The story of the menorah
It began with a prophet and a precious metal, when Moses threw a piece of gold into a fire and created the first menorah. It continued with a wicked king, his ruthless army, and a people who battled tirelessly for their faith. And it endures in the yearly celebration of Hanukkah, the festival of lights that rejoices in the memories -- and the miracles -- of long ago.
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In His Own Words...
"Because of a minor illness, perhaps just "a bad cold," I missed the first few days of kindergarten. As a result my name was not on the class roster. When my teacher read out the class list, as she did each morning, my name was never called. It was not until my teacher noticed a drawing of a train I had made that she asked, "Who are you?" And so it seemed to me, at the age of five, that my existence depended on my drawing.
"Although I had the ability for drawing, my parents encouraged me to become a physician. In the words of my mother, "Since you are such a fine artist, you'll make a great plastic surgeon." Instead, I chose dermatology, since it requires visual discriminations and with its few emergencies allows me time to draw.
"While attending New York University School of Medicine, I began drawing anti-war posters for the New York Moratorium Committee. Then four students lay dead on the campus of Kent State. The tumultuous events of the weeks that followed inspired me to create some fifty drawings that were published in 1970 as my first book, The Decline and Fall of the American Empire. These drawings were brought to the attention of an art director at the New York Times. In 1972 my first drawing appeared in that newspaper.
"How I came to write and illustrate my first children's book is a story in itself. When the rabbi of my synagogue was planning his vacation a few winters ago, he asked me to deliver the Friday-night sermon. When I asked what the weekly Torah reading was, he told me, "The Ten Commandments." When I asked how long he wanted me to speak, he responded, "ten minutes." That Friday evening I spoke for ten minutes about the significance of the number ten in Judaism. My young sons liked the talk so much that I decided to expand it into a children's book. So I called Susan Hirschman, who for ten years had been urging me to do a children's book. The result was The Book of Tens.
"Over the years I have been fortunate to see my drawings published in many books, animated for television, engraved on medals, exhibited in museums, and woven into a tapestry to hang in the largest synagogue in the world. Perhaps it all stems from missing those first days of kindergarten and needing my drawings to say that I am here."From School Library Journal:
Grade 1-4?This excellent, accessible book begins with the original menorah, the seven-branched symbol given to Moses by God. It burned, day and night, in the Holy Temple in Jerusalem and was hidden until the Jews, led by Judah Maccabee, overcame the might of Antiochus and returned to the city to rebuild the temple. Rich, abstract gouache and colored-pencil paintings face each page of text, adding depth and drama to the straightforward text. A luminous choice for inclusion in any holiday collection.?LF
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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