A school trip for four preteens morphs into a mystical mission to complete the legendary unfinished corner of the world. Why does this corner even exist? In the words of Kotzker Rebbe, “God left one little corner in darkness so that we may hide in it!” According to Jewish esoteric texts including midrash (Hebrew scripture commentaries) and kabbalah (Jewish mystical writings), the corner is a cold, dark, dreary, demon-infested place that needs some fixing up.
On their way to attempting to fill this void, the students encounter Jewish mystical superstars like the golem, a giant clay creation intended to save the Jews of Prague; Lillith, the first wife of Adam; and the nephilim, half-angel and half-human troublemakers. Usually portrayed as a negative and threatening she-demon, Lillith is refreshingly presented here as a beautiful, concerned mother, and her demon children as kind. Indeed, all the characters — including the occasionally bickering teens — are viewed as redeemable, demonstrating compassion and trust.
This wonderfully illustrated graphic novel traverses countries, time periods, and realities. Surprising touches — like the heavily armed guard at the school entrance, who appears at the beginning of the story — add frightening realness to a complex fantasy.
Award-winning journalist and freelance writer, Helen Weiss Pincus, has taught memoir writing and creative writing throughout the NY Metro area to senior citizens and high school students. Her work has been published in The New York Times, The Record, The Jewish Standard, and other publications. She recently added “Bubby” to her job description.