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In God's Hands

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In God's Hands

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In God's Hands
By Lawrence Kushner and Gary Schmidt
Illustrated by Matthew J. Baek
Jewish Lights Publishing, 2005, 30 pages
ISBN: 978-1-58023-224-1

Reviewed by Israel Drazin - August 3, 2012

This thought-provoking tale by a rabbi and a college professor, with illustrations by an artist whose works appear in many national publications, is based on an ancient Jewish folktale, but is a story and has a message for people of all faiths. It is about a rich man, Jacob, who constantly falls asleep during the rabbi's sermons, and a poor man, David, who is the synagogue caretaker.

One day, Jacob woke up during the Torah reading in the synagogue and heard the Torah reader recite from the book of Leviticus, "You shall bake twelve loaves of challah (bread)," and he fell back to sleep. When he awoke, Jacob thought that he had heard a command from God.

The authors tell us what happened next, how what Jacob thought was a command from God affected both Jacob and David, how the two men were sure they saw miracles, how the synagogue rabbi explained what had happened, and how Jacob and David lived afterwards, a life we should all live.

Dr. Israel Drazin is the author of eighteen books, including a series of five volumes on the Aramaic translation of the Hebrew Bible, which he co-authors with Dr. Stanley M. Wagner, and a series of four books on the twelfth century philosopher Moses Maimonides, the latest being Maimonides: Reason Above All, published by Gefen Publishing House. His website is

The views expressed in this review/article are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Jewish Eye.
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