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The White Ram: A Story of Abraham And Isaac…

The White Ram: A Story of Abraham And Isaac (edition 2006)

by Mordicai Gerstein

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A white ram, made on the sixth day of creation, waits patiently in the garden of Eden until the time is right, then runs to save a certain child in fulfillment of God's plan.
Title:The White Ram: A Story of Abraham And Isaac
Authors:Mordicai Gerstein
Info:Holiday House (2006), Hardcover, 32 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:Sydney Taylor Honor Book, National Jewish Book Award, Book of Life Podcast

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The White Ram: A Story of Abraham and Isaac by Mordicai Gerstein



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At Creation, God created a white ram and instructed it to wait in the Garden of Eden until it was called. When the ram is called for, the evil one attempts multiple times to stop him. The white ram, however, is determined to save a child and pushes on. The ram reaches his destination, taking Isaac's place as a sacrifice.
Legend (explains where the ram that Abraham encounters came into being, no known author of original legend, Jewish values reflected in legend)
Medium: pen, ink, oil paint, colored pencil
  klum15 | Mar 21, 2017 |
Summary: This short story is what many would consider a folktale of sorts. It is a version of Abraham and Isaac and the white ram. The story of Abraham and Isaac is the typical story but this one focusses more upon the ram that is sent to replace Isaac as the sacrifice. It begins with God creating him in the garden and how he meets Adam and Eve. It continues to when he feels called to protect the son. When he is trying to leave the garden of eden the evil one appears and tries to stop him. All across the desert and mountains that the ram had to cross in order to protect the son the evil one tries to temp the ram to stop and rest and stop and drink water. The ram does not fall into temptation or do what the evil one says. He shows up just in time to save the son and he is sent to heaven instead of the son. The story continues to say how it was because of the ram that everything else was able to happen.

Uses: Great book to show ancestry and what some would consider a folktale. It also shows temptation and sometimes we should listen to our conscience so that bad things don't happen.

Genre: Folktale- This genre is considered a folktale because not everyone finds religion factual. Although it is a story that is found to be true among many people.

Media: pen and ink and oil paint and colored pencil
  swallace14 | Mar 3, 2016 |
Level: Primary, Intermediate

This book is a good example of a legend because it is the narrative story concerning Abraham, a patriarch of the people of Israel. Depending on one's view of the Bible, this is also a legend because it is grounded in historical events. This particular legend comes from Jewish storytelling based on the Biblical story of Abraham and Isaac.
The author effectively utilizes the stylistic element of point of view in this book in order to tell a traditional story from another angle. In the Biblical story the ram does not appear until the very end of the story. By telling the tale from the ram's point of view, the author emphasizes the divine planning and knowledge of God, who had known the purpose of this ram from the beginning of creation.
  mopbroek07 | Oct 25, 2010 |
Hear an interview with Mordicai Gerstein, author and illustrator of The White Ram, on The Book of Life podcast's September 2007 episode at www.jewishbooks.blogspot.com
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  bookoflife | Sep 4, 2007 |
In this midrash from the story of the binding of Isaac, God sends a ram to take Isaac's place on the alter. Even though "the evil one," depicted as a horned devil, tries to prevent the ram from reaching Abraham, God intervenes, stopping Abraham from sacrificing his son. The ram is slaughtered instead and his soul flies up to heaven and becomes part of the Temple alter, the foundation of Jerusalem, the harp of Kind David, and the cape of the prophet Elijah. The sophisticated language of Gerstein's retelling, the complex themes, and the scary illustrations limit the audience to older readers already familiar with the story of the Akeda. But, the book is a wonderful way to spark a discussion of midrashim, the role of animals in our world, and the Jewish values of obedience to God and saving human life (pikuach nefesh). As with other biblically based books by Mordicai Gerstein (The Shadow of a Flying Bird, Jonah and the Two Great Fish, Queen Esther, the Morning Star, and Noah and the Great Flood), the text reads fluidly aloud and the fanciful illustrations include many intricate and hidden details such as the hands and face of God in the clouds. REVIEWED BY RACHEL KAMIN (TEMPLE ISRAEL LIBRARIES & MEDIA CENTER, WEST BLOOMFIELD, MI) ( )
  STBA | Aug 21, 2007 |
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