The Waiting Wall

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Sara Rofofsky Marcus
The prose of this book extols the beauty and magnificence of the Western Wall in Jerusalem. Geared specifically to Jewish children, the work uses many terms and phrases that are understood only by Jewish children, often by only Orthodox Jewish children. The transliterated Hebrew is not the pronunciation used in Israel today—i.e., Kosel instead of Kotel—which can cause confusion even for those familiar with the context and terms used in the book. The illustrations and content of the book are appropriate and bring awareness to those Jews in exile of the Western Wall and the experience of visiting the Wall, particularly as a young child. This book might be of use in a yeshiva—Jewish day school—setting, or a synagogue library, but otherwise would not be suitable for the general public due to the terminology used. Despite a short glossary at the start of the book, readers may still be confused by the unfamiliar transliteration and use of unfamiliar words. Reviewer: Sara Rofofsky Marcus
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 3—The text describes the experience of visiting the Western Wall in Jerusalem: "You will move past the others toward the Kosel [Wall], and there it will be, waiting for you." An unnamed boy and girl are shown in each illustration, acting as avatars for readers. The pace of the story is calm and thoughtfully poetic as it describes the physical space, the behavior of visitors ("Some cry because they are happy. Some cry because they are sad"), the plant and animal life that thrives among the stones, and the notes for God people leave in the Wall's cracks. The story ends on a hopeful note as it imagines the joy the Wall's visitors will feel when the Messiah comes. The Wall dominates each illustration, but changes in perspective maintain interest. The soft, warm colors of Jerusalem stone infuse each spread with light. The book is for an Orthodox Jewish audience, and Hebrew vocabulary (Ashkenazi pronunciation) is used within the text without explanation. However, a short glossary is included, and an adult reading the book to non-Orthodox children can easily substitute words or pronunciations. This is a gentle yet powerful meditation that makes the Jewish feeling for the Western Wall accessible to children, and the strong sense of place makes it an excellent virtual field trip.—Heidi Estrin, Feldman Children's Library at Congregation B'nai Israel, Boca Raton, FL
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781929628490
  • Publisher: Hachai Publishing
  • Publication date: 8/1/2009
  • Pages: 30
  • Age range: 3 - 6 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.70 (w) x 11.20 (h) x 0.30 (d)

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