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THE ELIJAH DOOR by Linda Leopold Strauss


A Passover Tale

by Linda Leopold Strauss & illustrated by Alexi Natchev

Pub Date: April 1st, 2012
ISBN: 978-0-8234-1911-1
Publisher: Holiday House

A foolish argument creates a feud that can only be resolved through a wisely engineered pretense.

The Galinskys and the Lippas trade geese and hens with unequal results. When the geese die and an unreasonable misunderstanding ensues, the family elders cut off their longstanding friendship. But David Lippa and Rachel Galinsky, like Romeo and Juliet, wish to marry. They seek the Rabbi’s advice to bring the two families together and involve the rest of the villagers in a ruse to gain invitations from their feuding parents for the yearly Passover Seder. “One by one the neighbors came…. pleading injury, poverty, bad planning, or broken dishes.” Preparations for the mammoth ceremonial dinner include a lot of furniture—stretching from each family’s house until two long, winding tables almost connect between backyards. Heeding the Rabbi’s plea for joyous celebration “in our love for each other,” the feud ends, with the Rabbi’s own table unifying the two dinners before the Seder begins. But how to welcome Elijah outside? David and Rachel go back inside to open the unused front door for the symbolic gesture. Old-world storytelling depicting a bygone era of Eastern European shtetl life is augmented by folk-art–inspired, roughly detailed woodcuts hand-colored with watercolor inks.

The prudent message that all Jews are one family rings out clearly and joyfully.

(Picture book/religion. 5-8)