Book Review

Around the World in One Shabbat

by Durga Yael Burnhard


Burnhard’s charming book takes its’ readers on a voyage,  peeking into Jewish homes  around the world. Readers will get to experience the diverse Shabbat traditions of each culture, and yet still recognize the Shabbat they are familiar with from their own lives. It’s a wonderful way to show the multicultural rainbow that all falls under Judaisms’ giant umbrella.

Around the World in One Shabbat: Jewish People Celebrate the Sabbath Together


The Good stuff

-The Mood

Burnhard is a very talented author and artist. Her beautiful pictures and matching words create a flowing narrative that captures the calm and serenity of Shabbat.

Even the type is set to flow lyrically over the page.


-The Details

The portrayal of Shabbat focuses on the unique culture of each country. For example, in Ethiopia Avraham is happy he doesn’t have to gather firewood on Shabbat; In Thailand the father takes his Shabbat snooze on a hammock.


-The Illustrations

The clever images have amazing patterns and details to discover, like how the Kiddush cup used in Jerusalem has an image of Jerusalem carved into it, or how a challah cover incorporates images of characters and scenes from all over the book into it’s design.


Not So Good

The Length

The text is very long. Sitting and reading it to a young child that you are trying to get to sleep might be slightly torturous.



The books shows both traditional and contemporary synagogues, and includes images of a female Rabbi and mixed seating at a Temple.)



This is a wonderful book that conveys the warmth and specialness of Shabbat, with every page overflowing with beauty and detail. Each time it is read their will be new gems to find.


Rating : 4 of 5

One Response to “Book Review”

  • renee:

    I LOVE Israel. I spent my honeymoon their. I cant wait to go back with my family one day soon!

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