The rabbi and his donkey

Susan Tarcov

Book - 2023

Hamor the donkey proudly takes Rabbi Moses Maimonides to the sultan's palace every day, but when Hamor is replaced by a faster horse, both Hamor and the Rabbi soon miss their symbiotic relationship.

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Location Call Number   Status
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Picture books
Minneapolis, MN : Kar-Ben Publishing [2023]
Main Author
Susan Tarcov (author)
Other Authors
Diana Renjina (illustrator)
Physical Description
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 29 cm
Ages 3-8.
Grades 2-3.
Contents unavailable.
Review by Kirkus Book Review

Sometimes slowness wins out over speed. Hamor, a donkey belonging to Egypt's renowned Rabbi Moses Maimonides, unhurriedly carries his master to the sultan's palace daily and learns much from the wise thoughts he expresses aloud. One day, the sultan asks the rabbi to write a medical book, but he has little time, so the sultan provides a sleek horse to deliver the rabbi to the palace more swiftly. Good news for the rabbi, sorrowful news for Hamor, who misses hearing the rabbi's lessons. The rabbi isn't altogether pleased, however, agreeing that the rapid horse allows him more time for writing--but less time for thinking. He realizes that he requires slower-paced journeys to gather his thoughts while traveling: Riding Hamor is his "only time for thinking in [his] whole day." In the end, perhaps it's Hamor who teaches a wise scholar a valuable lesson? This thought-provoking tale will be especially welcome in Jewish school and synagogue-library collections as an introduction to the acclaimed 12th-century Spanish-born Sephardic Jewish scholar-philosopher Rabbi Moses ben Maimon (also called Maimonides). Based on Maimonides' own writing, it advances a gentle, respectful message about human-animal relationships. Architectural and apparel styles, vegetation, and decorative motifs strongly evoke the Middle Eastern setting; yellow ocher, russets, and orange-browns convey the warm hues of desert sands. Humans, Hamor, and animal characters are expressive; the people are brown-skinned. A reminder that wisdom comes in different forms and from different sources. (historical note; portrait of Rabbi Moses Maimonides) (Picture book. 4-7) Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.