Tales for the Seventh Day: A Collection of Sabbath Stories

Nina Jaffe, Author Scholastic $15.95 (96p) ISBN 978-0-590-12054-8
An inspired storyteller and researcher, Jaffe (The Mysterious Visitor: Stories of the Prophet Elijah) delivers seven tales, each tied into the Jewish Sabbath but reflective of different cultures and times and of different moods. Jews from a range of backgrounds as well as non-Jews will appreciate her careful introduction outlining the concepts of Shabbat; within the body of the collection, too, there is something for everyone. The daughter of a Sephardic family matches wits with a clever nobleman (their contest ends with a happy marriage); the simple-minded Mottke, sent to buy a chicken for the Sabbath meal, returns with a glass of water and a long explanation. More serious stories include a tale from Ethiopia that can be traced to the Babylonian Talmud, about a laborer rewarded for his steadfast faith and hard work, and an entry about a devout girl who finds herself the guest of the Sabbath Queen. Jaffe is adept at creating diverse settings, and her prose, while highly polished, has the immediacy of oral presentation. Concise source notes as well as a glossary and an extensive bibliography can help readers adapt this lively work to a variety of uses. Ages 8-12. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 07/31/2000
Release date: 08/01/2000
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