Friday, March 27, 2009

THE YANKEE AT THE SEDER: What Difference Does the Color of a Coat Make?

THE YANKEE AT THE SEDER is a new children's picture book that I reviewed for The book is written by Elka Weber and illustrated by Adam Gustavson.

What makes this book particularly interesting is that it is based on a true story of a Union soldier sharing the seder with a Confederate family right after General Lee surrendered to General Grant on April 9, 1965.

At the seder that begins the week-long holiday of Pesach (Passover) we recount the story of the Israelites escaping slavery in Egypt. Since the Civil War was fought in part over the issue of slavery, how amazing it must have been for this Union soldier to celebrate Pesach with a Confederate family!

In the book the 10-year-old son says:
"Mother," I whispered. "Mother, how could you let a Yankee into our house?"

"Jacob, every year we begin the seder the same way. We say, 'All who are hungry, let them come and eat; all who are in need, let them join us for the Passover meal.' A hungry man needing a seder has come to our home. Would you send him away for wearing a blue coat?"
I hope those of you reading this blog post will think of our military personnel in harm's way and contribute to one or more military-support organizations. If you don't have a favorite one of your own, see some organizations at

At the end of THE YANKEE AT THE SEDER there's a section "The Real Story." According to Weber: "During the war, six thousand to nine thousand Jews fought for the North and about two thousand Jews fought for the South. Nearly one-third of all adult Jewish men in America fought in the Civil War."

You can read my review of THE YANKEE AT THE SEDER.

P.S. If you want to know more about the holiday of Pesach (this year the first seder is the evening of April 8th), read this Pesach chapter from the Jewish holiday book SEASONS FOR CELEBRATION that I co-wrote with Rabbi Karen L. Fox.

Phyllis Zimbler Miller is the author of MRS. LIEUTENANT: A SHARON GOLD NOVEL and the co-author of the Jewish holiday book SEASONS FOR CELEBRATION. She also blogs at PZ the Do-Gooder Scrooge and Operation Support Jews in the Military, and she is the co-host of the BlogTalkRadio show Your Military Life. Her company Miller Mosaic LLC builds call-to-action websites for book authors and small businesses.

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