Each week Miriam and Shlomo welcome guests to their home for Shabbat, but this week none can be found. They search and wait until an old man finally appears at their door. At the end of the Shabbat meal, their guest offers a blessing to make their home “much, much better,” suggesting a stained tablecloth, books out of place, and crumbs on the floor!
After many months, Miriam and Shlomo have a baby boy. One Friday afternoon, as baby Yitzchak learns to crawl, he pulls on the Shabbat tablecloth spilling the wine, tugs a siddur off the bookshelf and eats some of the warm, soft bread. At that moment, the same mysterious old man comes to join them for Shabbat, and he sees that his blessing has come true. Miriam and Shlomo acknowledge that their home is much, much better with Yitzchak in it, who will one day welcome guests of his own to the Shabbat table.
This story takes place in ancient Baghdad, and the illustrations in the book depict the Sephardic setting, with head coverings on the characters, ornately decorated windows and homes decorated with bright rugs and tapestries. Even the bread is flat and round. The author helps readers further understand by providing a glossary of terms for Hebrew words used in the book.
This adaptation of folklore about Eliyahu HaNavi teaches that inviting others into your home enriches your life and theirs — whether it’s a Shabbat guest or a new baby in your family. Ages 4 – 8.