Community Blog Rabbi and Author Imagines World of Compassion

By Hebrew College
Ma'ayan Sands holding children's book

Rabbinical School of Hebrew College alumna, Shabbat Table member, and children’s book author Rabbi Ma’ayan Sands, Rab`16 recently published her second book, Nobody ever told them they are different.

Nobody ever told them they are different is an important story. Bear, Lion and Tiger teach us that all living things are precious. When children and their adults, read and discuss it together, they will be embraced by its message of hope and inspired to share in the work of making our world safer and more equitable for all its inhabitants,” says Rabbi Sands.

It has been said, the entire Torah is a shir, a song, [1] “The essence and the beauty of our song unfolds when all the variety of voices join together”. That is the message of this story. Ours is a world full of ugliness, people who carry hate in their hearts, racism, bigotry and prejudice are rampant-instead of love. This story can bring hope to those who read it. The illustrations, the language, the story itself, and the adult discussion section at the end, will help children and their adults discuss these challenging issues.

“Both the illustrations (by Ellie Norton) and words are so meaningful and powerful”, says Shoolman Graduate School of Jewish Education Dean, Rabbi Michael Shire. “Ma’ayan’s book sets up the parental opportunity to allow children to construct their own realities with values in mind. Can a new generation find kindness, generosity of spirit and openness in seeing the world differently? There is a wisdom in childhood that the rabbis understood to be qualitatively different from adults and one that is closer to the perception of the Divine. Recent research suggests that this openness and virtue ethic is inherent in young children but is suppressed by our adult norms.”

This book (and Rabbi Ma’ayan’s previous book: Does God Have Ears that Really work?) will be available for purchase at Rabbimaayan.fenway.press and at Kolbo in Brookline, MA. Rabbi Sands is available for readings and discussion of the book. For more information or to reserve an advanced copy, please contact Rabbi Ma’ayan Sands at rabbimaayan@gmail.com.


[1] Rabbi Yechiel Michel Epstein; Introduction of Arukh haShulkhan to Choshen Mishpat

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