Joseph is a devout Jew who lives in Tiberias, a city on the shores of the Sea of Galilee. He loves the Sabbath and invites strangers and even beggars to his home. His neighbor Judah asks him why he wastes money feeding poor people. "Everyone is important," says Joseph. "Those who come to my table are honoring me, and together we honor the Sabbath. What we give to the Sabbath is repaid a thousandfold."
In this teaching story for children 5 and up, writer Eric Kimmel has fashioned a tender-hearted, generous, and compassionate hero who is subjected to some hard times. But God is there to carry him through and the Sabbath is his lifeline offering him peace and contentment. His neighbor and friend Judah suffers the loss of his wealth and his views on what really matters in life are changed drastically.
Children need more spiritual heroes nowadays, and Joseph is certainly one worth emulating. He exemplifies the ethical foundations of Judaism with his reverence of the Sabbath and his open-hearted spiritual practices of kindness and hospitality.