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EVEN HIGHER! by Eric A. Kimmel


A Rosh Hashanah Story by I.L. Peretz

adapted by Eric A. Kimmel and illustrated by Jill Weber

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-8234-2020-9
Publisher: Holiday House

Each year just before the High Holidays, the Rabbi of Nemirov disappears. The people are convinced that he goes to heaven to consult with God, but a skeptical (if pious and learned) Litvak refuses to believe in such a miracle. To prove his point, the Litvak secretly follows the Rabbi, who changes into the outfit of a peasant, leaves his house with an ax and some rope, enters the forest and chops some firewood, bringing it neatly tied to the shack of a sick old woman. The Rabbi kindly lights a fire and helps the woman recover enough to dance and sing. The Litvak learns an important lesson: The Rabbi’s altruism places him on a higher level than regular folk. Kimmel has retained the base of the classic Isaac Leib Peretz tale, altering it slightly to have the old woman leave her sick bed to celebrate the joy of life through song and dance and incorporating a Ukrainian folksong that has become a Rosh Hashanah hymn. Weber’s delicate, simple watercolor, crayon and ink drawings add a guileless charm to the Old World shtetl scenes. (Picture book. 5-7)