The Golden Dreidle

Menorahs, Mezuzahs, and Other Jewish Symbols, by Miriam Chaikin

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Explains the history and significance of many Jewish symbols and discusses how these symbols are used in holiday rituals. School Library Journal Gr 5-8-- Chaikin succeeds admirably both in covering the whole range of Jewish symbols and in presenting their underlying ideas with clarity and succinctness, distilling the scholarship (attested to by seven pages of notes and two pages of reference books) into a form easily comprehended by the intended audience. There have been other books about Jewish symbols, but none are of this scope and calibre. The book is divided into nine chapters, each dealing with an aspect of Judaism and/or Jewish culture and the concepts and symbols associated with it. The narrative, while conversational in tone, is interwoven with references from the Bible, Talmud, Midrash, folklore, and history. Weihs's attractive black-and-white scratchboard illustrations have movement and drama, but contain errors; only one candle is lit on the Sabbath, and the priestly blessing lacks the correct placing of the fingers. In spite of these pictorial mistakes, this is a unique book that will be of use in general collections. Hardcover, 112 pages, isbn 9780899198569

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