Full Reviews Spirit Tale Nine: A Miracle Is On Its Way

Meet The Sephardic Storytelling Family!    Main Characters   Table of Contents   At First Glance

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Reviewed By Carol Thompson for Readers’ Favorite 5star-shiny-hr_Readers_Favoriterated!

Spirit Tale Nine, A Miracle Is On Its Way – Spirit Tales Volume 9, by Rabbi Sipporah Joseph is written in narrative and theatrical format and is easy to follow. The story questions such issues as evolution and spirituality, and Jewish and universal values. Spirit Tales is based on the Jewish Bible and Brith Chadashah (Jewish letters also called New Testament), according to the author, which is a description that sums up the book concisely. Rabbi Sipporah Joseph tells the story in one part of the book as life being a game of chess. “The king is the most important piece in a chess game but also the weakest,” is one of the quotes that really captured me.

Each passage flows smoothly and the dialogue, which is a key element, is eloquently done, even when the subject is controversial, such as when speaking of the Messianic Jews. Rabbi Sipporah Joseph writes with flair to make the story interesting for even those who aren’t familiar with the subject. It may not be subject matter for everyone, however, I did find it to be culturally enriching, and I did learn from it. There is a riveting earthquake passage and a lesson for Nathan, one of the primary characters of the story. The book is very thought-provoking and engaging. I like the way it’s written. It’s not a style one would often see in a fiction book and that uniqueness makes the story all the more special. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Really good story. Love the narrative/theatrical format. It was truly an enlightening experience.

Reviewed By Jack Magnus for Readers’ Favorite 5star-shiny-hr_Readers_Favorite rated!

Spirit Tale Nine: A Miracle Is On Its Way: Spirit Tales Volume 9 is an inspirational story written by Rabbi Sipporah Joseph. Grandpa Sereno and Grandma Sasson are hosting their family’s Chanukah celebration. They begin with a feast of traditional dishes, and then Yonathan, Sereno and Sasson’s son, presents a spirit tale about miracles, which was written by Sasson. It’s the story of Nathan Rubylionstein, a professional actor. When we meet Nathan, he’s having breakfast with his old theater group. They are celebrating their last meal together before the Chanukah holiday break. After breakfast, the group decides to perform a scene from one of their plays. The play they select is Upside Down, in which provocative subjects such as reincarnation and evolution are discussed by the characters. Nathan was in that play years before and is pleased to replay his part, but also he’s troubled by a loud voice that keeps asking him questions.

Rabbi Sipporah Joseph’s Spirit Tale Nine: A Miracle Is On Its Way: Spirit Tales Volume 9 continues a marvelous series that educates as it entertains. I’ve been privileged to read most of the Spirit Tales and have begun to feel as though I were a part of Grandpa Sereno and Grandma Sasson’s extended family. Rabbi Joseph’s ninth tale addresses subjects that have many nuances and possible answers, among them what it means to be religious or not religious, and what evolution really is or means. Sometimes I felt uncomfortable with the lesson, and at other times I saw that there were alternative ways to see things I had always taken for granted. There’s a lot to think about and ponder in Spirit Tale Nine: A Miracle Is On Its Way: Spirit Tales Volume 9, including the perceptive questions the family asks at the end of the tale. Spirit Tale Nine is most highly recommended.

Raanan Geberer for Readers’ Favorite 4_stars_1rated.
Among Jewish families, Chanukah is usually a time of happy family get-togethers and good feelings. Jews spin the dreidel, eat potato pancakes (or jelly donuts if they’re Sephardic) and light the candles. Discussions of reincarnation, the soul’s purpose, Judaism vs. Christianity and evolution vs. creationism aren’t usually part of the mix, but they are in Spirit Tale Nine: A Miracle Is on Its Way (Spirit Tales) (Volume 9) by Rabbi Sipporah Joseph. The scene is a Chanukah celebration at the home of a wealthy Jewish family in Spain. The members of the Sasson-Sereno family are singing traditional songs and otherwise celebrating when one of them begins to tell the story of Nathan Rubylionstein, a young actor in a Jewish-oriented theater company. In the story, Nathan begins hearing a voice that constantly asks him “Who are you?” He keeps getting visits from the voice, even after he narrowly survives a building collapse, and in time the voice reveals bits and pieces of Nathan’s past lives.

Spirit Tale Nine: A Miracle Is on Its Way (Spirit Tales) (Volume 9) is written in an unusual style, half narrative and half-theatrical. While it contains many Hebrew words and phrases, Rabbi Sipporah Joseph includes a glossary. She makes it clear that the book is to be enjoyed by Jews and non-Jews alike. She gives us facts that we may have been unaware of – for example, I had no idea that there was much of a Jewish community in Spain, a country that expelled its Jews in the 15th century. For those who feel a need for spirituality and ask the “eternal questions” about the reasons for our lives here on Earth, Spirit Tale Nine: A Miracle Is on Its Way will be very enjoyable and thought-provoking.

Brenda_Meyers_17 5Stars rated.
Posted December 11, 2014 @ Barnes & Noble
Engaging, dynamic and scintillating. A wonderful read.

Classic-leo 5Stars rated.
Posted December 6, 2014 @ Barnes & Noble
An enthralling read with many concepts related to the major debated theme of freedom. The author presents her clear thoughts on the various subjects in a directive but non coercive fashion. This is a short story but loaded with great depth of thought processes. Highly recommended.

TJones-Bookworm 5Stars rated.
Posted December 6, 2014 @ Barnes & Noble
Well-paced and gripping!

Wasserman3 5Stars rated.
Posted December 3, 2014 @ Barnes & Noble
Amazing!
What constitutes a miracle? Chanukah or not, this story is universal and can be appreciated on any day of the year! I felt really encouraged but it also made, and still makes me ponder on the many mentioned topics within the tale.
The main theme is freedom but Rabbi Sipporah Joseph connects it with the arts, reason itself and the supernatural. All within a psychological framework that makes this religious fiction story very meaningful!

DiklaNesherY 5Stars rated.
Posted December 3, 2014 @ Barnes & Noble
Very intrusive. A miracle is perhaps on its way and reaches us every day of our lives. Do we recognize them?

Naomi_Goldsmidt 5Stars rated.
Posted December 3, 2014 @ Barnes & Noble
Wonderful rendition of the connection between the visible and invisible world and how the miraculous play a part in life. The tale addresses many topics and therefore a lot to ponder upon. Certainly an interesting read.

Shuli-Mendel 5Stars rated.
Posted December 2, 2014 @ Barnes & Noble

An exceptional story! Freedom in general is indeed taken for granted for so many of us but what about freedom of spirit? An intellectually stimulating fiction story with many exciting surprises! Highly recommended!

Fiction-J-9 5Stars rated.
Posted December 2, 2014 @ Barnes & Noble

A short story with great depth! Many different topics related to “freedom”; is addressed in a marvelous written story that kept me involved till the end. It’s not preachy but it does encourage a deeper reflection on “freedom”; as one of the major themes of life in correlation with”miracles”. Spirit Tale Nine: A Miracle Is On Its Way is a Chanukah story in which truly the miraculous touch the regular and paints a wonderful picture I believe many other readers will appreciate.

Miss Diane Donovan,  hardcopy and e-book reviewer for Midwest Book Review. 5Stars rated.

Spirit Tale Nine: A Miracle Is On Its Way is Book Nine of the ‘Spirit Tale’ series of fables – but you don’t have to be Jewish to appreciate these stories.

It’s Channukah, and time for the Festival of Lights. Family members are gathered to celebrate (and a welcome prologue neatly defines their relationships and connections to one another, leaving nothing to puzzle.)

From why the men choose to honor their women by serving the meal women have so carefully prepared to miracles of marriage affirmation, family connections, and an aura of happiness that permeates all, Spirit Tale Nine successfully captures and embodies the essence of celebration and neatly defines the basic concept of miracles as “… unexpected pleasant events that defy all logic and reasoning.”

In this case, the miracle of family is explored as each family member considers their blessings in being part of a supportive, close-knit system…but as always with Rabbi Sipporah Joseph’s approach, there’s a story, and Yonathan uses family experience to provide yet another fable offering enlightening insights into the wider meaning of ‘miracle’: “…we indeed do not always recognize miracles when they present themselves. Sometimes they even irritate us before we begin – perhaps only slowly – to understand their hidden meaning and lesson,” Yonathan stated.”

Now, one might not expect a story about miracles to be connected to “true freedom” – but all of the Spirit Tales hold wider implications, and that is one of their strengths.

A short song introduces the story of 24-year-old professional actor Nathan Rubylionstein, who along with his Jewish troupe reflects on gatherings, celebrations, marriage, the way of the Torah, and the roots which led to his success.

Insights for readers take the form of a series of discussions and debates between protagonists which brings to light such diverse considerations as evolution and different Jewish perceptions of miracles and life: “Not all Jews are religious, John, which by definition gives rise to a plethora of views

on biblical narratives in general, including Genesis. “By the way, Zalman, could it be that those Jews who do firmly believe in the theory of evolution concerning the origin of human beings, do so because of a tangential subject -reincarnation?

When disaster strikes and a Voice once again speaks to Nathan, he comes to realize new truths about his path in life the meaning behind world events: “The Voice: “Look at the chess game, Nathan!” “All these pieces have their part to play, just like you. Life is a game of chess. Can you name the pieces?

How can there ultimately be revelation and happiness even in the face of a disaster and Nathan’s possible demise? Survival of the spirit is even more important than bodily safety, and as Nathan embarks on a surprising journey, so those around him are changed.

Spirit Tale Nine: A Miracle Is On Its Way is about all kinds of miracles: the miracle of God, life, the spirit, and various forms of survival.

Its prologue and epilogue are perfect introductions and conclusions to the story’s wider meaning, and though Rabbi Joseph’s inclusion of family member ages on every paragraph is somewhat disconcerting at times, the overall story is beautifully done and easy for any reader to digest.

All that’s required is an interest in moral questions, spiritual reflection and a fable format which takes one man’s life and examines its underlying meaning. Readers who love parables, fables, and especially Jewish-based stories will find Spirit Tale Nine: A Miracle Is On Its Way stands well on its own in addition to supporting the series as a whole.

 

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