Around the World in One Shabbat
Jewish People Celebrate the Sabbath Together
By Durga Yael Bernhard
Jewish Lights Publishing, 2011, 33 pages
Reviewed by Israel Drazin - March 8, 2011
This 33 page book, half of which are full-color delightful pictures, is designed for children aged 3-6. It shows how the Jewish Sabbath is observed by children and their parents in different countries and cultures. It starts in Jerusalem, Israel, on Friday morning, when Avi, his sister Rachel, and grandma, Savta, shop to enhance the Shabbat at the famous Machane Yehuda Market for special foods for Shabbat. The story switches to Buenos Aires, Argentina, where Alicia wakes from her nap and joins her sister and friends in making the Shabbat challah, put money in the tzedakah charity box for the poor, and help clean the house for the special guest, the Sabbath bride. Then, on the next page, in Melbourne, Australia, Aaron participates in preparing the meal and gives a neighbor a package of homemade cookies as a special gift for the Sabbath. Then, in Istanbul, Turkey, Leyla watches her parents perform acts they don't do the rest of the week. The story continues in St. Petersburg, Russia, the south of France, New England, and then Ethiopia where Avraham looks out at the land that stretches away north, toward Israel, where his brother and sister are serving in the Israeli army, where they like him will walk to the synagogue to share the blessings with fellow Jews. The story resumes in a big new synagogue on Germany, then Canada, Morocco, Thailand, and India. Then the sun sets in Jerusalem on Saturday night, the end of the Shabbat. Avi and Rachel walk home with their family from the Kotel, the ancient stone wall that surrounded the ancient Temple. The family recites the closing Havdalah service over the wine, and they look forward to next Friday when they can again celebrate the Shabbat, the special day, with all Jewish people around the world.