Gershon's Monster: A Story for the Jewish New Year

by Eric A. Kimmel and Jon J. Muth

“Now Gershon was not always the best person he could be. True, the mistakes... read more

“Now Gershon was not always the best person he could be. True, the mistakes he made were not huge. They were common, ordinary things: a broken promise, a temper lost for no reason, a little untruth told here and there.” However, unlike most other people who apologize for the errors of their ways, Gershon never expressed regret, nor did he ask anyone’s forgiveness. Every Friday, he merely swept up his thoughtless acts and tossed them down into the cellar. Once a year, he gathered the accumulation into a gigantic sack and dragged it to the sea. But Gershon’s thoughtlessness ultimately throws his beloved children into jeopardy. Kimmel’s effective retelling of an early Hasidic legend is extended by Muth’s watercolor paintings that show the thoughtless acts as little imps and the annual sackful as a pollutant. A helpful author’s note at the end provides historical context and suggestions for practicing t’shuvah , or the act of returning to one’s true moral nature. The story can serve as an introduction to a Rosh Hashanah discussion of repentance or as a worthy moral tale. (Ages 5-11)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2001

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