The Adventures of Rabbi Harvey: A Graphic Novel of Jewish Wisdom and Wit in the Wild West

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Overview

A fresh look at Jewish folktales—wise, witty, hilarious.

After finishing school in New York, Rabbi Harvey traveled west in search of adventure and, hopefully, work as a rabbi. His journey took him to Elk Spring, Colorado, a small town in the Rocky Mountains. When he managed to outwit the ruthless gang that had been ruling Elk Spring, the people invited Harvey to stay on as the town's rabbi. In Harvey's adventures in Elk Spring, he settles disputes, tricks criminals into ...

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Overview

A fresh look at Jewish folktales—wise, witty, hilarious.

After finishing school in New York, Rabbi Harvey traveled west in search of adventure and, hopefully, work as a rabbi. His journey took him to Elk Spring, Colorado, a small town in the Rocky Mountains. When he managed to outwit the ruthless gang that had been ruling Elk Spring, the people invited Harvey to stay on as the town's rabbi. In Harvey's adventures in Elk Spring, he settles disputes, tricks criminals into confessing, and offers unsolicited bits of Talmudic insight and Hasidic wisdom. Each story presents Harvey with a unique challenge—from convincing a child that he is not actually a chicken, to retrieving stolen money from a sweet-faced bubbe gone bad. Like any good collection of Jewish folktales, these stories contain layers of humor and timeless wisdom that will entertain, teach and, especially, make you laugh.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"For every kid who ever sneaked a comic book into the synagogue, there is a new hero—Rabbi Harvey, who tamed the Old West with Jewish wisdom and humor. I'm hiding a copy of this book in my tallis bag, hoping my kids will find it!"
Rabbi Edward Feinstein, author of Tough Questions Jews Ask: A Young Adult’s Guide to Building a Jewish Life

“Rabbi Harvey tames the West with wisdom on one hip, humor on the other.”
Stan Mack, author of The Story of the Jews: A 4,000-Year Adventure—A Graphic History Book

“Sheinkin has a comedian’s flair for the ridiculous (and I mean that in a good way). That, coupled with his whimsical illustrations, makes The Adventures of Rabbi Harvey a hilarious read!”
Arie Kaplan, author of Masters of the Comic Book Universe Revealed!

“With a blend of concise illustrations and snappy banter Steve Sheinkin pioneers Jewish folklore in novel directions. A friendly starter for readers of all ages wishing to explore Judaic parables of logic and wit. A jovial read that left me smiling.”
JT Waldman, author of Megillat Esther

“Imparts so much memorable, useful and enjoyable wisdom. And you gotta love the cartoons that deliver homey Jewish Yiddishkeit in a post-modern format. Move over Aesop’s Fables, make room for Rabbi Harvey’s tales.”
Shulamit Reinharz, PhD, Brandeis University, coauthor of The JGirl’s Guide: The Young Jewish Woman’s Handbook for Coming of Age

Association of Jewish Libraries Newsletter - Susan Berson
Now, here's an unusual book, a "graphic novel of Jewish wisdom and wit" based on Jewish folktales,Hasidic legends, and Talmudic teachings—all set in a mythical Colorado shtetl in the Wild West. Kudos toauthor Steve Sheinkin for coming up with this original idea. The text—stories about honesty, hospitality,forgiveness, saving face, wisdom, and humility—is lively and humorous. The comic strip format will appeal toteens. Unfortunately, the visuals are boring, unattractive, and repetitive. It also would have been helpful to have acitation for the original tales, legends and teachings upon which each Rabbi Harvey story is based. Aside fromthe disappointing illustrations, this clever book is (to quote a Denver reporter in one of the stories) “wise, witty,and amusing,” particularly for fans of graphic novels, and a welcome change from traditional means ofconveying Jewish wisdom to kids in grades 7-12.
Detroit Free Press - David Crumm

Look! It's a bird! It's a plane! No, it's ... it's a rabbi! And right beside him, it's a black preacher with a wicked kung fu kick. And, who else? A Hispanic Catholic guy in a black leotard, shouting, "Hola!" Yes, it has come to this. The growth of diversity in religious media has hit comic books to produce -- tah dah -- new, spiritual superheroes. Suddenly, comic books are not only cool -- they're holy.

There's Rabbi Harvey of the Wild West, who tames tough towns with his Jewish humor. There's Code, a mysterious evangelist who punctuates his preaching with punches. And there's El Gato Negro (The Black Cat), who abandon's Superman's phone booths for confessional booths, so he can unburden his soul after battling with mobsters.

"Comics have come a long way in just the last 15 years, from a time when many parents didn't want their kids reading them," Bob Smethers said last week. He and his wife, Jill, own Comic City stores in Novi, Pontiac and Canton. They're planning to expand the Canton store early next year. "These days, I'm invited by librarians and teachers to give workshops on choosing good comics," Jill Smethers said.

Her husband added: "Hollywood helped a lot, too."

Big-budget movies with Batman, Spiderman, the X-men and other heroes have turned comic books into a gold mine for Hollywood. Comics are expanding so rapidly in print, on television and on the Internet that total sales figures aren't available. However, this fall, after 91 years of publishing the annual "Best American Short Stories," Houghton-Mifflin has launched a new annual series, "The Best American Comics," boiling down the thousands of new comics to an annual Top 30.

New comics, new faith

Perhaps a comedian like Adam Sandler may star someday in the movie version of "The Adventures of Rabbi Harvey" (Jewish Lights, $16.99), a 121-page graphic novel hitting bookstores this month. Unlike comic books, which usually are printed as thin magazines, graphic novels basically are long comic books that are bound like paperbacks. Rabbi Harvey author and artist Steve Sheinkin, 38, of Brooklyn, N.Y., said he isn't interested in duplicating older-style comic books like Superman. As a kid, Sheinkin said, he wasn't interested in comics.

"For me, it was later that I got interested, when I discovered things like 'Calvin and Hobbes,' " Sheinkin said. "Now, that's regarded as a classic among the newer comics." For years, Sheinkin's main income came from writing history textbooks. But, like the creators of El Gato Negro and Code, Sheinkin said his development of Rabbi Harvey was entwined with his own deepening interest in faith.

"I grew up Jewish, but Judaism didn't really start to come alive for me until I began appreciating more about the humor and wisdom in the Jewish tradition," Sheinkin said. His Rabbi Harvey is a tall, solitary figure who wanders the Wild West like Clint Eastwood, taming towns. In one story, a mob of bad guys is considering whether to hang him or shoot him. Rather than reaching for a six-shooter, Harvey peppers captors with so many clever questions that the dull-witted thugs wind up setting him free.

A black cat crosses artist's path

In Dallas, illustrator Richard Dominguez, 46, is on a similar spiritual path. He was raised Catholic, but fell away from the church until he attended a renewal program in the 1990s. As his faith deepened, he began sketching a Hispanic superhero he dubbed El Gato Negro, a cat-like persona similar to Batman in that his ability to fight crime ranges from martial arts to high-tech weapons.

"I grew up reading comics, and it always bothered me that there were never Hispanic superheroes with their own books," Dominguez said. In the 1990s, when comics weren't as hot, Dominguez self-published a handful of issues, but sales were slow. Then, earlier this year, the National Catholic Reporter ran a story about his comics and suddenly, there was renewed interest in his character.

The buzz about El Gato is strong enough, he said, that by early next year, he'll relaunch El Gato comics. Back issues can be found in some stores or through special orders. "I struggled in the past to find a market for El Gato," he said, "but things are changing for comics now."

Finding hope in the Code

That's also the assumption of California-based artist, author and TV producer Michael Davis. "I grew up in a really rotten neighborhood in Queens in New York, and my mother's doctrine was always to turn the other cheek," he said. "But I was able to watch Batman on TV, and that's when I learned to draw pictures of Batman."

Over the years, Davis -- who said he's in his 40s -- worked on cartoons, books and magazines for the Cartoon Network, DC Comics, Disney and Simon & Schuster. "And, eventually, I realized that I was guilty of creating a ton of content, a lot of which had gritty and dark themes. As I get older, I want to create things that are much more positive."

The result, which will hit stores by the end of this year, is a new group of comics featuring Christian heroes, called the Guardian Line. Davis said they're slated to appear in major bookstores nationwide. Chief among the new bimonthly comics is "Code," featuring a wealthy African-American martial artist who wakes up one day with amnesia. Since he can't recall his regular profession, Code decides to follow what he believes to be God's guidance each day.

The first edition of the new series suggests that his one-word name refers to his practice of defending the 10 Commandments in the dangerous streets of his metropolis. "The 10 Commandments are a code," he says at one point."These new comic books are set in this fictional city we call New Hope," Davis said. "It's like most big cities, with a cross section of people from all over the world living there: Chinese Americans, African Americans, Jewish people, Latinos, everybody.

"And they have all the problems that people face when they come together in any big city, except that these books will have a biblical worldview that, through a real faith in God, we can all come together and live together in peace," Davis said. "Now, you may call that just a comic book story, but that really is my vision of what this country ought to be like."

SUPERHERO FACT FILE

Name: Rabbi Harvey

Identity: Jewish.

Looks like: Poet Allen Ginsberg.

Hometown: the Wild West. Powers: Uses Jewish wisdom. Garb: Black suit, fedora and beard.

What he does: Confounds and scatters bad guys, inspires weary pioneers, avoids killing.

Typical line: "This too shall pass."

Jewish Ledger - Patricia D'Ascoli

"The Adventures of Rabbi Harvey: A Graphic Novel of Jewish Wisdom and Wit in the Wild West," by Steve Sheinkin. Jewish Lights Publishing, 123 pp. $16.99 By Patricia D'Ascoli

At first glance, the idea of a rabbi dispensing advice in the Wild West might seem a bit bizarre, but in Steve Sheinkin's collection of comics featuring the sage Rabbi Harvey, the combination works well. "The Adventures of Rabbi Harvey: A Graphic Novel of Jewish Wisdom and Wit in the Wild West" includes ten illustrated stories featuring Rabbi Harvey, an absolutely delightful character who is highly sought after for his opinions on a variety of matters by the citizens of Elk Spring, Colorado.

Sheinkin’s illustrations are intriguing. Rabbi Harvey is depicted as a heavily bearded sheriff with a thick “uni-brow” and a black cowboy hat. All of his characters are odd looking with elongated, egg-like heads which are disproportionately larger than their slender bodies, and everyone has the same eyes. Sheinkin seems to have rendered them as exaggerated types, which no doubt reflects his own quirky vision of what Jewish might look like, at least in the Wild West.

Each of Sheinkin’s tales contains a moral lesson woven within a humorous and entertaining vignette. In “There’s a New Rabbi in Town” we read of the young Rabbi Harvey’s migration west from New York City in search of a job, arriving at Elk Spring to find the town in the clutches of three ruthless outlaws: Daniel “The Lion” Levy, “Big Milt” Wasserman and Moses “Matzah Man” Goldwater. The clever Rabbi outsmarts the outlaws three times before Big Milt realizes he has been outwitted by Harvey, and he and his cohorts make the wise decision to leave town. The townspeople are delighted to have Harvey stay and be their spiritual leader.

In “Meet Rabbi Harvey” the Rabbi uses his highly developed powers of interpretation to ensure that the candle maker’s family is not cheated out of his hard earned money by an unscrupulous merchant. A heartwarming story called “Bearded Chicken” shows us Rabbi Harvey’s compassion and understanding of one family’s peculiar problem with their son who insists that he is a chicken. To rectify the problem, Rabbi Harvey must also play the role of chicken by getting naked and joining the child under the table where they both peck for bread crumbs! Gradually Harvey engages the boy in human behavior until he is able to finally abandon his fowl mentality altogether and join the world of people again.

Throughout each of the stories (which will appeal to readers both young and old) Sheinkin gives us a slice of Jewish wisdom with a large dollop of humor. When he is not solving problems or administering justice, Rabbi Harvey can be seen singing old cowboy songs or ruminating on the strength of famous Biblical characters (If Moses and Abraham had a boxing match, who would win? Abraham would have more power, I feel, but Moses would be so scrappy…). Of course, as a child, Harvey was a daydreamer, and he loved to imagine himself in all of the great Bible stories.

Harvey has the extraordinary ability to settle disputes and solve riddles in a unique way. In “Rabbi Harvey: Human Scale” a reporter comes from Denver to interview the rabbi, whom he nicknames The Human Scale, based on Harvey’s famous ability to listen to two sides of any dispute, weigh the evidence and come up with a fair judgment. Harvey relates examples of several diplomatic ways he has solved problems within the community which in his words, would not result in publicly humiliating anyone. The rabbi is, after all, a very clever and intuitive man. His intellect is most evident in “Stump the Rabbi” where for a nickel the citizens of Elk Spring can ask Harvey questions (in an effort to win a free pie if he does not know the answer). Harvey fires back witty one-liners:

Citizen: “How will I know when I’ve finally become a wise man?”

Harvey: “You’ll know you are wise when you can learn something from a fool.”

Citizen: “How can I ever live up to the example set by great men like Moses?”

Harvey: “I sometimes have the same concern, but I look at it this way. In the world to come, I will not be asked, 'Why weren’t you Moses?’ But I might be asked, 'Why weren’t you Harvey?’”

It seems we can all learn something from the wise and witty Rabbi Harvey.

grovel.org.uk Source for Graphic Novels

The Wild West seems a strange setting for a rabbi, unless you're graphic novelist Steve Sheinkin. Brought up on a mixed literary diet of cowboys and Jewish folk tales, melding the two is exactly what he’s done in The Adventures of Rabbi Harvey.

Heading for Colorado in the 1870s, Harvey is forced to use his wit and wisdom to rid a frontier town of a ruthless gang of thugs. The people of the town persuade him to stay on and become both sheriff and local rabbi, teaching the townsfolk a thingtwo about themselves in a wise but humorous way as he goes about his duties.

The Adventures of Rabbi Harvey is available in some retailers now (including Amazon - see links to the right) but should get wider distribution into book shops during November.

The Jewish Eye - Israel Drazin

This is the first in a so-far three volume series of humorous tales told with cartoon-type graphics. The hero of the tales is Rabbi Harvey the old-style bearded rabbi and sometimes sheriff in the 1880s, in Elk Spring, Colorado, in the Old West, in a city that seems to be inhabited by Jews, since no non-Jews appear in the tales. There are ten stories in this first volume that are based on old Jewish humorous and morality tales that appear in such places as the Talmud and Chassidic lore. Some of the ten tales are composed of several stories stitched together, as when Rabbi Harvey tells a reporter of many instances where he cleverly resolved disputes and the story about when the rabbi took a trip and had no place to eat or spend the Shabbat.

The stories have the same punch lines as appears in their source, but the graphics, settings, and the frequent added witticisms that Sheinkin inserts add humor. Frankly, I am familiar with the originals of all the ten stories but I still found them enjoyable because of the Sheinkin additions and the quaint way that Rabbi Harvey acts. It is also funny to see how Sheinkin pictures the saintly rabbi. His eyebrows are thick and connected and seem like a ribbon across his forehead.

In one of the tales, Sheinkin shows how Rabbi Harvey first came to Elk Spring and defeated the criminal gang leader "Big Milt" Wasserman, who threatened young Rabbi Harvey: "Tell me something about yourself. If it's true, we'll shoot you. If it's a lie, we'll hang you." There are also stories about how the rabbi cured a boy who was convinced that he was a chicken and acted as this bird, how he proved to a woman that a person is wiser if he is not handsome, and others.

STYLE: Richmond Alternative - Valley Haggard

When a friend of New York author Joanna Hershon casually mentioned one afternoon at a barbecue that his ancestors were Jewish cowboys and his great-grandmother was a famous ghost who haunted a hotel in Santa Fe, N.M., Hershon knew she'd struck gold for her next novel. She quickly reached a dead end when researching her friend’s ancestors, but became immersed in a world she hadn’t explored before, going down what she called a rabbit hole of Jewish pioneers in America. "I’ve always been fascinated by the American West and also the Jewish Diaspora. So this seemed like the perfect story for me to explore," Hershon says. “I was interested in the contrast of this lawless place and what I knew to be a German Jewish culture that was very elevated.”

The harrowing and exquisite journey of young Eva Frank, the heroine of Hershon’s third novel, “The German Bride,” took shape as Hershon asked herself why financially well-off and educated women left the comfort of the Old World for an unknown quantity across the sea. “I bet there were some women who weren’t entirely thrilled about what they found,” she says. “Certainly for that time it wasn’t what they were used to — it was a primitive society in a lot of ways.”

Although the number of Jews that emigrated from Berlin to Santa Fe in 1865 is what Hershon calls “an almost comically esoteric small group of people,” Eva’s struggle to make peace with her past, to create a home, and to carve out happiness from heartbreak is universal. Her quest can’t be satisfied within the confines of a love affair or the borders of a country, and it’s this deep dissatisfaction that pushes her farther west, propelling the novel forward like a runaway stage coach. “I’m very interested in flawed people, in how people sabotage their own happiness,” Hershon says. “But I’m also interested in people who never give up in searching for that happiness.”

Steve Sheinkin lives in Brooklyn, but his main character, Rabbi Harvey, lives in a fictional town in the Rocky Mountains called Elk Spring, Colo. It’s the mid-1870s, times are tough and even cowboys need a little Talmudic wisdom to settle their disputes. Because nobody could pigeonhole a graphic novel about Jews in the Wild West, it took 10 years and countless rejections before Sheinkin found a publisher for “The Adventures of Rabbi Harvey: A Graphic Novel of Jewish Wisdom and Wit in the Wild West.” But once he did, “Rabbi Harvey Rides Again: A Graphic Novel of Jewish Folktales Let Loose in the Wild West” followed on its heels.

“My family lived in Colorado when I was a kid for a little while and the imagery must have stayed with me,” says Sheinkin, who also has written history books for children called “King George: What Was His Problem?” and “Two Miserable Presidents.”

“At first the idea of Jews in the Wild West seems like a punch line,” he says. “But the more research I did, the less fictional it seemed.”

To create his hilarious yet subtle comics that deal with everything from a boy believing he’s a chicken to thieving grannies, Sheinkin adapted the teachings of the Talmud, Jewish folktales and Hasidic wisdom to the wild and woolly times of the saloon and the gold digger. “I write all the dialogue and the jokes are personal,” he says. “I try not to change what’s rich and traditional about the stories in terms of the wisdom, but it always bothered me that they set it up but didn’t take advantage of the chance for a joke.”

“I’m always afraid people will ask me what he’ll do,” Sheinkin says. “But I’m not a rabbi, nor do I have 4,000 years of wisdom at my fingertips. Rabbi Harvey gets to be all of these great rabbis rolled into one.”

SpiritScholars Blog

Some surprises popped up when the Detroit Free Press published its 10th annual Top 10 List of Best Spiritual Books of the Year, this weekend. Among the significant "firsts" this year: Two of the Top 10 were graphic novels and one of them was a cookbook -- well, actually a work of literary art masquerading as a cookbook.

Well, for Spirit Scholars readers who already caught the Free Press version of this list, we'd like to add a little more VALUE to your reading here by adding an 11th book that we think should have been an Honorable Mention this year. That's Steve Sheinkin's amazing graphic novel, "The Adventures of Rabbi Harvey."

Sheinkin's profession to date has focused mainly on writing history textbooks, but he has a blossoming passion for Judaism and a mischievous desire to push his literary boundaries. The result was this wry, wise, constantly surprising graphic novel about a tenacious rabbi who helps to tame the wild west with his wits rather than his six-shooters. This is Clint Eastwood's "Man with No Name" reinvented to reflect the religious diversity of the new millennium.

We're thrilled, here at Spirit Scholars, to be living in an era when a major U.S. newspaper like the Free Press has felt compelled for 10 years in a row to help readers sort out a Top 10 list in this burgeoning genre. And we're pleased that artists and writers continue to find new ways to explore

NewsaRama.com Graphic Novel Website - Jeff Marsick

It's amazing what trolling the graphic novel section of the local library will catch these days. As a for instance, I proudly bring this little number to your attention.

Rabbi Harvey is the functional wise man in the fictional town of Elk Spring, Colorado, back in the days when the west was wild. Through this collection of short adventures we are exposed to Jewish folktales and Hasidic legends, all in a place where high noon isn’t a slapping of leather, rather a matching of wits with the clever and Solomon-esque Rabbi. My favorite is the opening parable where we meet the Rabbi for the first time and the way he deftly handles a would-be swindler.

Now, when it comes to lessons of morality, I’m usually not very quick on the uptake (I’ve been known to have "AHA!" moments of realization several months after the fact, and usually in places where silence is golden and my outburst is not). Fortunately (for me), the writing in this graphic novel is very clever with a simplicity that isn’t preachy. It’s also laugh-out-loud funny, with sly humor reminiscent of the fantastic Bone series. The artwork is plain and unfussy, which is great because it allows the story train to roll unimpeded, yet there are well-executed expressions that add a dash of panache to the humor and a decibel to the guffaws.

One question I’m sure people will ask is about how religious the book is. Personally, I usually bristle when reading a book spawned from theology for I like my folktales as a solo entrée without a side helping of hellfire and brimstone. Mr. Sheinkin, however, delivers a book that is just about the stories, providing exposure to the Jewish culture, without it being a sermon or a recruiting effort. Sure, the Bible is mentioned, as is God (it’s hard to have a story about a Rabbi without their mention) but they are only in passing as minor characters, never in a Thou Shalt kind of way. My favorite line comes when a boy questions how ugliness such as the Civil War, slavery, and stealing land from the Indians could occur in this country. “Where was God?” he asks the Rabbi. “Where were people?” is the Rabbi’s wise response.

This book is appropriate for all ages. I think young children who enjoy fairy tales will enjoy and understand this book just as much as an adult will. Every reader can come away from the experience not only satisfied with the entertainment but also with a modicum of appreciation for the Jewish culture.

I give this book an A.

LIBRARYJOURNAL.COM - Susan L. Wakefield

A hero has arrived in Elk Spring, CO, to rid the town of outlaws, solve crimes, and offer sage advice. Using only his mind, he's lightening-fast with wisdom. In ten stories based on traditional Jewish folktales, Rabbi Harvey—a man who loves baseball and a good meal—makes his mark on the American frontier. Harvey outsmarts "Big Milt" Wasserman, the smartest, toughest guy in the West, in "There's a New Rabbi in Town." Other stories include "Stump the Rabbi" and "Bad Bubbe." Illustrations are black and white with splashes of background color; the simple drawings allow the witty banter to come through loud and clear. While reading, this reviewer expected to hear the rim shot at the end of the jokes—"tata, thum." There is nonsexual nudity in "Rabbi Harvey: Bearded Chicken," when the rabbi convinces a boy that he can still be a chicken and wear clothes. Regardless of one's religious or cultural background, Rabbi Harvey has insight to pass on to everyone. A list of suggested readings is included. A good selection for school and public libraries. Appropriate for ages eight to adult.

Publishers Weekly
Sheinkin's tales of Rabbi Harvey, wisest rebbe in the Wild West, are not quite the fish-out-of-water yarns you might expect. That's mainly because, despite the setting (the fictitious town of Elk Spring, Colo., circa 1870), nearly everyone he encounters is also a Jew; one verifiable gentile appears in the whole book. Transplanting Talmudic wisdom and Jewish folktales into the Old West without a sense of cultural contrast lessens some of the obvious humor. Luckily, Harvey himself is such a genial character and these stories are so timeless that the book's central conceit is rendered a moot point. While morality can be a tough pill to swallow, Harvey's adventures are so much fun you hardly realize you're learning anything until it's too late. Harvey is always on his toes, and in the tradition of great Jewish humor, self-deprecating one-liners and deadpan delivery abound as do jokes about food. The stories are told in a standard comic-strip format, and the cartoonish art is endearing without being the least bit adventurous (experiments in wood-grain illustration notwithstanding). Kids of all ages will love Harvey's sugary wisdom and wit. (Aug.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
VOYA - Abbe Goldberg
The stories told by Sheinkin are more for young children learning life lessons than for young adults who want a fun read. The book, though about a Rabbi, is not solely for Jewish readers but for anyone who likes a good moral. The stories were cute and enjoyable enough and the illustrations, although simple, were also nice. There is nothing spectacular about this book but there is nothing horrible about it either.
VOYA - Ed Goldberg
The wisdom of Jewish rabbis of old and their study of the nuances in Biblical scholarly Jewish works are widely known. Rabbi Harvey is no exception. In ten short tales, he imparts the wisdom of Solomon in the wild-west Colorado town of Elk Spring. He outsmarts ruthless outlaws, talks to trees, and figures out how to get a free meal in a strange town. For example, Nathan, working in a far-off town, entrusts a bag of gold coins for his wife to a traveling salesman. He drafts an agreement to ensure that the money gets home. Signed by the salesman, the agreement states he can give her "as much of the money as you want." Stupidity or devilish cunning? Dissatisfied with the one dollar given her by the greedy salesman, they plead their case before Rabbi Harvey, who interprets the agreement as saying that if the salesman "wants" $99, then that is the amount he must give the wife. Case closed. This graphic novel is a book of cute, smile-inducing stories. Easy to read, they are just the right length and mostly predictable. But that is not a detriment. The drawing is primitive, in shades of black and brown, enhancing but not overpowering the stories. Each story has a point, and some offer life lessons. There is very little Jewish stereotyping and few "Jewish jokes." Take a chance with this humorous read for children and adults alike. A useful list of suggested further reading about Jewish tales is included.
KLIATT - Jennifer Feigelman
Ten different tales introduce the reader to the immensely likeable Rabbi Harvey, a newcomer to the town of Elk Spring, Colorado. Throughout the stories, he helps characters come to resolutions with great wisdom and much humor. In "The Juice Princess," a young girl asks the rabbi why he is so wise but "not very handsome." He asks her why her father, the juice king, does not keep his juice in a gold pitcher. When she goes home and pours all of her father's juice into a golden pitcher, it rots. In "Bad Bubbe," Rabbi Harvey helps a traveling wine merchant identify a thief, by calling the robber out on his greed. Sheinkin has crafted a truly excellent tome that people of any faith will enjoy. The stories' appeal and wisdom are timeless and universal. Harvey's character is extremely accessible to readers, with many funny one-liners. Children, teens and adults who enjoy moralistic stories with a humorous tone will cherish this work. With earth-toned art and strangely amiable characters, even the toughest reader will find something to enjoy in this gem. This is an excellent choice for any collection.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781580233101
  • Publisher: Jewish Lights Publishing
  • Publication date: 7/1/2006
  • Series: Rabbi Harvey Series
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 123
  • Age range: 8 - 14 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.96 (w) x 6.00 (h) x 0.41 (d)

Meet the Author

Steve Sheinkin is the writer and illustrator of The Adventures of Rabbi Harvey: A Graphic Novel of Jewish Wisdom and Wit in the Wild West, for which he won Moment Magazine's Emerging Writer Award in children's literature; Rabbi Harvey Rides Again: A Graphic Novel of Jewish Folktales Let Loose in the Wild West; and Rabbi Harvey vs. the Wisdom Kid: A Graphic Novel of Dueling Jewish Folktales in the Wild West.
Steve Sheinkin is available to speak on the following topics:

  • Drawing Comics
  • Graphic Novels
  • Jewish Folktales
  • Jewish Wisdom
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Table of Contents

Introduction v
1 Meet Rabbi Harvey 1
2 Rabbi Harvey: Bearded Chicken 14
3 The Juice Princess 27
4 Rabbi Harvey: Human Scale 32
5 There's a New Rabbi in Town 50
6 One Hungry Rabbi 66
7 Forgive Me, Rabbi 77
8 You're a Brave Man, Harvey 88
9 Stump the Rabbi 103
10 Bad Bubbe 108
Suggestions for Further Reading 123

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 5 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(4)

4 Star

(1)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

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1 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 20, 2008

    I liked it, I really liked it.

    I am not in general a fan of graphic novels, except for Art Spiegelman's phenomenal Maus, but I really enjoyed Rabbi Harvey and hope that it becomes an ongoing series.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 9, 2006

    Unholster your wit ...

    A great book to curl up with filled with deliciously stylized drawings, dry wit and perfectly paced mini- morality tales. Its genius lies in the indea of an unpreposessing neophyte Rabbi taming the West--and fending off disaster-- with only his wisecracks and Talmudic wisdom. Great for adults and kids. And great for those of any faith or no faith.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 19, 2006

    A Delightful Read

    I just finished reading Rabbi Harvey and can't wait to read about his next adventures. This is a charming book with delightful illustrations. Its wit, wisdom, and humor will appeal to people of all faiths. Don't miss it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 5, 2011

    highly recommend

    Funny and filled with wisdom. My son enjoyed the entire series. I buy them as gifts now for others.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 11, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews

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