Shi­ra at the Tem­ple: A Yom Kip­pur Story

Galia Sab­bag
  • Review
By – October 31, 2014

Shi­ra learns about Yom Kip­pur in school: how it is the holi­est day of the year, how we should ask our­selves if we’ve been the best per­son we can be in the past year, and the impor­tance of say­ing we’re sor­ry. When she goes to Tem­ple with her par­ents on Yom Kip­pur, they are each wrapped in a tal­it and are car­ry­ing prayer books called Mach­zors. She wants to pray to God like her par­ents are doing but she has not yet learned Hebrew. She has learned all the Hebrew let­ters so, when she hears the Sho­far blown, she gets an idea. She goes up to the bima and asks the Rab­bi if she can say a prayer. She sings the alpha­bet song she learned at school and the whole Tem­ple was filled with Shira’s let­ters.” After­wards, she receives con­grat­u­la­tions from the con­gre­ga­tion and the fol­low­ing year she can read the prayer book herself. 

Chil­dren will enjoy Erin Taylor’s appeal­ing cov­er of big-eyed Shi­ra and the live­ly, full-page col­or illus­tra­tions. The text includes Hebrew greet­ings, words for hol­i­days and var­i­ous bless­ings. The book is part of a con­tin­u­ing series about Shi­ra with more books to come. Shi­ra is a com­pos­ite of Mrs. Sabbag’s Hebrew School stu­dents over the 15-plus years she’s been teach­ing. It will be very help­ful to teach young stu­dents in Jew­ish pre-schools, day schools and Sun­day schools about the hol­i­days at their age level. 

Rec­om­mend­ed for ages 5 – 8.

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