The Rabbi Slurps Spaghetti helps young children understand the multitude of jobs a rabbi performs. It also humanizes a religious leader who might seem formal or stiff to young children who may only see a rabbi from a physical or emotional distance. This picture book uses the frame of young detective-in-training Lena, who is curious to find out what the Rabbi does all day. Lena and her dog, Sandy, attempt to solve “The Case of the Mysterious Rabbi,” also hoping to answer the question — How can one person do so much? Lena follows the rabbi as he goes through his day, and discovers that although Rabbi Max’s life may have some formal aspects, he is very much a regular person as well.
With humorous pen-and-ink cartoon-style illustrations, the reader is shown everything that Rabbi Max does: from important rabbinic tasks like teaching Torah and celebrating simchas and volunteering at Mitzvah Day and comforting the sick — to slurping spaghetti and having tea parties with his daughter (who turns out to be Lena herself).
This light-hearted picture book is an unusual take on the life of a community leader and is a must for synagogue libraries and Rabbis’ studies. Children will come away with a new take on someone they thought they knew, but who is far more complex and perhaps much more fun than they imagined possible.