"Talmudic tales are a rich source of literature for children. They are redolent with atmosphere, packed with layers of meaning, evocative of historic times, and feature characters surprisingly easy to connect with and love. This one focuses on the earth and the cycle of nature. It tells us never to take rain for granted; to remember that it provides sustenance, nourishes the earth, and is vital to life.
Rabbi Hanina Ben Dosa is caught in a terrible downpour and is suddenly, soakingly, uncomfortably wet. He knows that the rain is good for the earth and its creatures, and that the growing things depend on its regular appearance but still … he wants to be warm and dry. He prays for the rain to stop, which it does. Hanina is satisfied until he remembers the plants, the animals, and the cracked, thirsty soil. When the rain once again begins to fall, Hanina realizes he can stay warm and cozy inside his home while the rest of the world enjoys and benefits from the wonderful rain outside.
A simple afterword retells the story of Rabbi Hanina and the rain in a passage translated from the Babylonian Talmud. The story is accompanied by art so richly colored and lushly drawn that it seems to have soaked up the benefits of a gentle, healing rain.
There’s much to learn from this simple story; it delivers the kind of lesson that sticks. Once absorbed, it can change a child’s outlook and will last for a lifetime." ― Michal Hoschlander Malen, Jewish Book Council
About the Author
Ruth Calderon is the Visiting Professor in Talmudic civil law at Harvard Law School. A former Member of Knesset, she is also an educator and academic Talmud scholar. She is the founder of the Elul pluralistic beit midrash, as well as Alma, the Home for Hebrew Culture. She received her MA and PhD in Talmud from the Hebrew University. This is her first children’s book. She lives in Tel Aviv, Israel.Noa Kelner graduated from the Bezalel Academy of Art & Design. She works with book publishers, newspapers, and magazines, and loves to give stories color and form. She is the co-founder and artistic director of the annual "Outline – Illustration and Words" festival in Jerusalem and also teaches illustration. She lives in Jerusalem with her husband and two children.