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by Judith Abrams, David Schechter, and Ned Paul Ginsburg
Award-winning Talmud teacher Judith Abrams brings her love of Jewish tradition to the musical stage in this new musical drama. Rachel's bat mitzvah is nearing, and fights with her mother are heating up. Will the ceremony marking Rachel's coming of age instead tear apart her family?
Assistance comes from an unlikely source: a friendly time-traveling angel who transports Rachel nearly 2,000 years to the ancient world of Talmudic Israel. There, a classic story of love and parental disapproval plays out between Rachel's ancient namesake and a poor shepherd, Akiva. In the end, Rachel discovers that the ancient Talmud has some very practical lessons for a modern girl.
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Imagine your Passover Seder as a conversation.
Imagine asking your children questions that spark discussion.
In More Than Four Questions, master educator Sharon Marson has collected questions asked to her by children over the years, about the Exodus from Egypt, about the Passover holiday, and about the Seder ritual itself. These questions make a great jumping off point for Passover discussion. Beneath the questions is a broad expanse of white space - where children preparing for the holiday can write or draw their answers to the questions. This book also collects answers given by children to these questions, answers rich with spiritual depth and creativity.
About the Author
Sharon Marson has been an educator for over two decades at SAR Academy in Riverdale, New York, where she created and directs a Schoolwide Enrichment Program, which is based on a broadened conception of giftedness and that offers enrichment learning opportunities to every child. She is a published poet, author of numerous educational articles, editor-in-chief of Tzaddik Magazine, and the author of, The Wisdom of a Starry Night, Using the Power of Great Art for Self-Awareness (Barnes and Noble Publishing), a work that uses inquiry in tandem with art masterpieces as a tool for self-exploration. She is completing a doctorate in educational administration at Yeshiva University..
She lives in New York with her husband, and is the mother of two children.
"Clean, accessible and progressive... Wittgenstein once imagined a religion comprising nothing but jokes. Well, More Than Four Questions is a Haggadah (or Haggadah supplement) comprising only questions. More Than Four Questions is an ingeniously contrived book with 50-odd pages of questions for children and adults, blank spaces for kids and grownups to write their answers and, on the reverse side of each page, actual answers by actual kids, as well as reflections from classical and contemporary sources.
More Than Four Questions met an unwritten standard of mine: I gave it to my sister for use at the “kids’ Seder” with my nephew and his friends. It’s a useful companion to the Seder, and the adults’ reflections are, like the in-jokes on “Sesame Street,” enough to keep your own mind churning while you fulfill the Seder’s injunction to teach the story to your children. ..This simple Haggadah companion is the clearest of the bunch when it comes to the real points of the Seder, such as conversation, introspection, education and a lot of questions. And although it’s meant to be a supplement and not a replacement, if I had to choose between it and a rote, by-the-book option, I’d pick More Than Four Questions in a heartbeat.
— Jay Michaelson, The Forward
I loved reading through Sharon Marson’s new guide to our Hagaddah.
I rethought basic questions that had lost their meaning to me — and I did this because she pushed me to open my heart and mind, with an extreme gentleness, through her enormous humility and disarming manner, to re-experience a connection to goodness, holiness, kindness, purposefulness, and be helped through the process with the voices of our children. What a beautiful enhancement to any Seder.
— Rabbi Binyamin Krauss, principal, SAR Academy
Who better than Sharon Marson to guide us, parents and teachers, in making the most of that exemplary Jewish educational experience, the Passover Seder? For decades, Ms. Marson has been listening with fascination to the voices of children — the philosophy and the wonder in their words. “More Than Four Questions” will take families on a journey of learning and reflection, bringing the larger-than-life events and ideas of our heritage to bear on the world that we experience today. The combination of structure and openness provides an ideal framework for turning your Seder into a very special educational experience.
— Rabbi Naphtali Harcsztark, principal, SAR High School
This book opens a wide door to questions of all sorts and sizes and makes ample room for a variety of answers. What a treat to read the profound ideas of children and adults alike about the Seder experience and the Pesach story as well as Sharon’s spiritually engaged commentary.
— Dr. Wendy Zierler, professor of modern Jewish literature, Hebrew Union College-
Jewish Institute of Religion