Rimon for Shi­ra: A Rosh Hashanah Story

Galia Sab­bag; Erin Tay­lor, illus.
  • Review
By – June 6, 2014

In school, Shi­ra learns about Rosh Hashanah, includ­ing the mean­ings of the tra­di­tion­al foods we eat to help us cel­e­brate. These include a round chal­lah for the cir­cle of life, apples and hon­ey for a sweet year, and a deli­cious fruit called a rimon. The author also intro­duces a Sephardic cus­tom of eat­ing a fish with its head on to ensure those who eat it will become lead­ers. When shop­ping with her moth­er, Shi­ra asks the fruit sell­ers for a rimon, but they don’t know what it is. Final­ly she finds a bin full of the deli­cious red fruit, which her moth­er tells her are pome­gran­ates. She is very hap­py to find them, and tells her moth­er that now their New Year will be filled with try­ing to do as many mitzvoth — good deeds — as there are seeds in a pomegranate.

The author, Galia Sab­bag, adds in this very slim paper­back that the char­ac­ter of Shi­ra is a com­pos­ite of the stu­dents that she has taught over her fif­teen years as a Hebrew school teacher. Chil­dren learn Hebrew words, songs, greet­ings and bless­ings in the sto­ry. The She­hecheyanu bless­ing is includ­ed, which Shi­ra’s class learns to say when they are eat­ing the new fruit. Read­ers will enjoy Shi­ra’s expres­sive face, big eyes and all of Erin Tay­lor’s live­ly, full-page col­or illus­tra­tions, which com­ple­ment Sab­bag’s text. Sab­bag writes that oth­er books about Shi­ra and Jew­ish hol­i­days are com­ing soon. For now, they are avail­able on the web­site, and as e‑books on the Kin­dle and the Barnes and Noble Nook. Excel­lent for day schools, Hebrew schools, and as an enjoy­able story.

Rec­om­mend­ed for ages 5 – 8.

Relat­ed Content:

Andrea David­son is the librar­i­an of The Tem­ple-Tifer­eth Israel in Beach­wood, Ohio. She holds an M.L.S. from the Uni­ver­si­ty of Michi­gan and is a for­mer mem­ber of the Syd­ney Tay­lor Book Awards Com­mit­tee. She enjoys try­ing out the books she reviews on the kids at the Tem­ple and on her grandchildren.

Discussion Questions