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.