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The Power of Song: And Other Sephardic Tales
     

The Power of Song: And Other Sephardic Tales

by Rita Roth, Alexa Ginsburg (Illustrator)
 

From Hanina, the daughter of a Jewish tailor who cures a sultan’s only child by taming a lioness to get her milk, to Nahum Bilbas, the brave rabbi-in-training who dares to confront the great warrior El Cid in order to secure peace for the Jews of Valencia, the folktales in this delightful collection contain lessons, truths, surprises, and happy endings. To

Overview

From Hanina, the daughter of a Jewish tailor who cures a sultan’s only child by taming a lioness to get her milk, to Nahum Bilbas, the brave rabbi-in-training who dares to confront the great warrior El Cid in order to secure peace for the Jews of Valencia, the folktales in this delightful collection contain lessons, truths, surprises, and happy endings. To add to the reader’s enjoyment and understanding, each story is accompanied by Roth’s own commentary on its origin and meaning and a definition of some of the foreign words that appear in the tale. The author’s introduction gives a special insight into the history of Jewish folktales and specifically those of the Sephardic Jews. When the Jews fled the Iberian Peninsula in 1492 and scattered all over Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East, they took with them the folktales that had become an integral part of their unique heritage. As they settled into their new homelands, they borrowed many of the literary devices and motifs from their adopted countries and added a unique flavor to the traditional Jewish story.

Editorial Reviews

Wisconsin Jewish Chronicle
"The stories are the perfect centerpiece for family storytelling . . . readers are taken on a ride through Jewish Mediterranean history."—Wisconsin Jewish Chronicle
National Jewish Post & Opinion
"This book is wonderful reading for young adults and adults to expand their knowledge of Sephardic culture."—National Jewish Post & Opinion
Children's Literature - Denise Daley
Folktales have been universally embraced for many years. People of nearly every culture tell such stories to preserve their heritage and to teach others. This book is a collection of Jewish tales retold by Rita Roth. Most of the stories were originated by Sephardim Jews who chose to flee their homeland rather than be forced to convert to Christianity. The original authors of these ancient stories integrated aspects of their new lands into the tales. Most of the stories teach traditional values of the Jewish people. At the end of each story, the author briefly explains where the tale originated and describes how she, while preserving it as much as possible, has adapted it. The stories are entertaining as well as edifying. A simple black-and-white illustration precedes each story. Some of the story titles are "The Ivory Flute," "The Body Parts," and "The Vengeful Queen." A glossary at the end of the book will help readers to better understand unfamiliar terms. Reviewer: Denise Daley

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780827608443
Publisher:
The Jewish Publication Society
Publication date:
07/30/2007
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
150
Sales rank:
1,363,309
Product dimensions:
7.00(w) x 10.00(h) x 0.50(d)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

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