Uncle Yossi's Big Book of Stories - Volume 3

Jewish Learning Group  2016


For thirty years, Rabbi Yosef Goldstein shared ethical and moral Hasidic tales aloud with youngsters in the Orthodox Chabad community; since 2014 his son has been transcribing and publishing them. Salted with Yiddish, most of the stories take place in Eastern Europe a century ago, where individuals endured difficult situations through belief in Hashem and trust in God’s protection.

Readers with a background in Orthodox Judaism are more likely to appreciate these old-fashioned teaching tales, which end with brief moral statements, and may frighten younger children. Humor does occasionally appear, as in the story of a poor woodcutter who asks the robber who holds him up for his tzedakah money to shoot holes in his clothing, so people will believe his story. Other tales are skimpy on plot and depend on reverence for known rabbis.

Rabbi Goldstein’s best storytelling in this volume, however, is on display in his tales about returns to Judaism: Children who have been lost and raised as Christians, plus one who loses his own way in bad company, rediscover their roots as adults.

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