Under the Sab­bath Lamp

Michael Her­man; Ali­da Mas­sari, illus.
  • Review
By – March 24, 2017

Izzy and Olivia Bloom, new to the neigh­bor­hood, have become everyone’s favorite Shab­bat din­ner guests. Even­tu­al­ly, the Blooms have an oppor­tu­ni­ty to host all of their new friends for Shab­bat din­ner. The table is beau­ti­ful­ly set, but where are the Shab­bat can­dles? Mys­ti­fied, the guests watch as Izzy low­ers a brass star-shaped chan­de­lier from the ceil­ing. Olivia fills it with olive oil, places a wick in each of the stars, lights the wicks, and says the bless­ing. Under the light of the lamp, Izzy tells how his great-great-great grand­fa­ther took one part of the lamp with him when he set sail for Amer­i­ca. As each fam­i­ly mem­ber made the jour­ney to join him, they brought anoth­er part of the lamp. When the fam­i­ly was whole again, so was the Sab­bath lamp, which once again cast its glow over the reassem­bled family. 

The author, a col­lec­tor of antique Judaica, includes a pho­to­graph of his own 19th cen­tu­ry hang­ing Sab­bath oil lamp, which he lights every Sab­bath. The charm­ing illus­tra­tions are bathed in a gold­en light, and the folk art style is as fit­ting for depict­ing the peas­ant scenes from long ago as those of today. 

High­ly rec­om­mend­ed for ages 3 – 8.

Susan Kan­tor was a senior writer/​editor for Girl Scouts of the USA, a chil­dren’s book edi­tor, and a past judge for the Nation­al Jew­ish Book Awards in the illus­trat­ed children’s book cat­e­go­ry. She is a writer and a docent at the Rubin Muse­um in New York City, where she leads pub­lic and pri­vate tours.

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