Adam & Eve's First Sunset
God's New Day
By Sandy Eisenberg Sasso
Illustrated by Joani K. Rothenberg
Jewish Lights Publishing, 2003, 32 pages
Reviewed by Israel Drazin - August 3, 2012
This delightful children's tale is based on an imaginative episode told in the Midrash Genesis Rabbah about Adam's terror when he saw the sun sink at the termination of the Sabbath, but it is designed for people of all faiths. The author is the second woman who was ordained as a rabbi and the illustrator has master's degree in art therapy and works with children as an art therapist.
The Midrash's story is puzzling because Adam and eve, according to the Bible, were created on Friday. Thus he should have had the experience on Friday night, not Saturday night. Furthermore, the Midrash focuses on Adam and does not mention Eve. It is clear that the Midrash's purpose was to give an explanation why Jews light a candle at the conclusion of the Sabbath.
Sasso changes the story to make it relevant for all faiths. The incident occurs on the first day of creation. Both Adam and eve are stunned and become afraid. They begin to blame one another. The try to lighten the earth with fire, but it doesn't help. But the problem is solved the next morning.
Children will enjoy the story and the message about the wonders of the earth.