- Publisher: Scholastic Paperbacks (April 1, 1977)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0590103156
- ISBN-13: 978-0590103152
- Package Dimensions: 7.3 x 5.8 x 0.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.6 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 11 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,527,531 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Rabbi and the Twenty Nine Witches Paperback – April 1, 1977
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About the Author
Marilyn Hirsh, a children’s author and illustrator, incorporated her Peace Corps experience in India and her Jewish heritage into much of her work, written and visual. Her interests in art and history also surfaced at the Indian art courses she taught at two New York colleges. In 1988, she died of cancer at the young age of 44.
In 1978, Hirsh received both the Asian Cultural Center UNESCO prize and the Noma Concours Award for children’s picture book illustrations for The Elephants and the Mice. The next year, she won the Sydney Taylor Body-Of-Work Award, and in 1986 Joseph Who Loved The Sabbath earned the Sydney Taylor Children’s Book Award. She garnered several other awards for her writing and illustrating before her death in October 1988.
Top customer reviews
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I remember tensing up to see if the strongminded dancing partners could pull off the charade. Scary.
But the heroes make it look Easy Breezy.
I found this story is related to an earlier one about Rabbi Shimon Ben Shetach with a different ending:
"So the Rabbi whistled once and the young men put on their wraps, which they had kept dry under the pitchers. Then the Rabbi whistled again and they all rushed into the cave.
Each young man picked up a witch, put her on his camel, and rode away with her.
The witches all married the nice Jewish young men. They became good hard-working women and were the mothers of some great scholars in Israel."
Witch-hunt and his son's death
In a significant case of an early witch-hunt, on a single day Simeon ben Shetach's court sentenced to death eighty women in Ashkelon who had been charged with sorcery. The relatives of these women, filled with a desire for revenge, brought false witnesses against Simeon's son, whom they accused of a crime which involved capital punishment; and as a result of this charge he was sentenced to death. While on the way to the place of execution, the witnesses recanted their testimony. Simeon ben Shetach sought to have the case reopened. Simeon's son protested that, according to the Law, a witness must not be believed when he withdraws a former statement, and he said to his father, "If you seek to bring about salvation, then consider me as a threshold [towards that goal]." The execution then proceeded. This sad event was probably the reason why Simeon issued a warning that witnesses should always be carefully cross-questioned.
Simeon's fairness toward gentiles is illustrated by the following narrative: Simeon lived in humble circumstances, supporting himself and his family by conducting a small business in linen goods. Once his pupils presented him with a donkey which they had purchased from a gentile merchant. Using the legal formula prescribed by the Talmud, they said "When we pay you, this donkey and everything on it is ours." After receiving the gift, Simeon removed the saddle and discovered a costly jewel. The students joyously told their master that he might now cease toiling since the proceeds from the jewel would make him wealthy - the legal formula of the sale meant that the jewel was now his property. Simeon, however, replied that the even though the letter of the law said they were right, it was clear that the seller had no intention of selling of the Jewel along with the animal. Simeon returned the gem to the merchant, who exclaimed, "Praised be the God of Simeon ben Shetach!"