This tale of Ploni and Almoni is a children’s story about the strength of prayer and belief. In ancient times, the two messengers were dispatched from the head of the Sanhedrin to travel to the noted Abba Chilkiya, to ask him to pray for rain. The land of Israel was dry; no crops were growing, and the wells were completely empty. After locating Abba Chilkiya working his neighbor’s fields, they splashed through the brook with him and accompanied him through the brambles. What are the reasons for this unusual behavior? The sage is teaching the messengers a lesson on the power of prayer. This story is based on two pages in the Talmud Taanit, and commentaries of the Rishonim, Tehilim and the commentaries of the Baal Shem Tov. The book design and illustrations are appealing and colorful. The intended moral is that Hashem will give us whatever we need if we act with kindness toward others. Although intended for young children, there is quite a bit of complexity to the story. For ages 6 – 10.
Shelly Feit has an M.L.S. and a Sixth-year Specialist’s Certificate in information science. She is the library director and media specialist at the Moriah School in Englewood, NJ.