Storytelling is a time-honored means of teaching religion. Susan Yael Mesinai, translator and editor of famous American rabbi/folksinger Shlomo Carlebach's tales, has performed a service in presenting them to a much wider audience here. These stories reveal the mundane and spiritual lives of human beings struggling to make sense of their chaotic experiences. A common thread links them: the idea that faith gives meaning and purpose to ordinary existence. Shlomo's stories-each a sermon in itself-can evoke a responsive chord in anyone. While the themes are primarily Jewish, the stories impart universal religious truths. They suggest that life lived according to basic religious tenets results in good fortune now and joy in the hereafter. They are also literature, employing direct language to convey their message. A glossary of Yiddish terms (Carlebach uses many in his storytelling) removes any possible barriers and provides Mesinai a perfect vehicle for retaining the flavor as well as the linguistic richness of the stories. This book should delight people of all ages and beliefs.
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