In the Beginning...: Canaan Tours of Jewish History #1

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9780980207101: In the Beginning...: Canaan Tours of Jewish History #1

Maya and her younger brother Josh are regular children, trying to live normal American lives while learning about and maintaining their Jewish Identities. Sephira and Shem are the children's Canaan dogs, a breed indigenous to the land of Israel. When Maya gets frustrated with her Hebrew school report on the first Jews, Abraham and Sarah, the siblings discover that Shem and Sephira are much more than just regular dogs. As a matter of fact Sephira is a Talmudic scholar, and Shem is a student of Kabbalah, the Jewish mystical tradition. Sensing Maya?s frustration with understanding the events that make up Jewish history and her lessening connection with her Jewish identity, the dogs decide that the only way to teach the kids the deeper meaning of Judaism is to share with them the oral traditions, and show them the events described in the Torah firsthand. The four of them embark on a fantastic journey to the Negev desert in Israel and visit the Canaan Sanhedrin, where they learn about the first six days of creation? from a Canaan dog?s point of view. From there, they move on to witness the final act of creation ? the creation of the first human. Canaan Tours of Jewish History #1: In the Beginning... is the first in a series of chapter books aimed at children in grades 3-6. Designed to teach Jewish history, it combines the fun of fantasy with traditional Jewish interpretations of biblical stories and themes to bring the wonder of Jewish traditions alive.

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Review:

"You can teach tricks to a dog. But who would have thought a dog could teach Torah to a human? In this fast-moving story book for kids, lessons rarely if at all taught in Hebrew school come alive for kids of all ages (not to mention the grown-ups who might sneak a peak as well), dishing out information culled from Talmud, Midrash, and yes, even the Kabbalah, in an extraordinarily user-friendly manner that both informs and entertains. A great way to teach otherwise disenfranchised kids, and a marvelous tool for further enriching the Jewish education of both committed and alienated." -- Rabbi Gershon Winkler, Author of Magic of the Ordinary: Recovering the Shamanic in Judaism and Kabbalah 365: Daily Fruit from the Tree of Life

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