A Sabbath Summer Solstice Story

By: Kerry M. Olitzky

Illustrated by: Krystyna Nowak

Published: April 1, 2023

Publisher: Relevant Publishers, LLC


On a trip to Alaska, Tova realizes that the sun doesn’t necessarily set as it does at home. When they arrive after 9:00 PM, it is still light out. Tova, a Jewish girl, worries about how they will know to end Shabbat on Saturday night if the sun doesn’t set.

Shabbat is the Jewish Day of Rest. Shabbat happens each week from sunset on Friday to sunset on Saturday. During Shabbat, Jewish people remember the story of creation from the Torah where God created the world in 6 days and rested on the 7th day. Different Jewish people celebrate Shabbat in different ways.

Tova and her mom arrive at the lodge in Alaska and take in the beautiful landscape. During their trip, Shabbat falls on the Summer Solstice which means the day is even longer in Alaska. How will Tova know to end Shabbat? She and her mom head out to explore the area and the various wildlife including a bear, moose, porcupine, porcupine, eagle, and more. Tova’s mom suggests that maybe she ask the animals how she will know when Shabbat ends.

Unfortunately, none of the animals are able to help her until an orca whale jumps through the water and shares an important lesson about the sun and how Alaskans mark their days. Tova and her mom celebrate Shabbat during the Summer Solstice while being reminded to enjoy the moment and not rush through what just might be something amazing.

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Thanks to the publisher for sending a copy of this book for the purpose of this review. This review is my honest opinion. If you choose to make a purchase through the above links, I may receive a small commission without you having to pay a cent more for your purchase.
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