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Rabbi Harvey vs. the Wisdom Kid
Rabbi Harvey vs. the Wisdom Kid
A Graphic Novel of Dueling Jewish Folktales in the Wild West
By Steve Sheinkin
Jewish Lights Publishing, (2010)
Reviewed by Auggie Moore - April 27, 2011
Rabbi Harvey vs. the Wisdom Kid is the third volume in Steve Sheinkin's beloved series of graphic novels that feature the gentle and genteel, Rabbi Harvey. This is a Rabbi who welds a fount of Jewish wit and wisdom like a weapon to defeat every bad guy, or gal, who crosses his path. Along a way he answer every question posed to him at his 'stump the Rabbi' booth that he often sets up in the town of Elk Spring, Colorado, where he now resides.
In this installment, Rabbi Harvey meets a new adversary, Rabbi "Wisdom Kid" Rubin, the son of the not very nice Bad Bubbe, who Rabbi Harvey has dealt with before. In this case, Bad Bubbe has joined forces with another of Rabbi Harvey's nemesis, the barber turned outlaw, Bit Milt Wasserman. Their plan is to run Rabbi Harvey out of town, and replace him with their pawn, Rabbi Rubin.
In addition to dealing with these two nefarious villains, and trying to thwart their evil plan, Rabbi Harvey must also deal with his burgeoning relationship with the fair Abigail, a former gold miner turned school marm and potential Rebbitzin Harvey.
This volume contains nine, interconnected stories that follow the Rabbi Harvey's dealings with Bad Bubbe and Big Milt, and his dual of Rabbinic wisdom with Rabbi Ruben. All the stories contained in this volume are drawn from Jewish folktales, Talmudic wisdom, and other Jewish sources, all of which are detailed at the end of the book. Sheinkin has also included a list for 'further reading' that points out books that explore the Jewish culture and literature, as well as other graphic novels and comics that have Jewish themes.
>From beginning to end, Rabbi Harvey vs. the Wisdom Kid is pure fun for the entire family. Sheinkin's illustrations are engaging, and the text is easy to read. Most important, Sheinkin transmits valuable ethical lessons without preaching, and in most cases, you will not even notice that you've learned anything unless you take the time to ponder what you have read and then you'll have a few ah-ha moments. Rabbi Harvey is a great Jewish role model. He defeats his foes using only his own wit and his mouth, he never uses his fists, or a gun, or any other form of violence. In short, these stories are sure to delight readers of all ages, and they are one of the few graphic novels that you will encourage your children to read!
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- The Adventures of Rabbi Harvey, by Steve Sheinkin.
Volume I: After finishing school in New York, Rabbi Harvey traveled west in search of adventure and, hopefully, work as a rabbi. His journey took him to Elk Spring, Colorado, a small town in the Rocky Mountains. There, he settles disputes, tricks criminals into confessing, and offers unsolicited bits of Talmudic insight and Hasidic wisdom.
- Rabbi Harvey Rides Again, by Steve Sheinkin.
Volume II: In this graphic novel, Rabbi Harvey returns to the streets of Elk Spring, Colorado. Harvey protects his town and delivers justice, wielding only the weapons of wisdom, wit, and a bit of trickery. These adventures combine Jewish and American folklore by creatively retelling comic Jewish folktales and setting them loose on the western frontier of the 1870s.
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