We are, after all, the People of the Book – thus, it makes sense that we ought to have a column dedicated to, well, books. And so, with this issue, we introduce a new column called “Between the Pages” that highlights books that we believe will be of interest to our readers, and offers insightful comments about books and reading in general. The column, which will appear periodically, is written by librarian Rose Myers of Temple Israel in Westport and a bonafide book maven. Myers’ first offering focuses on books related to the upcoming Passover holiday.
Now, that we’ve gotten in the mood for Passover… and some of us have started to go insane cleaning things we never knew were dirty, it’s wise to occasionally take a break to get inspired and remember that the holiday is about more than cleaning and preparing. There are some great books to inspire us and offer some fresh ways to see Passover and the world.
Eric A. Kimmel’s “Wonders and Miracles: A Passover Companion“ (New York: Scholastic Press, 2004) is one. The book has pictures from several illustrated Haggadot, stories, explanations, recipes, prayers with translations and transliterations, Debbie Friedman lyrics and more! Not surprisingly for a book published by Scholastic, this book is appropriate for, but not limited to, middle schoolers; I learned things. While Dr. Kimmel assumes his primary audience is Jewish, some of his comments will be of interest to Christians. Eric Kimmel has written many children’s picture books—which makes him a great author in my estimation. We corresponded via email after I saw him speak in New York to promote this book—which makes him a mensch.
Some of the other Passover-themed books that look inviting:
■ Creating Lively Passover Seders:
A Sourcebook of Engaging Tales, Texts & Activities
by David Arnow (Woodstock, VT: Jewish Lights Publishing, 2004).
■ The Women’s Passover Companion: Women’s Reflections on the Festival of Freedom edited by R. Sharon Cohen Anisfeld, Tara Mohr, and Catherine Spector (Woodstock, VT: Jewish Lights Publishing, 2003). The editors have a Yale connection, as does Paula Hyman, who wrote the foreword. Lots of contributions from prominent Jewish women.
■ Leading the Passover Journey:
The Seder’s Meaning Revealed,
the Haggadah’s Story Retold
by Nathan Laufer (Woodstock, VT: Jew ish Lights Publishing, 2005)
■ Uncle Eli’s Special for Kids
Most Fun Ever Under the Table
by Eliezer Segal (San Francisco, CA: No Starch Press, 1999)
One last comment before I get back to cleaning: What you bring to a book and what you want to get from it are (nearly?) as important as the contents of the book. Each time you read it, you will be different.