It Could Have Been

It Could Have Been

M. Safra
Feldheim / 65 pages

I’ve never written a book a review on a children’s book before, but this was the right book, at the right time, to start. A comic book, no less.

It Could Have Been is a really cool life like story of how life in Jerusalem would be today if we had a functioning Beit Hamikdash. For example, the Jerusalem light rail would have a “Beit Hamikdash” stop, korbanot would be inspected for any disqualifying blemishes by means of an MRI machine, and visitors to the Temple Mount could leave items not permitted on the Mount in special lockers accessible through biometrics authentication. 

Midrash and Aggada are woven throughout the story. For example, we find children petting a poisonous snake based on the teaching that snakes and scorpions did no harm in Jerusalem. So too, there is endless room for guests based on the teaching that there is room for everyone in Jerusalem.

After about 50 pages of Beit Hamikdash type experiences, such as visiting Har Habayit, offering and eating korbanot, getting a glimpse of the king of Israel, and much more, the book turns into…what the destruction of the Beit Hamikdash would look like if it happened today. The food shortage, the wars, the in-fighting, and finally, the destruction of the Beit Hamikdash itself. The book ends leaving us exactly where we are today.

The book is well done, and I am sure that children will find it fun, educational, and inspiring. It’s great reading all year round, not merely during the Tisha B’av season. I believe the book is available in Hebrew, as well.

My only gentle comment to the creator is, for a book that emphasizes ahavat yisrael, and the importance of loving all Jews, it would have been nice if the characters in the story weren’t just those with black hats and shtreimels. I hope to serve in the Beit Hamikdash one day soon, and I won’t be wearing either.


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