Tash­lich at Tur­tle Rock

Susan Schnur and Anna Schnur-Fish­manl; Alex Steele-Mor­gan, illus
  • Review
By – September 1, 2011
A love­ly book about Tash­lich that attempts to make an old tra­di­tion mean­ing­ful in an up-to-date fash­ion. Annie and her fam­i­ly have cre­at­ed their own tra­di­tion as they walk as a fam­i­ly to the creek to throw their crumbs into the water as sym­bols of bad actions they have tak­en this year. Annie leads them through the woods, stop­ping at rocks, bridges, and water­falls. At the first stop on their Rosh Hashanah walk each mem­ber of the fam­i­ly remem­bers some­thing good from the past year by writ­ing about it with a stone. At the next they tell a sin they have done in the past year, and they then throw found objects from the woods into the stream. At the third stop they think of a promise to make for the New Year, and at the last they eat apples and hon­ey and recite a prayer their mom has writ­ten for them. Tash­lich becomes a per­son­al rit­u­al for each of them. This fam­i­ly por­trait shows a fam­i­ly both aware of the envi­ron­ment and artic­u­lat­ing their wish to improve their behav­ior in the com­ing year. The text is appro­pri­ate­ly sim­ple and child-cen­tered. Expla­na­tion of the tash­lich tra­di­tion is done in an-easy-tounder­stand fash­ion. Illus­tra­tions are beau­ti­ful and fit the out­door motifs; there is a use of fall col­ors through­out. Halachi­cal­ly obser­vant read­ers will object to the fam­i­ly writ­ing with stone on the hol­i­day and then eras­ing their mes­sage with water. (The author does have such a dis­claimer at the end of the book.) Rec­om­mend­ed for ages 5 to 8
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.

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