Comic Strips Summarizing the Weekly Parshah, The Torah comes to life
What is your earliest memory of reading biblical stories? Is it your elementary school teacher? Possibly a grandparent who read you stories? A particular book? What tools do we use to discuss the parshah with our children? How do we arouse the interest of our listeners? How do we engage them?
The Talmud tells us that when God was instructing Moshe regarding the detailed architectural plans for the Mishkan (the Tabernacle), written textual instructions were not enough. Moshe failed to understand. He had to be given a visual image – a pictorial sketch – in order to appreciate the full grandeur of the Mishkan: “According to all that I show you, the pattern of the Mishkan and the design of all its vessels.… Make according to the design which you have been shown on the mountain” (Shemot 25:9, 40).
Rashbam and Ibn Ezra point to Yechezkel, who visualizes the Temple in his prophetic visions. The Rambam (Maimonides) tells us that prophecy was communicated through visual “parables” that need decoding and explaining by the spiritual virtuosity of the prophet. Again, spiritual messages are communicated via imagery and art. Sometimes pictures speak louder than words. Text, especially in Hebrew, can be an obstacle to some children, and pictorial stories can open up entire worlds. Some people are simply visual learners. How about children who are not yet reading? For others, images are a means of connecting to a side of the story that they wouldn’t appreciate through mere words; the pictures bring the words to life.
It is for this reason that it is my pleasure and honor to welcome Andrew Galitzer’s book Tora Comics, which has been years in the making. Andrew, with whom I have studied at Yeshivat Eretz Hatzvi, is a talented artist and a magnificent cartoonist. He is also a wonderful teacher who can connect with young and old alike. He brings a sincerity, a conscientiousness, and a deep commitment to all he does. I have seen many of his parshah comics, and they are a fabulous resource – enjoyable for kids and a superb teaching tool for adults – as he summarizes the major topics and themes of the parshat hashavua and brings them alive in cartoon format. I can see parents using the images as a way of transmitting the content of our Torah, as well as using the pictures as the basis for discussion around the parshah. Andrew has put in hours of thought and research into his parshah comics.
I highly recommend this book.
—From the forward by Rabbi Alex Israel, Yeshivat Eretz Hatzvi
About the Author
Award-winning artist Andrew Galitzer is a young Orthodox Jew, passionate about uniting Judaism and art with his Torah comics. He attended Jewish schools all his life, reinforcing his religious identity. Following Katz Yeshiva High School, he attended Yeshivat Eretz HaTzvi in Israel to study Torah and mitzvot on a deeper level. Currently an undergraduate at Drexel University, Andrew runs biweekly parshah classes as the education chair of the Orthodox community on campus. Throughout his years of education, Andrew developed his personal drawing style. His artwork has won awards from the Boca Raton Fine Art Show, Teach Coalition, Chidon Hatanach, the Combat Anti-Semitism Movement, and the Jewish Museum of Florida. He created the name ANDiDREW , as in “I went to Israel and I drew,” which evolved into a globally recognized resource for Jewish educational materials. Andrew expanded his business to include Zoom drawing classes and Torah Comics Workshops to fulfill the need for virtual activities in 2020. Andrew pitched this idea to win first place in the Baiada Institute Student Pitch Competition. Today, ANDiDREW is a popular cartooning studio that inspires thousands of Jewish artists of all ages. Andrew hopes to continue to impact Jewish communities around the world and share his love for Judaism and art.
Size: 8.15″ x 6.46
Reading age: 7 – 11 years
ISBN 10: 9657801060
ISBN 13: 9789657801062
By: Andrew Galitzer