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Does God Have A Big Toe?: Stories About Stories In The Bible [Paperback]

Marc Gellman
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Sept. 23 1993
Before there was anything, there was God, and a few angels, and a huge swirling glob of rocks and water with no place to go. The angels asked God, "Why don't you clean up this mess?"

This collection of short, funny stories is one man's interpretation of how God did just that -- with some very unlikely help.

There was Adam, who decided to number the animals instead of giving them names -- until he lost count. There was Max, a matchmaking angel disguised as a camel. And who could forget the kindly dolphins of the Red Sea or the builders of the spectacularly chaotic Tower of Babel, whose foundation rests in one small girl's question: "Mommy, does God have a big toe?"

Reflecting Mr. Gellman's lifelong love for his subject, this witty collection of midrashim provides a wonderful way to learn about and to share the stories of the Bible. Distinguished artist Oscar de Mejo brings the right blend of reverence and humor with his magnificent oil paintings.

Notable Books of 1989 (NYT)
Best Illustrated Children's Books of 1989 (NYT)
Children's Books of 1989 (Library of Congress)

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About the Author

Rabbi Gellman holds an earned doctorate in philosophy from Northwestern University. Rabbi Gellman is married to Betty Schulson and has two children, Mara and Max. He is the senior rabbi of Temple Beth Torah in Melville, New York. He will be the next president of the New York Board of Rabbis.

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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Words from the Heart Nov. 16 2001
Format:Paperback
This is a delightful book either to give to your child, to read together with your child, to read yourself, or to refer to when you are asked that age old question, "Does God have a big toe?" The answer Rabbi Gelman gives is very sensible, "...God is not a person. God is special and invisible and wonderful and is the creator of the universe. God has made each of us in God's image. But God is not a person. And that is why God does not have a big toe."
This is a collection of 20 'midrashim' (plural for 'midrash' or a story which is told about a story which appears in the Bible to illustrate a moral, i.e. a fable). The author explains all about 'midrashim' in a Note at the beginning of the book in a style suitable for children. One handy feature of the book is that in the table of contents, each 'midrash' is provided with the biblical citation from which the story is drawn. It is divided into two sections, one titled "Adam's Animals", the second "Does God Have A Big Toe?" and with a prologue about Genesis 1, the story of creation. Richly endowed with a half dozen illustrations by Italian primitive artist Oscar de Mejo, this book delights both the eye as well as the intellect.
There is a old Jewish saying, "Words from the heart speak to the heart." These words come from the heart. If you have an open heart they will speak to your heart.
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By A Customer
Format:Paperback
I used this book as a teaching aid in a Conformation class of pre-teen girls. It provided an additional alternative to the very patriarchal Genesis creation stories, in addition to helping them learn to think "outside the box" about scriptural stories in general. The girls loved the book and so did I. I've also heard some neat sermons based on the stories from this book. Grown-ups love it, too.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A great reading aloud book March 2 2002
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
This is one of my favorite books to read aloud in my k-3 (Quaker) Sunday school class. Marc Gellman's language just captures the interest of the kids. (The pictures are nice but unnecessary.) He tells wonderful stories with messages that speak on many levels. The youngest kids just enjoy a good story with great word pictures, while the older children realize that much more is being said.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A great reading aloud book March 2 2002
Format:Paperback
This is one of my favorite books to read aloud in my k-3 (Quaker) Sunday school class. Marc Gellman's language just captures the interest of the kids. (The pictures are nice but unnecessary.) He tells wonderful stories with messages that speak on many levels. The youngest kids just enjoy a good story with great word pictures, while the older children realize that much more is being said.
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