Simon would rather be out playing soccer than reading about boring, old Jewish holidays in Hebrew School. But when his class starts learning about Lag Ba’Omer, strange things start happening. First a cat shows up in school. Then, he and smartypants Janet find themselves talking to an old woman who thinks she’s from the time of the Romans! Does she really need their help to save her friends? Can her stories really change reality?
Experience the legends of Lag Ba’Omer through the eyes of Simon and Janet, two fifth graders who are fed up with school and would much rather be out playing with their friends. Join them as they embark on an impossible journey to help save the heroes of the Lag Ba’Omer story – Bar Kokhba, Shimon Bar Yokhai and Rabbi Akiva – from themselves.
Read an excerpt from Chapter 2 of The Woman, the Warrior and the Mystic:
The old woman was sitting by a rock, and she looked up as Janet and Simon raced by. Simon didn’t have much time to think, but in the back of his mind it occurred to him it was strange the woman didn’t seem startled in the slightest.
“Come my friend”, she called out, beckoning gently towards the kids – or was it the lion she was talking to? Her voice was soft as dark velvet, and Simon suddenly knew everything would be all right. He stopped running and slowly approached her. The lion, so ferocious moments before, seemed now like a kid who had been distracted from his game by a beautiful flower. He passed right by Simon and sat down gently at the old woman’s feet.
“Its been a long time, Aryeh,” she said, stroking the lion’s mane affectionately. “Who are these kids you’ve brought me?”
The lion raised his head in the direction of the children. Why don’t you go ahead and ask them yourself?, he seemed to say.
“All in good time,” the woman murmured kindly. “It’s rude to start asking questions before we’ve even introduced ourselves”. With that, she turned to Janet and Simon: “Hello there. How do you do? I’m Tslel and this is my friend Aryeh. I’m going to guess that you’re Janet and you’re Simon, and I’ll bet you want to know just what exactly is going on here.”
Janet, not often at a loss for words, gaped at the woman, dumbfounded.
“Don’t worry, I understand. It can be quite a shock — suddenly coming from the hustle bustle of town and finding yourselves out here in the countryside. And Aryeh here isn’t really big on words.” The lion nodded and gave what must have been a lion chuckle.
“Well, now that you’re here, I might as well tell you a bit about Aryeh and me.” She cleared her throat and began to speak.
Get the Kindle version of Ohr Margalit’s The Woman, the Warrior and the Mystic at Amazon.com!
Lag Ba’Omer, the 33rd day of the Omer, is celebrated in lots of different ways. In Israel, kids build bonfires and have huge picnics, and thousands of people camp out near Shimon Bar Yokhai’s grave in Meron.
But what is Lag Ba’Omer really about? And most importantly, why should kids (or grownups, for that matter) care about it today? When you’re done reading The Woman, the Warrior and the Mystic, you’ll feel connected to the story in a way you never have before.
Suitable for ages 8-88, the nine-chapter book is also a great resource for teaching kids about the traditional texts of Lag Ba’Omer. It includes an appendix with a sampling of the many primary sources the story is based on.