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Win a copy of Nobody and Every Other Day by Jennifer Lynn Barnes (ends 2/20)

Friday, January 30, 2009

Hebrew School

Just in the nick of time, I have Lisa Ann Sandell!
Between the years I was in first grade and twelfth, I had to go to Hebrew School. Two to three times a week. I was not a fan at the time, but now, I am so glad my parents forced me to go. I picked up all kinds of stories along the way—stories from the bible, stories of the Jewish holidays, folktales, morality tales. And one of the stories that has always staid with me goes something like this:

Once there was a man with a very large and very noisy family. He, his wife, their children—and there was a whole bunch of them, and somebody was always crying or yelling—lived in a hut with just one room. So, there was really no escape for this poor, beleaguered man from the constant rumble of human sounds, and it was driving the man crazy. One day he goes to his rabbi and complains that it’s entirely too loud in his hut.

The rabbi asks, “Do you have any animals?”

“Animals?” the man repeats.

“Yeah, animals, like chickens, geese—poultry?” the rabbi prods.

“Sure, I’ve got some chickens and geese and ducks,” the man answers slowly.

“Perfect,” the rabbi says. “Now bring them into your house?”

“Into my house?” the man asks, shocked. He’s very confused, poor guy. But he does as the rabbi instructed and brings his chicken, ducks, and geese into his tiny little hut. The noise level only gets worse. The man can’t sleep with all the yelling and crying and quacking and clucking and honking. He goes back to the rabbi and tells him that the hut is louder. “I can’t stand it!” he complains.

“I see,” the rabbi says, stroking his long, white beard. “Well, do you have any other animals?”

“Yes, I have a goat,” the man responds.

“Perfect! Bring your goat into the hut,” the rabbi instructs.

The man is very confused now, because bringing the goat into his hut sounds like a terrible idea. He does it anyway, and as you might expect, the hut is even louder. The man can’t sleep with the crowding and the noise. So he runs back to the rabbi, and tells him, “The noise is even worse than before! Why did you tell me to bring the goat into the house?”

The rabbi looks at him calmly, and says, “I see. Do you have any other animals?”

“Yes, I have a cow.”

“Great, so bring the cow into your house.”

The man shakes his head dispiritedly, but does as the rabbi commanded him. Now the noise and the crowding in the tiny little hut is absolutely unbearable. He runs back to the rabbi, and says, “Rabbi, what are you doing to me? I can’t sleep, I can’t stand it anymore! There’s no room for any of us to breathe, and the noise is unbearable.”

“Take the animals back outside,” the rabbi tells him.

The man is gone practically before the rabbi is finished talking. He takes the cow and the goat and the ducks and the geese and the chicks back outside into the yard. And that night the man and his family enjoy the most peaceful rest.

The next morning the man returns to the rabbi and says, “Guess what, Rabbi. My family and I slept through the night, and it was quiet and there was room to breathe!”

The rabbi inspects the man with his wise old eyes and says, “Just remember, whenever it seems like things are bad, it can always be worse.”
The wonderful people of Scholastic is sending me a copy of Song of the Sparrow to give to a lucky commenter! Since I'll be the one mailing to the winner, once again it's a US only giveaway!

1. +1 entry for commenting on this post
2. +1 entry for following me
3. +1 entry for blogging about this contest
4. +2 entries for ... (this is a secret...)
5. Leave me a way to contact you
6. If blogging, please leave me a link
7. The extra entry puzzles/riddles will not accepted for this celebration week.
8. This giveaway will end on the 19th of February mostly because I have to wait for it to arrive.



  1. woohoo another contest! awesomeeee

    enter me again and you know all the other stuff so i dont have to repeat them again :D


  2. I love stories like this one! It's funny that he brought in all the animals without actually asking why. Unfortunately, I don't have any animals on hand to remind me that things can be worse.

    Also, that cover is pretty! Sign me up...following...posting sidebar...all that jazz :)

    cecilia // cecpham(at)gmail.com

  3. haha cute story. Please enter me....of to steal my followers...mmwahahaha

  4. I love the cover of this book and would love to read it.

  5. I would like to be entered.
    akreese (at) hotmail (dot) com

  6. I follow your blog.
    akreese (at) hotmail (dot) com

  7. Please enter me! And I blogged about the contest here:



  8. blogged

  9. This book looks awesome. Please enter me!

    juliematthews7 (at) juno (dot) com

  10. Please enter me!

    I have posted a link in my sidebar. http://shalondsblog.blogspot.com (I put ends Feb. 28 because there is no 30th day in February).

    I am a follower!

  11. I would love a chance to read. :) I follow and I blogged here:


  12. Please enter me in the contest. I am a follower and have posted this contest week on my blog.



  13. Please enter me in the contest! I'll blog about it over at my LJ. (dnt have a blogger)


  14. Thanks for the giveaway.


  15. I would love to win this book; it sounds great! Thank you for offering this giveaway. :) eyeslikesugar [at] gmail [dot] com

  16. I also subscribe to your blog. :) eyeslikesugar [at] gmail [dot] com

  17. I've heard this story before but differently and in Spanish. My dad told it to me but I kept cracking up because he was making funny faces and changing his voice. Anyway Yan, I hope that you enter me in the contest and I follow you (so that's an extra entry :P).

    I do like the pretty cover (yes I can be shallow)! :)

  18. Please enter me!


  19. I posted about this contest here.


  20. Please enter me. I blog at blackeyedsusans.blogspot.com

  21. I'm now a Books By Their Cover follower.

  22. Posted a link to your contest. May I ask you to link to ours as well?

    EnterColor Online's Giveaway & Contest

  23. I'm following this blog!:)

    Please enter me:)


  24. I've heard great things about this book. Please enter me!

    P.S. I follow you.

    mishtakes AT gmail DOT com

  25. hi, I'd love to read this!

  26. Love to read this.



  27. this one sounds amazing too!


  28. Please enter me! Thanks for all of these giveaways! And I'm already a follower.


  29. Please enter me! I've already blogged about all the contests in general in one blog. & I'm a follower.


    Thanks for posting all these giveaways/contests! Much appreciated :)

  30. Haha, great story!

    I'm a follower

    sosarora_11 at hotmail.com

  31. Please enter me! I've also posted a link in my sidebar (http://readingsofateenagetree.blogspot.com/).


    Also, I love your blog! I just found it (and started following), though, so you don't have to give me an entry for following. Don't think it would be fair, in comparison to those who've followed you for awhile. ;-)

  32. Nice story. That does make a lot of sense!


    I also am a follower.

  33. Hi! I love the cover of this book and it sounds amazing! I follow your blog. My email is annieluvsmuffin@Gmail.com Thanks for the contest!
    -Senfaye :)

  34. pleasepleasepleasepleaseplease :)

    I've looked forward to this book for SO long.

    AND i'm a follower

  35. I love that story-it's a good thing to try to remember, too. Even if you don't have any livestock ;)


  36. Great contest!!