As I write this column, The Weekly Parashah: An illustrated retelling of the Chumash with Midrash (Volume 1: Sefer Bereishis) has just reached the bookstores – and it’s already generating excitement and unprecedented buzz.
Here’s what one of our staffers had to say: “I took home a copy of the parashah book this week. It is really a beautiful book. My kids absolutely love it!” When a well-known mechanech saw an advance copy, he called it “a game-changer, there’s never been anything like it.” And, perhaps most important, an 11-year-old reader who got to take a sneak peek had this reaction: “Wow!”
“Kiruv workers have long recognized the power of the Shabbos table to touch Jewish neshamahs and open them up to a love for Torah,” says Rabbi Nachman Zakon, author of The Weekly Parashah. “In today’s world, that’s true in our own families as well. With parents and children overscheduled and overstimulated all week long, it’s at the Shabbos table that we share our mesorah with the kids, it’s the place we give over to our children a love for Torah.”
Every facet of The Weekly Parashah was designed by its creative team to make it a positive experience for the entire family. With decades of chinuch experience, Rabbi Zakon knows what youthful readers want – and need. The narrative is vivid and lively, and – a must for today’s children – broken up into short, readable sections with intriguing subheads. Every page is livened up with sidebars such as Fascinating Facts, Who’s Who in the Parashah, and Questions, Anyone?. Torah in Our Lives shows boys and girls how relevant the Torah is to their everyday challenges and concerns, and Parashah Pointers gives a super-quick review of the parashah.
Today’s children expect great graphics – and they get them! Illustrator Tova Katz has outdone herself with stunning, detailed illustrations that the kids can pore over, while designer Yonina Hartstein has made every page a masterpiece.
The Weekly Parashah also includes a detailed index to the hundreds of sources, an invaluable resource for parents and educators. The first volume, Sefer Bereishis, is now available, and Sefer Shemos will be published in time for the Torah reading. The next three volumes are in preparation.
As we prepare to begin a new parashas hashavuah cycle, let’s show all of us, children and parents and guests alike, the beauty of Hashem’s Torah, with The Jaffa Family Edition: The Weekly Parashah.