The Sabbath Lion explores Courage
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The Sabbath Lion explores Courage

Book Title: The Sabbath Lion: A Jewish Folktale from Algeria

Author: Howard Schwartz

Illustrator: Barbara Rush

Jewish Value: Have Courage

Book Summary:

Topic(s) Addressed:

This resource was created by the PJ Library at the PJ Library Educator's Center. Created for Family programs, this resource and its activities can be utilized, possibly with modifications, in a variety of children's learning environments.

Synopsis from the resource:

"This program is designed to help children expand their strategies for coping with fear and to help families gain an understanding of the Jewish value of courage - Ometz Lev (literally translated as “strength of heart)”. To help participants acquire a realistic view of courage and bravery, the program also strives to assure participants that feeling frightened is a normal emotion that affects all of us at one time or another in life. To highlight the Middle Eastern source of this folktale, families are introduced to the Sephardic custom of wearing a Hamsa or hanging one in the house as a protective measure."

Be Inspired:The ideas included are offered as starting points as you and your students explore, discover and live the lessons. Be sure to elicit and encourage student and parent participation, consistently reinforcing the value being addressed. Allow lessons to authentically develop and change based on engagement and interests.

Lesson Plan Components

For the educatorJewish Thought, Text, and Traditionsmore

Jewish every dayIncorporate Jewish Valuesmore

Materials and resourcesmore

Sharing The Storymore


Explore, Discover, and More Extension and Reinforcement Activitiesmore

Music Connectionsmore

List of All Songs

Consider sharing these songs, with your community (which can be streamed and shared with a spotify account) and/or review related song suggestions, below in "complementary resources" section.


Article and links that might be of interest as you explore this value:

literature connectionsmore

TitleAuthorIllustratorBook Summary
The Hanukkah Trike* Michelle EdwardsKathyrn MitterGabbi Greenberg loved Hanukkah. She loved to light the Hanukkah candles. Gabbi received a new tricycle and she named it Hanukkah. She vows to ride it all over. On her first try, she falls. She finds the courage to get up and try again by remembering the Maccabees and their struggle and victory over King Antiochus and his army.
Nachshon Who Was Afraid to Swim: A Passover Story* Deborah Bodin CohenJagoYoung Nachshon’s family had been working for the cruel Egyptian Pharaohs for generations. He fears that this will be his destiny, too, but when Moses leads the Jews out of Egypt to the Red Sea, Nachshon gets the chance to overcome his fear of the water—and to realize his dream of freedom. The biblical legend of the brave boy who was the first to step into the sea when the waters parted for Moses will inspire children to examine and deal with some of their own fears.
All The Lights In The Night* Arthur LevineJames RansomeOn a dark December morning, Moses and Benjamin begin their escape from Russia to Palestine. With only a battered old lamp for comfort--and a single night's worth of oil--they try to keep up their spirits by telling the story of Hanukkah. And, when that night finally comes, they light the old lamp, and hope for a miracle. Full-color illustrations.
Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins* Eric KimmelTrina Schart HymanA traveler rids a village synagogue of goblins by outwitting them in order to be able to celebrate Hanukkah.
Yuvi's Candy Tree Lesley SimpsonJanice Lee PorterFive-year-old Yuvi narrates her tense exodus from Ethiopia to Israel in this story based on the real-life journey made by Yuvi Tashome, who was among thousands of Ethiopian Jews relocated, secretly at first, to Israel during the 1980s and '90s as part of Operations Moses and Solomon. Simpson (The Purim Surprise) and Porter (Blackberry Stew) convey the hardships faced by Yuvi, her relatives, and the other refugees (they are robbed three times), while providing reassurance in the form of references to the group's unshakable faith in their escape, and swooping, tableau-like paintings rendered in a comforting palette of desert yellows and cool blues. "We have angels with us. We'll fly home," Yuvi's grandmother repeatedly tells her. The eponymous candy tree represents the confidence instilled in Yuvi that a better life awaits (she comes to believe that the orange trees that line the road in Israel are indeed the candy trees she has dreamed of). Though neither the story nor the author's note explicitly state why the refugees are fleeing Ethiopia (mostly famine), readers should finish the book with a strong sense of their strength, faith, and determination.
Beautiful Yetta: The Yiddish Chicken* Daniel PinkwaterJill PinkwaterYetta, beautiful Yetta, manages to escape from the butcher’s shop. But now she is lost in Brooklyn—a strange place filled with rude rats and dangerous buses!
Oh, dear!
But then, brave Yetta saves a small green bird from a sneaky cat, and his friends, the wild parrots of Brooklyn, are very grateful.
                        ¡Muchas gracias, gallina hermosa!
                        ¡mooCHAS grahSEEas, gahYEEna ehrMOsa!
                        Thank you very much, beautiful chicken!
Has beautiful Yetta found her new home?
Inspired by real events, this multilingual story is a witty, warm, and wonderful read-aloud for any age.
The Memory Coat Elvira WoodruffMichael DoolingIn the early 1900s, two cousins leave their Russian shtetl with the rest of their family to come to America, hopeful that they will all pass the dreaded inspection at Ellis Island. 
Noah's Swim-a-Thon Ann Koffsky Noah loves camp. He loves kickball, and arts and crafts, and singing, and being with his friends. But swimming makes his "arms feel goose-bumpy, his eyes feel stingy, and his nose feel stuffy." Noah won't go in the pool, until he learns about the camp swim-a-thon and how he can help other kids enjoy the camp he loves so much. Ann Koffsky's joyful text and bright illustrations teach young children about the values of tzedakah and perseverance, while sharing the magic of Jewish summer camp. Noah's Swim-a-Thon is sure to be a hit with both campers and their parents. 
The Rabbi and the Twenty-Nine Witches Marilyn HirshMarilyn HirshOnce a month, when the moon is full, twenty-nine of the meanest, scariest, ugliest, wickedest witches that ever lived come out of their cave to terrify the villagers . . . until one day the wise rabbi invents a plan to rid his village of those wicked witches forever. The rabbi's clever plan works--with hilarious results!
The Secret Shofar of Barcelona Jacqueline Dembar GreeneDouglas ChaykaSymphony conductor Don Fernando longs to hear the sounds of the shofar. Like other conversos during the Spanish Inquisition, he has to hide his Jewish religion and pretend to follow the teachings of the church. But when he is asked to perform a concert celebrating the new world, he and his son Rafael devise a clever plan to usher in the Jewish New Year in plain sight of the Spanish nobility.
The Story of Esther Eric A. KimmelJill WeberTold for many thousands of years, Esther's story is still thrilling as well as inspiring. The Purim story is full of drama. It brings together a mighty king, a jealous scoundrel, and a wise uncle. However, at its center is a clever heroine who was so beautiful she was known as the Morning Star. It is only because of Queen Esther's cunning and courage that evil was brought to justice and many lives were saved.
When Mindy Saved Hanukkah    
* PJ library Books
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