Almost a Minyan

by Lori S. Kline
Sociosights Press

"We live in a town that has just one shul and even on Shabbos, it isn’t quite full. So mornings at seven, it’s often the case, there’s almost a minyan – except for one face."

A minyan is a gathering of ten adult Jews over the age of 13 for the purpose of prayer. In this lovely story, a Jewish girl looks forward to becoming old enough to join her father in prayers in the presence of a minyan. In their small town, she worries that on Shabbos they will be almost a minyan or just short of the required 10 adults for certain prayers and rituals. She watches her father leave each morning with his tallis and tefillin to pray, and she longs to go with him. In this, she is like any tween who is ready to be old enough to join the adults and leave childhood behind. She not only wants to join her father and make the minyan complete, but she also wants to carry on her family’s traditions and rituals. When her grandfather dies, and she is finally old enough to join the minyan with her father, she receives her grandfather’s tallis and tefillin to use. Her father tells her that his Papa’s spirit is in the prayer shawl and will wrap her in love each time she wears it.

This wonderful celebration of familial and community connection through Jewish tradition and ritual is told through the story of a young girl longing to grow up. The plot featuring a maturing adolescent who wants to be brought closer to her family and participate more fully in the religion she loves and respects is believable. Parents will enjoy sharing this story with children as a way to introduce a minyan and other Jewish words and traditions. The author also includes a glossary of Jewish terms that is helpful for learning. The illustrations capture the emotions of each character and fill up the pages with color and scenery that help tell the story of a minyan.

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