Tales for the Seventh Day: A Collection of Sabbath Stories

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
An inspired storyteller and researcher, Jaffe (The Mysterious Visitor: Stories of the Prophet Elijah) delivers seven tales, each tied into the Jewish Sabbath but reflective of different cultures and times and of different moods. Jews from a range of backgrounds as well as non-Jews will appreciate her careful introduction outlining the concepts of Shabbat; within the body of the collection, too, there is something for everyone. The daughter of a Sephardic family matches wits with a clever nobleman (their contest ends with a happy marriage); the simple-minded Mottke, sent to buy a chicken for the Sabbath meal, returns with a glass of water and a long explanation. More serious stories include a tale from Ethiopia that can be traced to the Babylonian Talmud, about a laborer rewarded for his steadfast faith and hard work, and an entry about a devout girl who finds herself the guest of the Sabbath Queen. Jaffe is adept at creating diverse settings, and her prose, while highly polished, has the immediacy of oral presentation. Concise source notes as well as a glossary and an extensive bibliography can help readers adapt this lively work to a variety of uses. Ages 8-12. (Sept.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
Children's Literature
An informative essay about the customs and spiritual significance of the Jewish Sabbath introduces seven welltold stories. Three of the stories, "The Sabbath Spice," "King David and the Spider," and "Yusef and the Sabbath Stone," are familiar favorites to Jewish audiences. "Mottke's Chicken" is a Jewish version of the English "Lazy Jack" tale. "The Riddle and the Kiss" is an intriguing Spanish romance about a clever girl who outwits a young nobleman. "Leah's Journey" describes a girl who takes a mystical journey to the home of the Sabbath Queen. "The Most Important Day" is a creation tale derived from Genesis. All of the stories convey the sense of sacred Sabbath time eXplained so eloquently in the introduction. Since Jewish tales are frequently dominated by male characters, the inclusion of two stories with female protagonists is a welcome plus. Augmented by complete story notes and an eXtensive bibliography, this book will serve Jewish families looking to enrich their Sabbath eXperience. NonJewish readers will appreciate the fairy tale nature of these stories and gain a deeper understanding of Jewish culture. 2000, Scholastic, $15.95. Ages 7 to 12. Reviewer: Jackie Hechtkopf <%ISBN%> 0590120549
School Library Journal
Gr 3-7-These selections, which have all been drawn from the Talmud, resemble other types of world folklore. They include the riddle tale, the humble honest person, the noodlehead, and the magical journey. Unlike general folklore, all are situated within the tradition and celebration of the Sabbath. In "The Most Important Day," the days of the week squabble over which one is the most important. At last, the seventh gently interrupts the fighting by drawing the days into a circle and singing: "Bless the seventh day and keep it holy. For it was on my day that the world received the gift of peace and rest, shalom v'minucha." In "Sabbath Spice," the King of Persia learns that even using the same ingredients, no food could taste as delicious as that which is made for the Sabbath meal. In "A Riddle and a Kiss," a gardener's daughter marries the king's son by besting him in an informal riddle contest. An appealing, colorful collage graces the cover of the book and an evocative charcoal sketch introduces each story. Jaffe successfully draws readers into "the world of peace, magic, adventure, and harmony that is part of the spirit and ritual of the Sabbath day."-Marcia W. Posner, Holocaust Memorial and Educational Center of Nassau County, Glen Cove, NY Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780590120548
  • Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
  • Publication date: 9/28/2000
  • Pages: 73
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Lexile: 910L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 6.32 (w) x 9.33 (h) x 0.52 (d)

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 21, 2002

    We love this book!

    We love to sit and read stories from this book as we wait for Shabbat to approach. Such a great transition from an ordinary day to a holy day. We read these stories again and again.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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