Keeping the Promise: A Torah's Journey

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
The Torah—the sacred scriptures of the Jews—has traveled the world in the hands of its faithful adherents; and in this book it also travels into space, as one of the personal items taken aboard the space shuttle Columbia by Israel's first astronaut, Ilan Ramon. A miniature scroll, small enough to fit into a coat pocket, it began its journey in the possession of a Dutch Rabbi, Simon Dasburg. During the Nazi occupation of Holland, he smuggled it into the concentration camp to which he was deported. From him it moved into the possession of a thirteen-year-old boy at his clandestine Bar Mitzvah in the Bergen Belsen concentration camp. The rabbi died there, but the boy survived and grew up to be scientist Joachim Joseph, who designed an experiment that also went aboard the Columbia. The experiment, the Torah, and Ilan Ramon all perished with his crewmates when the Columbia disintegrated upon reentry into the United States. One fervently wishes they all could have survived. A wonderful, true tale of chance, continuity, and love graced with pictures that are spare but not overly frightening for this age group. 2003, Kar-Ben, and Ages 7 to 10.
—Judy Chernak
School Library Journal
Gr 1-5-A Dutch rabbi named Simon Dasberg carried a tiny Torah scroll with him wherever he went. He even carried it with him to Bergen-Belsen. There, he carried out a Bar Mitzvah for a 13-year-old boy in the concentration camp. He gave the tiny Torah scroll to him as a gift, commanding him to keep it and always tell the story. It was this very scroll that was taken into space by Israeli astronaut Ilan Ramon aboard the ill-fated Columbia. His inspiring words were "This little Sefer Torah in particular shows the ability of the Jewish people to survive everything, even the darkest of times, and to always look forward with hope and faith for the future." This book belongs on the shelves of Hebrew day schools and synagogue libraries nationwide. Paired with Barbara Sofer's Ilan Ramon: Israel's Space Hero (Kar-Ben, 2004), it will give students insight into a true hero's journey as well as a lesson in history and humanity. Orback's full-page oil paintings tell a story in themselves; while some tend to be on the dark side, they are in keeping with the tone of the presentation.-Sandra Kitain, Abrams Hebrew Academy, Yardley, PA Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781580131179
  • Publisher: Kar-Ben Publishing
  • Publication date: 1/1/2004
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 6 - 10 Years
  • Product dimensions: 10.10 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 0.30 (d)

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