With a Mighty Hand: The Story in the Torah
  • With a Mighty Hand: The Story in the Torah
  • With a Mighty Hand: The Story in the Torah

With a Mighty Hand: The Story in the Torah

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by Amy Ehrlich
     
 

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Amy Ehrlich retains the beauty, drama, and mystery of the Torah in this unique adaptation, gorgeously illustrated with paintings by Daniel Nevins.

The Torah is the first five books of the Hebrew Bible, which Christians call the Old Testament. It tells the story of the beginning of the Jewish people and their relationship with God. From Adam and Eve to the

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Overview

Amy Ehrlich retains the beauty, drama, and mystery of the Torah in this unique adaptation, gorgeously illustrated with paintings by Daniel Nevins.

The Torah is the first five books of the Hebrew Bible, which Christians call the Old Testament. It tells the story of the beginning of the Jewish people and their relationship with God. From Adam and Eve to the first patriarch, Abraham, to Moses, who led his people to the promised land, the stories in the Torah have been studied and revered since it was first written down nearly 3,000 years ago. Now in this glorious volume, Amy Ehrlich crafts an authentic, lyrical adaptation that is presented as a continuous narrative, one that honors the complexities of the original text. Daniel Nevins’s richly hued paintings bring the ancient wonders of the Torah to resonant life, making this truly a gift to savor, share, and treasure.
Back matter includes notes, and a bibliography, and an artist’s note..

Including:
an author’s introduction a genealogy of the Torah a map of the region annotated endnotes a bibliography an artist’s note

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Editorial Reviews

The New York Times Book Review - Taffy Brodesser-Akner
It's a beautiful book to look at; Daniel Nevins's paintings are lively and provocative…it would have been nice, growing up, to have a volume like With a Mighty Hand: visually pleasing and stripped of confusing matter that could threaten any child's understanding, attention span and ultimate captivation. With a Mighty Hand is a great transitional Torah—something between an illustrated book of Bible stories for children and the full heft of the actual Five Books of Moses, still told in its own words, on its own terms, making what was once intimidating palatable.
Publishers Weekly
In this concise and engaging adaptation of the Hebrew Bible, Ehrlich takes the Five Books of Moses and squeezes the essential portions into a comparatively slim volume. Beginning with the story of Creation and continuing through Moses’ death at the end of Deuteronomy, Ehrlich (The Girl Who Wanted to Dance) takes portions of the Torah and summarizes them, using biblical language and cadence. Paintings by Nevins, illustrating his first book, accompany the story, and his saturated colors and flat forms make the paintings appropriately sacral and dreamy. Although Genesis and Exodus are recounted in significant detail, the entire book of Leviticus, which deals with the priestly offerings, consists of only 10 pages, and the last two books are also communicated in few pages. Ehrlich’s gift-friendly abridgment will appeal to readers interested in learning the Bible’s story without the interest or patience to wade through its complexity, or who may prefer to contemplate the striking art. All ages. Author’s agent: Joe Spieler, the Spieler Agency. (Aug.)
From the Publisher
So beautiful and new. Ehrlich’s transcendent verse . . . renders these familiar stories as shocking, perplexing and remarkably compelling — just as they always have been.
—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

[V]eteran writer Ehrlich has taken on a mammoth job — and she handles it impressively. ... Although the language is adapted for young people, and the more legalistic books, like Deuteronomy, are shortened, the stories remain intact, and nothing is sugarcoated. The dramatic nature of the stories demands impressive artwork, and Nevins provides it. The full-page pictures, mostly colored in the hues of desert sands and skies, feature sturdy characters, almost as if, like Adam, they’re molded from clay. Much care has been taken with the book’s dignified design. This version of the Torah will elicit thousands of questions, as it always has.
—Booklist (starred review)

[Ehrlich] has ... [broken] up the detailed text and giv[en] it more appeal to young people. Yet the integrity of the biblical tales, the sacred feel of the text, and the flow of ancient history remain intact. .... Nevins’s handsome, richly colored oil on wood paintings, freely scattered throughout the pages, range in style from graphic renderings of the burning bush to a surrealist depiction of Jacob wrestling with God. ... This beautifully executed adaptation deserves strong consideration for Judaica and public library collections.
—School Library Journal (starred review)

A child poring over these handsomely designed pages, made vivid with Daniel Nevins's autumn-toned paintings, will get a sense of the importance of lineage and ceremony in the Jewish faith without having to struggle through complicated dietary laws or confusing lists of "begats."
—The Wall Street Journal

Ehrlich succeeds admirably in an ambitious effort to "write a version of the Torah" by teasing out the narrative thread of Yahweh’s covenant with Israel and following it "through thickets of genealogy, law, and ritual." ... Beautiful craftsmanship makes this an excellent title for gift giving, but consider it also as a wonderful selection for young people who would like to reconnect their scriptural puzzle pieces into one vibrant picture.
—Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

This is not your typical children’s illustrated Bible. Veteran author Amy Ehrlich’s With A Mighty Hand elevates the genre for all ages. Ehrlich retells the five books of Moses in language that is poetic, rhythmic, sophisticated, and accessible. The beauty of the words is matched by the stunning illustrations, each one a midrash on the texts. This Torah adaptation is a treasure!
—Cantor Angela W. Buchdahl, Central Synagogue, New York, NY

With a Mighty Hand is incredibly moving. The love and respect and joy that went into its making from the author and the artist and everyone involved just rises off the page. Truly, the book invites the reader into a pause, a hush, and an entirely awesome kind of journey. This is Candlewick magic at its finest.
—Gigi Amateau, author of Come August, Come Freedom

[A] beautiful book to look at: Daniel Nevins's paintings are lively and provocative. I've never seen a more arresting manifestation of Jacob's all-night wrestling match; I looked at the rainbow illustration of the burning bush for a full minute before turning the page. ... [I]t would have been nice, growing up, to have a volume like 'With a Mighty Hand': visually pleasing and stripped of confusing matter that could threaten any child's understanding, attention span and ultimate captivation. 'With a Mighty Hand' is a great transitional Torah — something between an illustrated book of Bible stories for children and the full heft of the actual Five Books of Moses, still told in its own words, on its own terms, making what was once intimidating palatable.
—The New York Times Book Review

This is a beautiful example of fine bookmaking, from the embossed dust jacket to the thick, lush pages, wide margins and golden design at the corner of every page.
—Greensboro News & Record

With a Mighty Hand retells the stories in the Bible illustrated with expressive, richly colored paintings by Daniel Nevins. ... Each Parasha is described clearly and concisely making the Torah and ancient Jewish history more understandable to the young reader. The essence of each of the Torah personalities is eloquently presented and clearly communicated, resulting in a greater understanding of Jewish heritage.
—Jewish Book World

Children's Literature - Lois Rubin Gross
It is a daunting task to rewrite the Torah, the first five books of the Hebrew Bible, in accessible language, with a somewhat logical progression of events, and still maintain elegance in the finished product. Amy Erlich has done all of this in blank verse that creates its own storytelling flow and style. This is not a collection of Biblical stories for children as we have known them in the past. This book retains the sense of God, not as a beneficent being but as a vengeful and often petulant deity. He is also omnipotent and manipulative. Pharaoh does not harden his heart; God does it so that he is driven to persecute the Hebrew slaves. There is a plan in place and, rather than displaying the free will we are told we have, God is instrumental in bringing world destruction, the exile and forty years of wandering of the Jewish people, and the rewards for those who follow edicts unquestioningly. This is not a sanitized Torah. The rape of Dinah and the horror of the plagues are spelled out. Ehrlich is also consistent in her use of "Yahweh" (credited to the "J" version of the Bible). She accurately translates "You shall not kill" as "You shall not murder." The appearance of the book adds to its grandeur. From the illuminated script of the cover through the rich paintings throughout, the scrolled page detail, and the pictures (paint on wood which adds depth and style) you will be awed by the artwork. The characters are authentically Sephardic. Front matter includes a map of the Biblical Middle East and a genealogy. Back matter is commentary on the text and gives brief, if illuminating explanations of difficult passages. An excellent addition to any religious library. Reviewer: Lois Rubin Gross
School Library Journal
★ 10/01/2013
Gr 7 Up—In shortened, modernized prose format, Ehrlich retells the five books of the Torah as a collection of stories that relate the history of the Israelites and their relationship to Yahweh (their God). She has divided the books of Genesis and Exodus by topic and titled each story in all five books, breaking up the detailed text and giving it more appeal to young people. Yet the integrity of the biblical tales, the sacred feel of the text, and the flow of ancient history remain intact. For example, in the tales of Adam and the patriarchs, the genealogical listings of the generations in each lineage and the ages of the major characters at various junctures in their lives and at death have been included as they appear in the Torah. These stories are not without the violence that is part of the Old Testament, such as the sexual assault on Jacob and Leah's daughter, Dinah, by the Canaanite Shechem and the subsequent slaughter and looting of his brethren by her brothers. Nevins's handsome, richly colored oil on wood paintings, freely scattered throughout the pages, range in style from graphic renderings of the burning bush to a surrealist depiction of Jacob wrestling with God. There is a distinctly biblical look to the Middle Eastern characters. Ehrlich's introduction provides information about the Torah's history. A section of notes explaining some curious customs mentioned in the Torah and a short bibliography of sources are appended. This beautifully executed adaptation deserves strong consideration for Judaica and public library collections.—Susan Scheps, formerly at Shaker Public Library, OH
Kirkus Reviews
"Anyone who reads the Torah will see that a lot of it doesn't make sense," Ehrlich writes in her introduction. "It is repetitive, inconsistent, even contradictory." Oddly enough, though, a writer who's skeptical about the Bible turns out to be the perfect person to translate it. This Bible begins: "At the beginning, the earth was wild and empty…." She's changed the traditional phrasing just enough that some readers will find it more approachable, and others will find it surprising and unfamiliar. She describes Moses' basket as "a little ark of papyrus," reminding readers of how much danger the baby was in, floating in the middle of the Nile. Nevins' paintings may also change the way people think about the text. When Jacob wrestles an angel, the two of them look almost like one being. The pictures seem to be painted with more colors than exist in nature. They glow. Not every word of the Bible has been included, the text having been pared down to a series of interconnected stories. The book of Numbers is suddenly much shorter and much sadder, consisting of a sobering numbering of the dead. Even readers who are not at all skeptical about the Bible may find that they need this version; it's so beautiful and new. Ehrlich's transcendent verse translation renders these familiar stories as shocking, perplexing and remarkably compelling--just as they always have been. (map, genealogy, endnotes) (Religion. 7-18)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780763643959
Publisher:
Candlewick Press
Publication date:
08/27/2013
Pages:
224
Product dimensions:
7.60(w) x 11.00(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range:
2 - 12 Years

Meet the Author

Amy Ehrlich is an award-winning author of more than thirty books for children and young adults as well as an illustrious editor of books for young readers. Amy Ehrlich lives in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom.

"I’ve always been fascinated by the Torah — both as an object and as a work of literature. When I set out to create a version of the Torah, I wanted to make a bridge between the little fables that are presented as ‘Bible stories for children’ and the complete (and often impenetrable) text of the Torah. To do this I focused on the characters and events in the narrative and wrote it as free verse to bring forward the poetry and beauty of the language." — Amy Ehrlich

Daniel Nevins is a fine artist whose paintings have appeared in more than sixteen countries on six continents. With a Mighty Hand is his first book. Daniel Nevins lives in Asheville, North Carolina.

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With a Mighty Hand: The Story in the Torah 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
penname1RB More than 1 year ago
Gave this book to my grandchildren. I like the art work and the translation from Hebrew to English. I thought it would hold their interest and keep them engaged. I wanted to find a way to present the teachings in the Bible in a more up to date fashion which this book does.