The Sultan’s Trap and Oth­er Mirac­u­lous Tales of Faith & Wonder

Zal­man Goldstein
  • Review
By – March 25, 2017

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 515 in appro­pri­ate set­tings and good for read-alouds to indi­vid­u­als or groups.

Dro­ra Arussy, Ed.D., is an edu­ca­tion­al con­sul­tant who spe­cial­izes in inte­grat­ing Jew­ish and sec­u­lar stud­ies, the arts into edu­ca­tion, and cre­ative teach­ing for excel­lence in Jew­ish edu­ca­tion. She is the moth­er to four school-age chil­dren and has taught from pre-school through adult. Dro­ra is an adjunct pro­fes­sor of Hebrew lan­guage at Drew University.

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