazine
When content and format truly complement each other, the whole is indeed greater than the sum of the parts. Miriam Chaikin's retelling of Midrash stories is an example of this felicitous blending: handsomely produced, dramatically illustrated, appropriately documented, and stylishly narrated. Originating as explications of seemingly obscure biblical texts, these tales are an important and extensive literary source. The tone is set by a model introduction-readable, informative, and accessible to a wide audience. Beginning with a descriptive definition of the term Midrash, Chaikin gives clear examples of the form, couched in language that seems to reflect the tone of those long-ago rabbinical discussions when Midrashim "were used to teach the Bible and to enliven...sermons." Of interest to storytellers is the notation that these early commentators incorporated folkloric motifs and "other story elements" into their narratives. Particularly notable is Chaikin's emphasis on the elements that permit a story to be called a Midrash - "these stories obey the laws of Midrash: They are based on Bible teachings and are faithful to the sense of the original verse." The twenty-one Midrashim that follow range from accounts of the creation and the flood to the binding of Isaac. The characterization of Satan is especially memorable because he seems more a petulant-and dangerous-adolescent than the majestic dark power envisioned by Milton. Indeed, the personalities here are familiar reflections, of ourselves, and the stories underline a common bond. Specific documentation adds the appropriate scholarly touch. (See Jan Mark's "God's Story" for a different, equally eloquent presentation.)
Kirkus Reviews
With energy and verve, Chaikin ("Children's Bible Stories", 1993, etc.) retells stories about God, angels, and the creation of the world, taken from the Midrashim and other Jewish lore, from Genesis up to the sacrifice of Abraham. God is the very anthropomorphic one of the Old Testament, with feelings, regrets, and, occasionally, anger; the tales are peopled with angels who act as messengers to humankind. Chaikin names the angels Michael and Raziel as female, and tells readers about the female voice of God, the Shekinah. In the creation story, Adam and Eve are made from the dust of earth, not Eve from Adam, and other original touches abound: Satan cannot cry, for tears are a gift from God; the phoenix rises from its own ashes as a gift for its kindness on Noah's ark. Frampton's woodcut illustrations recall amber and stained glass, making memorable stories that, with their rhythm and sense of mystery, have universal appeal.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780395746547
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 3/23/1998
  • Edition description: None
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 128
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.83 (w) x 10.29 (h) x 0.72 (d)

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