Zalman Goldstein has compiled into one book sixteen classic Chassidic tales that are often told at Chabad camps and gatherings. The book begins with a quote from Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Schneersohn, zt”l, the Sixth Grand Rabbi of Lubavitch: “A Jewish story often inspires love and awe of Heaven better than anything else.” The stories are largely based on divinely constructed coincidences often with the intervention of a Rebbe, beginning with the Baal Shem Tov. Given the spiritual nature of the stories, it is easy to forgive the lack of edits and typos. Yiddish and Hebrew words are often translated making it accessible to all. In one story a man is miraculously saved from a shipwreck and lands on an island where the people only appear for Shabbos due to their strict observance of the Shabbos laws when they were still alive. In another, a rabbi ends up in a den of pirates only to be saved by the head pirate who had been his student as a youngster. That student told him he would return to the straight and narrow if only there was a sign – hence the importance of the teacher appearing.
The stories are written in an engaging manner and will appeal to those who appreciate Chassidic tales.
Recommended for ages 5 – 15 in appropriate settings and good for read-alouds to individuals or groups.