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The Family Book of Midrash

The Family Book of Midrash: 52 Jewish Stories From the Sages

Originally published by Jason Aronson, 1990, now published by Rowman & Littlefield, Oct. 2006
ISBN: 0742552853, Paperback 6 x 9   [ Buy this Book ]
Reading level: All Ages

Rabbinic literature contains wonderful stories, filled with heroic personalities that illuminate Jewish ethical and moral values. Yet many of these tales are inaccessible to today's children. In this collection, Barbara Diamond Goldin has collected stories from the Talmud and other sources of midrashim, capturing their spirit and timeless messages. This volume allows these ancient tales to speak effectively to contemporary children and adults.

These selections from midrash tell of how David helped to solve the mystery of the widow's lost gold, how Rabbi Joshua ben Hananiah explained why one cannot look at God's face, how Moses received the Torah, and how Rabbi Akiva became the greatest teacher of its words. Humorous, mysterious and dramatic, these powerful tales imbue historical and spiritual figures with life and portray them as real people with whom the reader can identify.

In retelling each story, the author keeps close to the original version, yet she uses clear language and vibrant imagery that appeals to today's readers. She relies on background research into the lives and times of the people in the stories, enabling her to fill in the often very brief original versions with history and detail, dialogue and scenes to make them more accessible and engaging. While avoiding didactic retelling, the author conveys the beliefs and teachings inherent in the original texts.

Ms. Goldin also includes an introduction to midrash, a glossary of terms and source references for each story. Parents and children will find this volume ideal for family read-aloud time, providing an enjoyable way to understand the wisdom of centuries of Jewish sages.

"The stories are all exquisitely told. There are tales of adventure, mystery, humor, and faith, all related in a non-didactic manner." -Review from the Jerusalem Post

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