Break­fast with Rav Zusha

  • Review
By – March 23, 2017

This is a won­der­ful col­lec­tion of Chas­sidic tales retold by Libi Astaire. In her incred­i­bly capa­ble hands, the sto­ries and char­ac­ters come to life. The author makes the read­er feel the dra­ma of each sto­ry and builds sus­pense into each telling. The read­er will share in the wis­dom of some of the great sages of the past told through sto­ry rather than sim­ply as dry les­son. Sto­ries fea­tur­ing Rav Zusha, The Chafetz Chaim, The Baal Shem Tov and oth­er great rab­bis are rep­re­sent­ed with­in the pages of this book which is divid­ed into four sec­tion with the fol­low­ing themes: Pay Atten­tion to the Soul,” More Pre­cious than Pearls,” And All Your Peo­ple Israel,” and Con­nect­ing to the Eternal.” 

There is a glos­sary of terms and a sec­tion of bio­graph­i­cal infor­ma­tion on the Rebbes in the back of the book that is very help­ful in learn­ing about the rab­bis and the world in which they lived. The back mat­ter and the strength of the writ­ing allow for this book to be shared with a very broad audi­ence both in terms of age and reli­gious obser­vance. The sto­ries are per­fect for shar­ing around sab­bath tables or shar­ing between chil­dren and par­ents curled up togeth­er on a couch. 

Rec­om­mend­ed pri­mar­i­ly for fam­i­ly use although could also be used in a class­room set­ting. Ages 8 – 12.

Deb­bie Fed­er is cur­rent­ly the Direc­tor of the LRC at Ida Crown Jew­ish Acad­e­my in Chica­go. She has her Mas­ters in Library and Infor­ma­tion Sci­ence from Domini­can Uni­ver­si­ty. She has spent more than ten years intro­duc­ing chil­dren and young adults to lit­er­a­ture and infor­ma­tion lit­er­a­cy at schools and pub­lic libraries. She is the author of Jel­ly Bean’s Art Muse­um Adven­ture and is hon­ored to have been a mem­ber of the Syd­ney Tay­lor Book Award Committee.

Discussion Questions