Title: A Never-Ending Tale: Illustrated Parables of the Ba’al Shem Tov and His Disciples
Author: Gadi Pollack
Illustrator: Gadi Pollack
A Never-Ending Tale: Illustrated Parables of the Ba’al Shem Tov and His Disciples vividly outlines the lofty character traits that every Jew should strive to attain.
The powerful preamble to the stories sets the tone for these spiritual lessons with an amusing yet hard-hitting mashal about riding in a hot-air balloon. The hot-air balloon motif subtly greets each reader looking at the compelling pictures, drawing them into the text about how to make wise choices versus how to blunder very badly.
Several situations are posed in the text as one man faces a single day filled with fateful decisions. Readers watch him accidentally making foolish choices as they learn how to use Torah-based values for developing wise preferences.
The lessons, provided by the Ba’al Shem Tov and his students in succinct summaries, are easy to understand at almost any age level. Lightly presented dialogue underscored by the author’s own subtle illustrations proves interesting point after interesting point about how best to reconcile physical whims with spiritual potential. The yetzer hara is simply an untamed series of whims; the tzadikim who prepared the material for this book centuries ago explain how to defeat it.
The Never-Ending Tale book is a compelling read for any one following the clever story line. The tale never ends as long as people populate the earth and apply the lessons learned to their personal storylines.
Buy several copies for friends and family. It will be a treat for children of any age. Kiruv professionals would be wise to stock up on multiple copies.
This book is a useful guide for ba’alei teshuva sorting out Jewish values versus godless priorities, and for their bewildered family members trying to make sense of it all.