Rabbi Harvey

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My 12-year-old son and I just read the latest Rabbi Harvey graphic novel: Rabbi Harvey vs. The Wisdom Kid, which is billed as “a graphic novel of dueling Jewish folktales in the Wild West.”

Wisdom and compassion win over cheating and violence in this hilarious book. Rabbi Harvey of Elk Spring, Colorado is challenged by the new (and, as it turns out, evil) Rabbi Ruben (also known as “the wisdom kid.”) Rabbi Ruben and his accomplices (including his mother, “Bad Bubbe”) attempt to imprison Rabbi Harvey, all the while filching money from innocent townspeople in exchange for shoddy advice.

With the help of his own learning and some quick action on the part of his friend Abigail (former gold miner and current schoolteacher), Rabbi Harvey foils the plans, shows up Rabbi Ruben for the cheater he is, and runs him out of town.

Each episode features authentic Jewish folktales, including silliness from the people of “Helms Falls” (the Wild West counterpart to the traditional “Chelm,” the Polish town of fools in Jewish folklore).

The drawings in this book at first appear crude. In fact, the art is dubbed “strange” in one of the blurbs on the back cover! However, as I read the book, the art came to seem perfect for this funny book that brings traditional wisdom to life in unexpected ways.

Other books in this series include: The Adventures of Rabbi Harvey, and Rabbi Harvey Rides Again.

I’ve included these books on my Boys list. Highly recommended!