[This is not a duplicated question - I am asking here about specific book if it's a good read or not. The last part is asking for recommendations.]

I have bought lots of books to my toddler, such as Gruffalo, Room on the Broom and many other books that he loves me to read for him.

I'd like to buy him some books in English that have some spirituality as well (not only Gashmiut but also absorb some Ruchaniyut) ... I'm orthodox (Dati to be more accurate, please don't ask me to classify myself as Modern Orthodox or Orthodox or Frum, I don't like using these expressions) ..

Anyway bottom line - I'd like to know if this is a book I can order for my son?

Holy Bible: With Colour Stories from the Big Bible Storybook. (New International Version) ISBN-13: 9781444701807 ISBN-10: 1444701800

I think it's originally a Christian book but I love the graphics in this book and it seems like it was well made ... Also since he would never read this book by himself but I can choose the chapters - what's your opinion about ordering this book? Is this OKAY or not?

Also if you have recommendations for other English books that are useful to encourage toddlers to learn some Torah with good graphics - please let me know. Thanks.

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  • Also, I would recommend looking at the website of some of the big name publishers (ArtScroll, Feldheim, etc.) and looking in their childrens sections. You shold be able to find some good items there (also if you have a Judaica store near you, they might have a children's book section, and you'll have the added benefit of being able to see the item in person). – Salmononius2 Aug 9 at 20:33
  • @Salmononius2, I am not living in the US so all the stores around me have Hebrew books, my wife speaks to my son in Hebrew but I only speak to him in English so I cannot rely on Hebrew books, I need something in English ... I am thinking perhaps to take him with me next week to Jerusalem to look for some shops there since many Chuznikim live in Jerusalem (we don't), but I am not even sure where to go in there. I am looking to order from BookDepository because they are reliable and offer good prices, Artscroll is quite expensive for Israel shipping. – arie1985uk Aug 9 at 20:37
  • Fair point, I made an assumption based on your username that your local Judaica store would be an English one. You might still be able to find book ideas from the abovementioned publishers websites and see if a more palatable online store sells it as well. – Salmononius2 Aug 9 at 20:46
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    "Since he would never read this book by himself but I can choose the chapters." You never know when you might accidentally leave the book out and he ends up reading about Yeshu, chas v'sholom. I'm sure this bible has NT stories in it as well. Also, I wouldn't want to know the spiritual effects on a Jewish home when a book containing avodah zarah can be found. There's a story with the Baba Sali about how bad things kept happening to a certain couple, he told them to remove any "impure books" and the couple found a copy of the NT in the attic left by the previous tenants. – ezra Aug 13 at 17:16

You should definitively not.

Talmud Gitin 45b :

נקטינן ספר תורה שכתבו מין ישרף a Sefer Torah that was written by an minn must be burnt.

This halacha was brought in Shulchan Aruch YD 281.

R Michael Perets in his Otzar Pisqei Avoda Zara (siman 33), quotes from one of the Rishonim that, minn refers particularly to this cases:

והנה אותם תנכי''ם שהודפסו על ידי הנוצרים בתוספת ה"ברית החדשה" היא כעין ספר תורה שכתבו מין שישרף. שהרי בחידושי הרמ"ה על גיטין מה: כתב "מין: כגון רשעי ישראל שהיו מתלמידי יש''ו הנוצרי ומשתפין שם שמים בדבר אחר, והן דורשים כל התורה לפי דעתם לשם יש''ו דההוא ודאי לשם עבודה זרה כתביה" ע"כ. והני תנכי"ם של הנוצרים שכוונתם להפיץ את דתם ודאי שעל מנת כן הדפיסום ... וא"כ לשם ע"ז מקרי. And these Bibles that were printed by the nazarenes with adjunction of the "new testament" is like Sefer Torah written by a minn - will be burnt ...


For completeness.

Talmud Shabbos 116a develops more on this:

ספרי מינים... אם יבאו לידי שאשרוף אותם ואת האזכרות שבהם... אמר רבי ישמעאל, קל וחומר, ומה לעשות שלום בין איש לאשתו אמרה תורה שמי שנכתב בקדושה ימחה על המים, הללו שמטילין קנאה ואיבה ותחרות בין ישראל לאביהן שבשמים על אחת כמה וכמה ועליהם אמר דוד הלא משנאיך ה' אשנא ובתקוממיך אתקוטט תכלית שנאה שנאתים לאויבים היו לי Books [written by the] minnim... If they would arrive in my hands I will burn them with the [Holy] Names that are written in them... Said R Yishmael, a fortiori, if to bring peace between a man and his wife, Thora said: G-d's Name, written in Holiness, must be erased by water [in the Sotah procedure], them that make hate between Israel and they Father of Heaven, many times [a fortiori that we must destroy their creations]. And on them said David (Psalms 139) "Whom make You hated, G-d, I will hate, and with whom stand against You, I dispute, an extreme hate I hated them, enemies they were for me"

Rashi ad loc says

Books of minnim: Servants of the Avoda Zara and they written for them Bibles in Hebrew.

So, we must destroy (burn!...) even a whole Sefer Tora, that was written by a minn.

Note: R Moshe Feinstein (EH I, 96) says that this only concerns דברים שבקדושה, because it is a great remembrance for somebody to have participated in a holy thing. But it is permitted to use secular things created by a minn etc.

  • Can you please elaborate on this? Thanks! – arie1985uk Aug 13 at 7:20

Disclaimer: I am a Christian, so my answer may be somewhat biased.

But from what I understand, the New International Version of the Bible does not translate Isaiah 7:14 and Psalm 22:16 in the Jewish way - it says "virgin" rather than "young woman" and "pierced" rather than "lion"

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=isaiah+7%3A14%2C+psalm+22%3A16&version=NIV

However, the only Christian Bible I can think of that not only says "young woman" in Isaiah 7:14 and "lion" in Psalm 22:16 but is also readable by children would be the Common English Bible

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=isaiah+7%3A14%2C+psalm+22%3A16&version=CEB

The "Deep Blue Kids" version is made specifically for children

http://www.deepbluekidsbible.com/

Please let me know if you have any questions/comments

  • Thank you Sevan - how is the book itself in terms of describing the basic stories from the book of Genesis, such as Noah's Ark, the tower of Babylon etc.? Have you read or ever came across the Jewish versions? I'm wondering if there is a huge difference or if that book simply provides the basic story? (which in that case I don't mind to buy it) ... – arie1985uk Aug 9 at 20:46
  • Well, here is a sample of the Deep Blue Kids Bible - deepbluekidsbible.com/downloads/DBKBsampler.pdf – 7MessRobHackOpen Aug 9 at 20:50
  • The sample linked above includes the first 15 chapters of Genesis, you can also find other samples for other editions of the Common English Bible. It certainly does provide the basic story, and I can't think of any huge differences between it and any of the Jewish versions that I have read/come across. – 7MessRobHackOpen Aug 9 at 20:52

Shalom. I use this book with my kids (ages 2-9) at home at my Shabbat School classes (ages 4-12) and it tells briefly a good many of the stories of the TaNaK from a Jewish perspective (non-Christian). It doesn't have the actual text of a Bible but depending on the age of your child it may work. New they are $25, but you can get a pre-owned or $5. https://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listing/0789420635/

This series called "Tell me about the parasha" http://www.jewishbooksforchildren.com/parsha-torah-stories-for-children-chumash.html is beautifully illistrated and very well done. It is designed for children 6 and under, and is heavy on midrashim. The same publisher has a different series of Chumash books for children 7 and up. Please note that these books are rather expensive in the States, they may be more reasonably priced in Israel (they are published there)

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