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New Mitzvah Stories for the Whole Family Paperback – July 18, 2014
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About the Author
Rabbi Dr. Goldie Milgram, MSW is an internationally acclaimed speaker, educator and professional Jewish storyteller. She has been honored by the Covenant Foundation, National Jewish Book Awards, Council of Jewish Federations and the American Cancer Society for her excellence as an innovator of programs, books, websites, and resources for meaningful Jewish living. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
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I will begin by saying I own quite the collection of Jewish literature, ranging from midrash and medieval legends through the Hasidic works of Buber and that ilk; through extensive folktale collections edited by the likes of Patai, Schwartz, and Noy; through the Neo-Romantic and modernist works of such as Singer, Aleichem, and Malamud; to the latest in Jewish fabulist fiction. In short, I know whereof I speak, and then some.
I was beyond excited to receive this fresh chrestomathy, and my mouth watered when I surveyed the ranks of writers. Imagine my disappointment to find that the typical contribution was a three-quarter-page "story" attended by several pages' worth of "suggestions for family discussion," an oversized photo of the author surrounded by generous white space, and then yet more white space to ensure that every story began on the next recto, never on a verso. Were this book packaged honestly and faithfully, the collection wouldn't span more than fifty pages.
Sorry, dear readers, but I must sternly caution you to save your money and avoid this star-studded (at least, per Amazon's reviewers) collection like the plague.
My favorite was the one about the young girl who bought a cute little sock monkey and then started sharing it with any person who was sick or injured. The monkey was so adorable it immediately cheered the child up! Then the monkey got passed on to another ill child, and so on and so forth. It continued to bring joy whereever it went. The mitzvah of Bikur Cholim (Comforting the Sick) was fulfilled !!
There are thought-provoking tales like that story all over this book. I highly recommed it !