Bagels From Benny is the gold medal winner of the 2003 Sydney Taylor Book Award from the Association of Jewish Libraries! It was selected out of nearly 200 eligible titles as the best Judaic book of the year for younger readers. Based on an ancient Jewish folktale, this is a whimsical yet serious story of a child's attempt to connect with God. Benny's grandfather bakes the best bagels in town, but gives the credit to God, the source of the earth from which the wheat grows. Benny wants to say 'thank you,' and places bagels in the Holy Ark so that God can taste the results of His handiwork. Benny finally discovers that the bagels have been eaten, not by God, but by a hungry, tattered man, and is disappointed until grandfather explains that Benny has thanked God by helping others and making the world a better place. In some ways, this adaptation is more believable than the original tale in which a grown man places challahs in the Ark; after all, it is more developmentally...
I am not Jewish but feel this book is wonderful for all children who are trying to grasp the concept of God and for parents who want to impart this important lesson - God wants us to help others. My 7 year old checked this book out from the public library and had me read it to him over and over again. He related to Benny and especially loves the part when the Grandfather is initially horrified with what Benny is doing with the Bagels. This book is a true classic and I am disappointed that I don't find it available in my local bookstores.
_Bagels from Benny_ is a retelling of an old Hasidic Jewish tale (Hasidism is the mystical branch of Judaism). The tale is retold through the eyes of a young child, Benny. Benny helps his Grandfather in his bakery everyday. One day a customer thanks the Grandfather for putting such "love" in his bagels. Benny's Grandfather brushes off the thanks and says that the thanks really belong to God. Benny like most children is earnest in his desire to get the his thanks to God. Benny's dilemma is how to be sure that God "received" the thanks. Benny decides to share some of the bagels with God and places a bag full of bagels in the Holy Ark (a closet in the synagogue that holds the Torahs [5 Books of Moses]). When Benny next goes to synagogue with his family on Saturday (the Jewish Sabbath),Benny is delighted to see that the bagels are gone. He, of course, decides that God ate the bagels and decides to bring some every week for God. After a few weeks Grandpa gets suspicious, what is...
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