Rabbi Shmuel Herzfeld's book An Extra Seat is a book that honors Jewish pride and support for the community. The story tells of how children are informed of a political injustice and stand against them.
From 1977 to 1986, Anatoly Sharansky was imprisoned for attempting to flee the Soviet Union for Israel, a crime at that time. Rabbi Weiss tells the congregation they must pray for their brother and support him. They must go to stand in protest, shouting "Let my people go" as Moses had to Pharaoh.
The children take things further by placing an extra chair at dinner time and during holiday celebrations. They wanted to do their part and that's what I appreciated most about An Extra Seat. It showed that you can do more than just stand and yell. Sometimes, the smallest action can bring peace and joy to a situation. Avital Sharansky even states how her husband would be happy with their actions.
I believe the actions in this book are not solely for the Jewish, but for all people. The love and support and the act of standing in the gap should be shared by all. Lovely story.
*The Friendly Creeper (Minecraft) is next.
An Extra Seat
Rabbi Shmuel Herzfeld
Illustrations by J. B. & C. B. Herzfeld
Gefen Publishing House
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