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About the Author
Shahar Kober is an illustrator and art director based in Israel. Shahar holds a degree in design and now teaches illustration for animation. His favorite projects often include adventurous animals. You can visit him online at www.skober.com.
There are a number of books about the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah, but very few are set in Israel. This story is based on the trip of the first train from Jerusalem to Jaffa in 1897, shortening the time between the coast and the city from three days to three hours. Cohen turns this journey into a fanciful account of Engineer Ari, who is proud to have been chosen to drive the train; but his bragging annoys his coworkers. Ari heads past orange groves and palm trees, through wheat fields and around olive trees. Everywhere, he is greeted by happy citizenry who offer nature's bounty to him so he can bring it to the holy city. Despite his joy, Ari misses his friends, and by the time he arrives in Jerusalem, he realizes how he's hurt them. Since Rosh Hashanah is the time for apologies, Ari eagerly returns to make peace. The text is short, and the art is simple, but it gives a sense of agrarian life in those days of settlement. An author's note adds details.--Journal