Resources for Holidays
RESOURCES FOR SHAVUOT
Shavuot began as a harvest festival, but it also commemorates the revelation at Sinai and the giving of the Torah. While Shavuot has few rituals associated with it, many Jews stay up all night studying Torah. Other customs include eating dairy foods and reading the Book of Ruth. (From My Jewish Learning)
Every person's guide to Shavuot by Ronald H. Isaacs
Minchat Omer and Mincha chadasha by L. Ehrenreich
Minchat Omer: a text written mostly in Rashi text with some Hebrew, dealing with: the lawsof the Counting of the Omer, the days of the Omer, Pesach Sheni (2nd Passover), Lag B'Omer; Minchah Chadashah: on matters having to do with Shavuot.
Poems and Prophecies: A Song/Book for Shavuot by Sharon Flitterman-King
A short but poignant book of poems and songs produced by the Jewish Women's Resource Center.
Readings from Torah and the Prophets for the Three Festivals by Morris Silverman
Torah and Haftarah readings for Passover, Shavuot, Sukkot, Shemini Atzeret, Simchat Torah.
Reading Ruth: contemporary Jewish women reclaim a sacred story, edited by Judith A. Kates and Gail T. Reimer.
Two creative scholars have brought together an amazingly eclectic group of Jewish novelists, essayists, poets, rabbis, psychologists, and scholars--including Cynthia Ozick, Marge Piercy, Francine Klagsbrun, and Nessa Rapoport--to explore one of the most beloved stories in the Bible. In lively essays, poetry, fiction, and personal narrative, the gamut of women's experience in the modern world is illuminated by this ancient story.
Seasons of Our Joy sung by Zamir Chorale of Boston
Selected choral works for Passover, Shavuot, Chanukah and more.
What is Torah?: A Shavuot Cantata by Ira and Judith Eisenstein
A selection of choral works, many based on traditional folk songs.
The Voice Still Speaks pub. by the New York Union of American Hebrew Congregations
This 23 minute video features five leading scholars of the Reform movement discussing their understanding of the giving of the Torah at Mt. Sinai and its meaning to us today. Both the video and booklet have been designed to be used by congregations either as a focus for Shavuot programming or as adult education study.
FOR YOUNGER KIDS
We have many books for children of all ages about the festival, and the biblical character, Ruth, as well as music and films.
A Mountain of Blintzes by Barbara Diamond Goldin
A family living in the Catskill Mountains in the 1920s works together to gather the necessary ingredients to make blintzes for Shavuot.
My Very Own Shavuot Book by Judyth Saypool Groner
How to mark the holiday with crafts, thoughts, rituals, and activities. Decorated with papercuts and drawings, this book gives an understanding of the holiday, its origins, legends, songs, crafts, activities, and recipes.
Sadie and the Big Mountain by Jamie Korngold
When her synagogue's nursery school plans a hike to celebrate Shavuot, the holiday commemorating the day the Jewish people received the Ten Commandments, Sadie is not sure she will be able to climb a huge mountain. Includes facts about the holiday and a recipe for blintzes.
Sammy Spider's First Shavuot by Sylvia A. Rouss
Sammy Spider lowers himself down on a strand of webbing to get a closer look at the Shapiro family's preparations for Shavuot, a holiday celebrating the time when God gave the Torah to Moses. Includes a recipe for making blintzes.
Shuli and me : from slavery to freedom : a storybook omer calendar by Joan Benjamin-Farren
What do the Hebrews do after they've fled Egypt and they're wandering in the desert? This book shows some possibilities. Relates to why the Jews count the Omer between Passover and Shavuot.
Shovuos: The Birthday of the Torah by Sophia N. Cederbaum
Join Debbie and Danny as they prepare for and celebrate Shavuot.
The Littlest Mountain by Barb Rosenstock
God needs to find a special place to give the Jewish people the Ten Commandments. The mountains of the world compete for this great honor, bragging of their beauty and importance. Little Mt. Sinai thinks it's not important enough to be God's special place, and stands aside, quietly, while the others brag. Could the littlest mountain be just what God is looking for? Based on a midrash about the Ten Commandments. For ages 3 and up.
Countdown to Shavuot.
It's Shavuot! Avigail and Brosh want to stay up all night just like the grown-ups. Will they be able to do it? They will certainly try with a little help from a dancing cow. 30 minutes. For ages 3 and up.
FOR OLDER KIDS:
Danny Loves a Holiday by Sydney Taylor
Throughout the year Danny and his family celebrate Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Sukkot, Hanukkah, Hamishah Asar Bishevat, Purim, Passover, Lag ba-Omer, Shavuot, and the Sabbath.
Stories Round the Year; From Rosh Hashanah to Shavuot by Martha Marinoff
Thirty-three traditional and modern tales for the various holidays of the Jewish calendar, including "Moses and the Birds" for Shavuot.
The best of K'tonton : the greatest adventures in the life of the Jewish thumbling, K'tonton ben Baruch Reuben by Sadie Rose Weilerstein
The adventures of a thumb-sized boy born into a Jewish family. Stories include stories about Sukkot, Chanukah, Purim, Yom Kippur, Israel, Jerusalem, Passover and Shavuot.
The Best of Olomeinu: Sefirah, Shavuos, and Summer Stories by Yaakov Fruchter
Vol. IV of Olomeinu contains Hassidic tales of the Holocaust and life in Siberian prisons, tales of wonder and persecution from the Inquisition from WW II, from Israel.
FOR ALL AGES
Jewish Festival Crafts by Temima N. Gezari
Arts & crafts for the Jewish holidays, including: Rosh Hashanah, Sukkot, Chanukah, Tu Bi-shevat, Purim, Pasover, Lag B'Omer, Shavuot.
Jewish holiday treats : recipes and crafts for the whole family, by Joan Zoloth
Presents recipes and instructions for making more than sixty dishes, treats, and projects for Jewish holidays including Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, Sukkot, Chanukah, Purim, Passover, and Shavuot.
The Shavuot Anthology by Philip Goodman
Selections from the Bible; ancient and modern prose and poetry; history of the holiday and its observance; traditional foods, songs, and art. The children's sections contain stories and holiday activities
MyJewishLearning is always a good site for learning about the holidays.
Books for Adults
Elkins, Dov Peretz. A Shabbat Reader: Universe of Cosmic Joy. BM685 .S4
In this collection of essays, over 40 writers explain how they do/observe/celebrate Shabbat and what it means to them. Blu Greenberg's family story is especially warm and appealing.
Friedland, Susan. Shabbat Shalom: Recipes and Menus for the Sabbath. TX724 .F688.
Here are some new recipes: Lamb Tagine from Morocco, Halibut in Lemon-Egg Sauce from the eastern Mediterranean, and several winning parve desserts!
Heschel, Abraham Joshua, The Sabbath: its meaning for modern man. BM685 .H3
This meditative essay, written in 1951, explains Shabbat as a sanctification of time in contrast to our weekday drive for mastery of space, possessions, and all material goods. Shabbat observance, Heschel says, requires withdrawal from the space-world and immersion in the time-world, with joy and song and love.
Kalechofsky, Roberta, and Roberta Schiff. The Vegetarian Shabbat Cookbook. TX724 .K3. Egg-less challah? It can be done! The Vegetarian Shabbat Cookbook combines festive Sabbath meals with glorious vegan meals. Vegan food is especially well adapted to the Sabbath ritual of not lighting a fire and not cooking on the Sabbath because most vegetarian foods keep well at room temperature and will keep for the Saturday meal.
Klagsbrun, Francine. The Fourth Commandment: Remember the Sabbath Day. BM685 .K53. Part meditation, part history, this book discusses women's Shabbat roles and historical Shabbat observance. Rabbi Shlomo Tucker calls it a "gentle, informative, guided walk through many of the salient and hidden aspects of the Shabbat, informed by a combination of erudition with personal comment and reflection. Klagsbrun elucidates many hidden corners of the meanings of Shabbat and points to the specific joys of its celebration. In the book's introduction, Klagsbrun declares that her aim is "to show the complexities of this sacred day, the ethical values that define it, and the beauty inherent in it. Above all, it aims to show how this ancient and hallowed tradition still has much to say to us today, and how it enriches people's lives at whatever level they wish to approach it."
Perelson, Ruth. An Invitation to Shabbat: a Beginner's Guide to Weekly Celebration. BM685 .P44
Part planning manual, part cookbook, this guide helps Shabbat seders come together. Songs with musical notation are in the back. The introduction to his UAHC book says: "If you would like to be able to welcome Shabbat but do not know where to begin, this book was written for you, regardless of your age, stage in life, or prior knowledge of Judaism."
Shapiro, Mark Dov. Shaarei Shabat (Gates of Shabbat): a guide for observing Shabbat. BM685 .S424
Written in the spirit of Reform Judaism, Gates of Shabbat includes the basic ceremonies necessary for introducing Shabbat into the home, plus background material on the origins and purposes of the various rituals.
Wolfson, Ron. Shabbat : the Family Guide to Preparing for and Celebrating the Sabbath.
If A Day Apart, below, catches your eye, look to Wolfson's guide for more details on Shabbat traditions. Enriched by real-life voices sharing practical suggestions and advice, this creative resource helps us to reacquaint ourselves with time-tested traditions and discover old and new ways to celebrate Shabbat, including biblically-inspired songs and games, Shabbat-related crafts, and more family-tested ideas.
Zion, Noam Sachs and Shawn Fields-Meyer. A Day Apart: Shabbat at Home. BM685 .Z46. With appealing full-color illustrations on each page, this book is good to browse in bite-size chunks. Each two-page spread has a different story or tip for adding to Sabbath pleasure.
Books for Young People
Rauchwerger, Diane Levin. Dinosaur on Shabbat. j. BM685 .R3. A friendly dinosaur with a long skinny neck helps a human family get ready for Shabbat.
Schweiger-Dmi'el, Izhak. Hanna's Sabbath Dress. j. BM685 .S46Hanna ruins her white dress while helping an old man but is rewarded for selflessness by a sympathetic moon, who turns the stains on the dress into glittering points of light. Originally published in 1937.
Topek, Susan. Shalom Shabbat: a book for Havdalah j. BM685 .T61 Say "shavua tov" with all five senses. Look to see three stars in the sky, smell the spices, taste the wine.
Handelman, Maxine Segal. Shabbat Angels. j. BM685 .H3 .
After ten years of being blessed by the good Shabbat angel, Esther and Chaim have a fight and are not prepared for a day of peace, so they are cursed by the bad Shabbat angel.
Jaffe, Nina. Tales for the seventh day : a collection of Sabbath stories. j. BM685 .J3
Jaffe's poetic language suits the Sabbath tradition of quiet reflection. Pencil sketches introduce each of the stories from around the world.
Kobre, Faige. A Sense of Shabbat. j. BM685 .K5
Text and photos illustrate the process of getting ready for and celebrating Shabbat as it is experienced through our five senses.
Manushkin, Fran. Starlight and Candles: the joys of the Sabbath. j. BM685 .M3.
This gentle book shows Jake and Rosy enjoying challah baking, going to shul, a visit with their grandparents, and havdalah.
Simpson, Lesley.The Shabbat Box j. BM685 .S58
After waiting fourteen long weeks, Ira has his turn to take the Shabbat box home from school...and loses it in a snowstorm. Ira can't eat or sleep until, suddenly, an old shoebox gives him an idea.
Abramson, Rabbi Susan, and Aaron Dvorkin. Rabbi Rocketpower in Who Hogged the Halla?: a Shabbat Shabang Y Abr.
The Mensch family are Jewish superheroes. Aliens called Trayfinators, who speak and walk backwards, and do the reverse of what we do as Jews - such as blowing out their Shabbat candles - have invaded the Temple's Oneg Shabbat and are adding ham to the challah and bacon bits to the chocolate chip cookies. With everyone's help, the Mensch family saves Shabbat. The author, Rabbi Abramson, grew up at Temple Israel, and is currently the rabbi at Temple Shalom Emeth, in Burlington, MA; she wrote the book with her son, Aaron.
Hirsch, Marilyn. Joseph who loved the Sabbath. j. BM685 .H5
Joseph works hard all week for the greedy and wicked Sorab. Sorab, worried that Joseph will inherit his wealth, sells all that he owns for a single ruby and goes to sea.. His ship sinks, the ruby is swallowed by a fish which Joseph then purchases for his Sabbath meal, and Joseph inherits all of Sorab's wealth. Based on a Talmudic legend.
Klein, Joyce. The Shabbat Book: A Weekly Guide For The Whole Family. j. BM685 .K5
With a colorful page for each week of the Jewish calendar, this book integrates the weekly Torah portion with the ideas, traditions and customs of the Sabbath.
Rinn, Miriam. The Saturday Secret. Y Rin
Frustrated and angry over his new stepfather's strictness about Jewish traditions, such as being kosher at home and observing the Shabbat, twelve-year-old Jason fights for the right to play baseball on Saturdays.
Sharff, Rabbi Benjamin and Howard Salmon. Comic Book Siddur for Shabbat Morning Services. j. BM666 .S3
The Shabbat morning service is re-imagined as a superhero quest story. Contains all the prayers in easy-to-read 24 point Hebrew font. Word balloons contain "comic speak" English translations spoken by a minyan of muscular superheroes.
Music for All Ages
Celebrate Shabbat: Songs to Treasure. CD BM685 .C4
A collection of traditional and contemporary songs sung by RebbeSoul; Nomi; Tanja Solnik; Craig Taubman; Patti Linsky/sLaurence Juber; Hollywood Klezmer; Danny Maseng; Shirona; Neshama Carlebach; Rick Calvert; Sam Glaser; Debbie Friedman; Pharaoh's Daughter/Basya Schechter; Wolf Krakowski
Friday Night Live. CD BM685 .T3. More contemporary Shabbat music by Craig Taubman, Shaarei Shabbat : Songs and Blessings for Your Own Jewish Home. AUDIO BM685 .S31. Includes Kiddush, Motzi, Birkat Hamazon, Havdala blessings, and the songs, Am Yisroel Chai and Hinei Ma Tov.
Lift up your voice! Produced by Cantor Roy B. Einhorn, of Temple Israel, Boston. Shabbat melodies sung during the Qabbalat Shabbat (Friday evening service) at Temple Israel, Boston. Participants include Rollin Simmons, (vocal on Shalom Rav), who went on to be ordained as a cantor; the Temple Israel Youth Choir, many adult singers from Temple Israel
Shabbat Alive CD MUSIC Rec.
Recorded on May 6, 2005 at United Hebrew Congregation in St. Louis, this album captures the passion and excitement so many have come to associate with Rick Recht and his unique Shabbat Alive service. The recording features Rick with dozens of singing kids, teens, adults, musicians, and the voices of over 1000 congregants from the St. Louis Jewish community celebrating Shabbat with the music of Rick Recht, Craig Taubman, Debbie Friedman, Julie Silver, Dan Nichols, and more!
Shabbat Anthology M2186 .E49S55 Sheet music plus CDs (two volumes) with Shabbat music ranging from contemporary folk rock to grand liturgical settings of the 19th-20th century masters.
The Shabbat lounge: experimental Jew age music CD BM685 .T38
Liner notes say: "Smooth and silky, this CD glides you into the Shabbat mood! Be adventurous and try something different - join Craig(Taubman) in The Shabbat Lounge!"
Shabbat shalom! Jewish children's songs for Sabbath at home. KIDS' CD BM685 .S42
Contains blessings over grape juice and bread, plus some original songs like, The Challah, What do you like about Shabbat? and Always room for more.
Share Your Shabbat! Be inspired by others' Shabbat stories, and/or post your own story for readers to see!
Pathfinder by Assistant Librarian Wendi Hoffenberg