Shoshi's Shabbat

Shoshi's Shabbat
Co-Authors / Illustrators
Publisher
Age Range
4+
Release Date
October 11, 2022
ISBN
978-1536216547
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Long ago, in the hills near Jerusalem, lived a young ox. For six days each week, she and her owner would toil in the fields, and on the seventh day both would rest. Then it came to be that this young ox was sold. For six days, she toiled in her new owner’s fields, and on the seventh day the farmer brought out the yoke and plow, expecting to spend another day hard at work. But Shoshi the ox had a different idea. In a warm, friendly narrative and vivid, humorous art, author Caryn Yacowitz and illustrator Kevin Hawkes bring to life a tale drawn from the ancient Jewish stories known as the Midrash, a story as relevant today as it was long ago. It’s a tale of encountering other cultures and learning from them, of paying attention to the world around you—sun, breeze, animals, people—and above all, of learning to slow down and take a break.

Editor review

1 review
Kind Tale with a Relevant Moral
Overall rating
 
5.0
Plot
 
5.0
Characters
 
5.0
Writing Style
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
 
5.0
‘Shoshi’s Shabbat’ by Caryn Yacowitz, illustrated by Kevin Hawkes, is a kind tale with a relevant moral. Shoshi is a young ox who works in the fields with her farmer, Simon. Due to Simon being Jewish, he rests on the seventh day, his Sabbath. Every Saturday, he takes the day off, and so too does Shoshi. However, when Shoshi is sold to Yohanan, a man who doesn’t always understand the traditions and observances of his Jewish neighbors, he can’t begin to understand why Shoshi won’t plow the fields with him come Saturday. She works hard the rest of the week, but on Saturdays, she’s out for the count. Sunday comes around, and she’s raring to go again.

When Yohanan discovers Shoshi’s reason for not working on Saturday, in observance of the Sabbath that Simon taught her, he comes to see that taking some time for himself and his family is just what he needs. Giving thanks and learning how to embrace rest and relaxation are ideas that can be hard for anyone to consider at times, but looking within is one step in encouraging this.

The author’s note in the back of the book tells how the story is based on a midrash, or commentary, about a real person, Rabbi Yohanan ben Torta. Even though he didn’t see the beauty and benefits of a day of rest at first, he soon learned the power of these ideas in his life, and he became a rabbi. He found the joy of Shabbat through a simple ox that he had purchased from a Jewish farmer. The story has beautiful illustrations that deepen the meaning of the tale.
Good Points
‘Shoshi’s Shabbat’ by Caryn Yacowitz, illustrated by Kevin Hawkes, is a kind tale with a relevant moral. The story has beautiful illustrations that deepen the meaning of the tale.
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