Clouds of Glory: Legends and Stories About Bible Times

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9780395746547: Clouds of Glory: Legends and Stories About Bible Times
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Where is God? What are angels? Who made them? Such questions have arisen over the ages and are answered with a type of story Jews call Midrash-Midrashim in the plural. The Hebrew word means "search and explain." The search takes place in the pages of the Bible. The explanation, the Midrash, is based on an answer found in those pages. New stories led to others, and eventually to a vast library of Midrashim. A selection of these have been woven into the stories in this book, retellings from the Book of Genesis: from Creation to the world of angels, the fall of Satan, Cain and Abel, the Emerald Book of Secrets, good King Methuselah, Noah and Naamah, and the binding of Isaac. Stunning woodcut illustrations accompany these graceful, witty stories in a book that will illuminate familiar texts in a thought-provoking and entertaining way.

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About the Author:

Miriam Chaikin is the prize-winning author of more than 30 books for young readers. She lives in New York City and spends part of each year in Israel.

From School Library Journal:

Grade 4 Up?The first 22 chapters of Genesis contain some of the best stories in the Bible?and some tantalizing omissions. Jewish tradition has responded with Midrashim?theological scenarios created to fill in the gaps, reconcile contradictions, and add explanations to what is puzzling. Drawing on the body of Midrash, Chaikin retells the tales of Creation, the fall, Cain and Abel, Noah, Abraham, and the sacrifice of Isaac. She has added her own invention, making the angels Michael and Raziel female, and given new importance to The Emerald Book of Secrets (a mystical history of heaven and earth). Some elements of Midrash can be theologically controversial; for instance, God implants "an evil urge" into the hearts of humans, and He Himself changes and learns. But for the most part, the stories are given an additional dimension by these traditions. Chaikin's language is neither formal nor vernacular, but a blend, as her project also blends the sacred and the mundane. Seven full-page woodcuts are decorative and colorful in a restrained way. Frampton's naive style and static, big-eyed figures in balanced compositions suit the text's combination of simplicity and seriousness. However, the pieces are few and far between. The result is not a picture book, but a read-aloud that will appeal to Christians and Jews interested in widening children's sense of the foundation myths of their religion.?Patricia Lothrop-Green, St. George's School, Newport, RI
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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