Mayer Aaron Levi and His Lemon Tree

Mayer Aaron Levi lives in a small village. Like his fellow Jews, he studies Torah and goes to synagogue three times a day. Unlike everybody else, Mayer Aaron also has a bountiful lemon tree.

  • Ages 6-10

Mayer Aaron Levi lives in a small village. Like his fellow Jews, he studies Torah and goes to synagogue three times a day. Unlike everybody else, Mayer Aaron also has a bountiful lemon tree. His wife Raizel is very possessive about the tree because she takes its ripe lemons to brew a special lemonade that she puts in jars and has Mayer Aaron sell in the village square. Because the tree provides the family with added income, Raizel is very upset that a thief seems to be stealing some of them. She sits outside to catch the thief, only to learn a lesson that will be handed down from generation to generation.


  • "This beautifully spun tale provides a wealth of teaching possibilities by recounting a family's devotion to a single lemon tree and the effect it had on the five generations that followed. Through the great-great-grandson's version of his grandfather's recollections, we experience the world of Eastern Europe's Jews and their hardships. More importantly, Lehman-Wilzig confirms the importance of Judaism and its principles within the daily village culture. A single lemon tree not only provides an entire village with sustenance and a bit of luxury, it serves to reveal the lessons of Torah, the value of caring acts, the responsibility to one's family, to one's community and the earth...The combination of Mishna, text and artwork provides an entire lesson plan. The book also features an activity page which asks the reader to discover their family tzedakah heirlooms. Part of Gefen's new series of Jewish Heirloom Stories, this delightful picture book is a treasure."

    Jewish Book World
    November, 2007


    "Only sweet lemons are served up in this charming children's parable...Mayer Aaron Levy and His Lemon Tree, a story within a story, conveys the concept of tzedakah. Perfect for young children, the endearing book by Israeli author Tami Lehman-Wilzig teaches an important lesson without ever sounding preachy...Mayer Aaron Levy and His Lemon Tree kicks off a new series conceived and written by Lehman-Wilzig for Gefen publishers. Called Jewish Heirloom Stories, each original folktale revolves around a Jewish value that is designed to bond multiple generations. Each concludes with an activity calling for children to sit down with their parents and grandparents to write their own story on a similar theme. If this is an indication of what's to come, bring on the others."

    Liz Harris
    September 14, 2007


    "A very special book about charity is Mayer Aaron Levy and His Lemon Tree by Tami Lehman-Wilzig...the story teaches children not only the importance of giving but also about appreciating what they have."

    Netanya Hoffman
    The Jerusalem Post
    December 7, 2007


    Amazon Reader Review

    "This lovely and heart-warming story by Tami Lehman-Wilzig provides a great example of the benefits of sharing to children ages 7 - 11. When a person does a good deed for someone, especially those less fortunate, it represents how G-d cares for all of creation. This type of caring reverberates throughout the community and often has far reaching consequences as demonstrated so nicely by this story. The book is a joy to read because it teaches a great lesson. It is also a joy to view the realistic and colorful artwork by Ksenia Topaz who beautifully illustrates each page of this book."

    Erika Borsos
    August 29, 2007



Shabbat Around the World

We Jews are a diverse people, with communities all over the world creating engaging Shabbat customs.

You can learn about them through my unique,
digital-story / lesson-plan series that
It Gets You and Your Students Involved!