telling the tales

I’m good at sharing.  I share easily.  In fact, sometimes I simply can’t help but share.  I’m taking less about the liquorish allsorts {type of sharing}and more about my personal stories.  I’m referring mostly to the sharing of my feelings; my experiences and the things that make me spring out of the bed, most mornings.

So I want to share with you one of the projects I’m working on right now.  True to form, because almost all of you now know that Panzer’s Deli has undergone a major transformation; and that Hampstead is always a good village to head for.  But this project is more than a little different.

You see, I’m going to surprise you and not try and sell you the latest ANYTHING.  This project is outside of my usual sphere, let alone comfort zone.  Together with a clever friend, I’m writing a book of short stories for children.

But the really interesting bit is that the clever friend is a… RABBI.  I know, I’m as surprised as you are, honestly.  Most of my closer friends that I’ve told, over a glass of something cold and sometimes sparkly, have roared with laughter.  Not because it’s even vaguely amusing nor nice to laugh at the idea that anyone might write a book with a rabbi.  No.  Because that anyone is me.

I’ve pretty much disregarded, tried to ignore, brush off and generally abstain from all things religion since I spent many a Sunday of my teenage years in church saying The Lord’s Prayer.  Then I married a Jew and got by, just by jumping a few hurdles.

And now I’m writing a book with a rabbi.

The short stories will aim to bring alive those stories (from the Torah) that have never seen the light of day – or have been told previously in a less than engaging way.  Often, they will be written in the first person (of the 8-13 year old who will be reading them) or via a talking donkey or a moody female cow. They will be read in synagogue when the child is looking for somewhere to direct their attention.  And parents at bedtime as well as RS teachers will (hopefully) delight in this slightly alterative voice of storytelling where fact and relevancy don’t mean a lack of real, kid-friendly engagement.

And all of you?  You’ll still giggle at the idea that I’m writing a book with a rabbi … until you meet him, read the stories, try to answer our life questions (which follow each tale) and then you’ll see that he’s the ultimate storyteller, the master of mixing tradition with the modern world, the Jewish Pied Piper  – all with the patience of a saint for that idiot who needs more explanation of how the colourful bunch who feature in the Torah came to be. 

Then I’m hoping you’ll read on.  Because there’s a kid in all of us.

This is Rabbi Jeremy Gordon

And if you want to know more about this project, I’d be delighted to hear from you.

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