Aloha and Happy Hanukkah! We have the perfect last-minute-gift for you (or your Jewish friends)!
“Haikus for Jews: For You, A Little Wisdom”, by David M. Bader; literally where East meets West!
A haiku, as you likely already know, is a form of poetry created in Japan, which consists of 17 syllables, arranged in a three-line syllabic sequence of 5-7-5.
As the timeless haiku poet Basho said: “There is no subject whatever that is not fit for haiku.” As New York City author David Bader proves, this much is true!
“Haikus for Jews” is a body of work that would make Mel Brooks proud.
Here’s a few choice samples:
“After the youngest — recites the Four Questions, the fifth — when do we eat?”
“Hava nagila — hava nagila, hava – enough already.”
“Middle East peace talks—the parties reach agreement. — Falafel for lunch.”
“No egg and no cream — just syrup, seltzer, and milk — Zen of the egg cream.”
There is great fun to be had in these 109 pages. Everyone who picks one up in our bookstore immediately begins to chuckle, being of Jewish background or not, then says, “Oh, I gotta get this for …!”
As another reviewer stated: “The book is best savored like bonbons, just a few at a time. Some are wry, some confirm the American Jewish experience, and some are laugh-out-loud funny.” We agree!
Accompanying this assembly of haikus are simple illustrations. Throughout the book at the page numbers are lovely renditions of a cherry blossom rendered in the Japanese style, as well as a bagel with a pair of chopsticks.
While written in jest and good humor, many who study haiku have stated that “Haiku for Jews” is the real deal.
It conveys the essences of thought, place, and moment.
Yet, even with this level of achievement, you’re still likely to snort while reading it!
Ed and Cynthia Justus are the owners of The Bookstore in Hanapepe.