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The Adventures of Rabbi Harvey: A Graphic Novel of Jewish Wisdom and Wit in the Wild West
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The Adventures of Rabbi Harvey: A Graphic Novel of Jewish Wisdom and Wit in the Wild West

3.83  ·  Rating Details  ·  268 Ratings  ·  65 Reviews
A fresh look at Jewish folktales wise, witty, hilarious.

After finishing school in New York, Rabbi Harvey traveled west in search of adventure and, hopefully, work as a rabbi. His journey took him to Elk Spring, Colorado, a small town in the Rocky Mountains. When he managed to outwit the ruthless gang that had been ruling Elk Spring, the people invited Harvey to stay on as
Paperback, 123 pages
Published July 1st 2006 by Jewish Lights Publishing (first published 2006)
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The Complete Maus by Art SpiegelmanThe Rabbi's Cat by Joann SfarHow Mirka Got Her Sword by Barry  DeutschUnterzakhn by Leela CormanKlezmer, Book One by Joann Sfar
Jewish Graphic Novels
26th out of 112 books — 19 voters
How Mirka Met a Meteorite by Barry  DeutschMaus I by Art SpiegelmanHow Mirka Got Her Sword by Barry  DeutschRabbi Harvey vs. the Wisdom Kid by Steve SheinkinRabbi Harvey Rides Again by Steve Sheinkin
YA Jewish Graphic Novels
6th out of 47 books — 10 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 506)
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Feb 21, 2013 Melki rated it really liked it
"No one gets a bar mitzvah in this town without my say-so. Is that clear?"
"Big Milt" Wasserman

Things were wild in the Western town of Elk Spring.
Merchants were helpless when Daniel "The Lion" Levy demanded new suits, no charge. Restaurant owners cowered at the approach of Moses "Matzah Man" Goldwater and his endless cries for free matzah pot pies and coffee.
Then a stranger dressed in black came to town, a stranger with plans to deliver justice using "only the weapons of wisdom, kindness, and hu
Shira Glassman
Mar 08, 2016 Shira Glassman rated it it was amazing
Shelves: jewish
An American Western retelling of a bunch of Jewish folktales, set in Elk Spring, Colorado, and featuring the kind of “but what if everyone in [not a traditionally Jewish-dominated setting] were Jewish?” shenanigans that I do in my fantasy novels. I like this kind of gimmick because I like it when we get to be in things. Not just shtetl-things or Shoah things or New York things. Fantasy, westerns, sci-fi, other parts of our history…

As an example: you know the old gag about outlaws taking over a s
Apr 03, 2016 Katie rated it really liked it
This was really fun.
Michelle Pegram
May 18, 2014 Michelle Pegram rated it it was amazing
Shelves: rll528-jewish
This graphic novel follows the exploits of the wild west rabbi, Rabbi Harvey, as he shares his wisdom and understanding of the world in order to help people navigate unusual and everyday experiences in life. Harvey, in his calm, non-preachy, and wryly witty manner, manages to convince a young boy that being a human is just as inviting as being a chicken, finds a way to prevent a man from cheating a mother with mouths to feed, tricks people into exposing their devious plans among other deeds. Tol ...more
Jul 24, 2016 Wendy rated it it was amazing
This is only my second graphic novel. As I am used to long paragraphs of descriptions, conversations and the like, this was a quick read for me. But, it was also a joy and delight to read. You want a taste of Jewish humor and wisdom? Read this book. The Rabbi Harvey is witty, forthright and very savvy. Gentile or Jew, you will smile while reading these little tales of the West.
Mar 11, 2016 Owlboyle rated it it was amazing
After finishing school in New York, Rabbi Harvey traveled west in search of adventure and, hopefully, work as a rabbi. His journey took him to Elk Spring, Colorado, a small town in the Rocky Mountains. When he managed to outwit the ruthless gang that had been ruling Elk Spring, the people invited Harvey to stay on as the town's rabbi. In Harvey's adventures in Elk Spring, he settles disputes, tricks criminals into confessing, and offers unsolicited bits of Talmudic insight and Hasidic wisdom. Ea ...more
Mrs W
Nov 12, 2014 Mrs W rated it liked it
Shelves: 2014
The juxtaposition of Jewish storytelling and the Wild West seemed random to me at first. And let’s face it, it IS random. In reading the introduction, Sheinkin explains that as an American Jew, he has drawn from the mythology of both cultures and combined them.

The graphic novel is actually a collection of many Jewish stories. They star Rabbi Harvey, a rabbi/sheriff watching over the people of Elk Spring, Colorado. He settles disputes, discovers the truth, runs dishonest people out of town, all w
Beth Schencker
i got a kick out of this graphic novel! perhaps it's because i too am a jewish american, i understood the nuances and language of the stories. although i hadn't heard most of these tales before, these life lessons from thousands of years ago still hold true today.

sheinkin admits he's no expert on jewish theology, nor of western times, but he did have a passion for both when he was young, and thought it was a natural fit to combine the two. written in short story form, rabbi harvey bestows his j
Ariel Caldwell
Jun 18, 2016 Ariel Caldwell rated it it was ok
I picked this up because how could the author/illustrator combine Jewish lore and the Wild West in a graphic novel? Intriguing. I have to say, it did not blow my socks off, and I think it would have a fairly specific readership. I liked the "quick scene"/chapter format to deliver the quips (instead of a full-fledged plot) and Rabbi Harvey is likeable and clever. I recognized some of the stories and jokes from other times in other places, and it was nice to see them again, but I didn't think they ...more
Rabbi Harvey in the old West, out in Colorado, where he finds a town in need of a Rabbi. He dishes out justice with wisdom, a bit of wit and a lot of charm.
Here is one graphic book that is actually easy to read where the artwork doesn't get in the way of the text and actually provides a reminder that these ancient stories aren't set anywhere else but the frontier town of Elk Spring, Colorado. My grandson read the story of Nathan the Candle maker with me the first evening I had the book, and tho
Jun 05, 2015 Aya rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Milé a chytré vyprávění, celkem obyčejné obrázky, zábava tak akorát na cestu do práce a domů.

Rabi je fajn chlap, trochu podivín, ale rozhodně rozdává rady vskutku šalamounské. Navíc na Divokém západě! Zajímavá kombinace zábavy s poučením. Na dětský komix možná trochu moc textu.

Knihu doporučuji jako oddechovku v podstatě každému, zejména tomu, kdo jako já dohání Goodreads Challenge :-)
Feb 27, 2016 Lyndsey rated it liked it
This is the first graphic novel I've read, not bad for a new (to me) genre. My library is having a reading challenge and the current theme is read a graphic novel.
This book was entertaining. I've been interested in Jewish religion and culture ever since I was in middle school. The added Wild West theme was random and I enjoyed it.
Good book overall for my first graphic novel.
Aug 18, 2016 Naomi rated it really liked it
A collection of parables. I was pleasantly surprised; I thought it was going to be one long story and I was skeptical that it would be anything other than an animated stereotype. Definitely not! I think the Rabbi was accessible, believable, and very familiar, while the stories were well done. I don't know from the originals, but these were good. ;-)
Emilia P
Jan 27, 2010 Emilia P rated it liked it
Shelves: comic-books
This book was fun!
Jewish folktales reset in a very oddly Jewish Wild West. I really liked the illustration style, the wrinkly eyed oval-headed folks and the brown and grey coloring, and of course the folktales were good -- most of them made me chuckle. Making good and exposing badness through cleverness is often rather pleasant -- Rabbi Harvey's turn as a chicken under a table was particularly good. I thought it was neat too that this book was published by a Jewish religious press. Way to make t
Apr 06, 2012 Amanda rated it really liked it
For some reason, this is a Jewish folktale that takes place in the Wild West. Rabbi Harvey went on a journey to Elk Spring, Colorado in search of adventure and looking to work as a rabbi. Throughout his adventure, Rabbi Harvey manages to settle disputes, tricks criminals into confessing their crimes, and offers his wisdom and insight everywhere he goes. I found this book to be funny and entertaining. I particularly liked the drawings of the wrinkly eyed and oval headed characters. Although I am ...more
Skye Kilaen
May 07, 2016 Skye Kilaen rated it it was amazing
The art is not why I pulled this off the shelf. The art’s a little strange, actually. But don’t let it put you off, because this is one of the funniest books I’ve read in a good long while.

Whatever your faith, Rabbi Harvey is one of those teachers that we can all benefit from. The wacky antics of his neighbors (and rivals) are no match for his smarts. There are moments where my husband and I literally laughed out loud, and there are moments that you need a minute to process because there's so mu
Dec 27, 2009 Mazel rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Rabbi Harvey tient à la fois du rabbin du village d'Europe de l'Est (shtetl) et du shérif du Far West. Au début du récit, ses pas le mènent à Elk Spring une petite ville du Colorado infestée de hors-la-loi.

Sans jamais recourir à la force, il parvient à débarrasser la ville de ses bandits usant seulement d'enseignements et d'astuces tirés de la sagesse juive.

La population soulagée, le nomme rabbin de la ville. Depuis, sa réputation ne cesse de grandie et l'in vient de partout le consulter, pour
R. G. Nairam
A little bit of an odd read, especially considering it's by Sheinkin. Not what I'm used to reading by him! But it's fun, and the art matches well.
Candice Snow
Mar 24, 2015 Candice Snow rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels
Witty, humorous collection of tales I've never heard of before. I'm always interested in different cultures and the stories they tell. The only thing I didn't enjoy was the art style.
Oleg Kagan
Dec 13, 2012 Oleg Kagan rated it liked it
Shelves: judaism
A shtetl in the wild west? Yes! The town of Elk Springs, CO is the setting for the tales of the clever Rabbi Harvey and his congregation of decidedly Jewish-looking (is this politically correct?) blacksmiths, candle makers, and merchants. Steve Sheinkin has adapted some of the most entertaining tales from Jewish storytellers/rabbis/thinkers of the past into bite-size graphic tales. The visual style is unique, if not remarkable, and anecdotes are full of wit, leading for a satisfying 30-minute (i ...more
Jun 17, 2016 Tessa rated it liked it
Not another series of nonfiction graphic novels as I was hoping, but a fun collection of folktales about this clever rabbi. Fun, quick read.
Michelle Gray
Aug 18, 2016 Michelle Gray rated it really liked it
This graphic novel brought made me chuckle several times while reading it. A fun bunch of stories.
Inna Komarovsky
Mar 22, 2014 Inna Komarovsky rated it really liked it
Shelves: sequential
This is an upbeat series of short stories. Often people have a dispute and go to the rabbi to settle it, and he fixes it in an unpredicted way.

The characters were quite expressionless and all had the same wrinkly eyes, but they were surprisingly expressive. Often, there would just be a panel with a person with a speech bubble filling most of it, and it seems like that part doesn't even need its own drawing, but then there are definitely times where it's so pleasing to see a character's face in r
sweet pea
Mar 28, 2008 sweet pea rated it really liked it
i was excited by the concept of this book. but, after starting the first story, i was dubious. however, by midway through the second story, i was a believer. the melding of the two genres - jewish stories and westerns - is surprisingly fluid and quite interesting. as the stories progress, the humorous elements come out more. some of the stories are familiar, albeit with a twist. the illustrations are unique and add greatly to the telling. plus, the little kids with their enormous hair is quite c ...more
Yossi Gremillion
Loved it! A little Talmudic wisdom with Beavus and Butthead style illustrations. I WHOLEHEARTEDLY recommend it.
Apr 20, 2014 Joy rated it really liked it
Shelves: jgraphic
I had forgotten how much I enjoy wisdom tales.
Oct 05, 2011 Peacegal rated it liked it


Great combo of humor and empathy!
Jan 31, 2012 Bhan13 rated it liked it
Shelves: juvenile
Apparently almost everyone in the Old West was Jewish, who knew? I don't know what provoked Sheinkin to choose this setting for his rebbe's adventures, but it works because of course the voice of reason is even more needed in the absence of a developed police and judicial system. This is the first graphic novel I've read (I read it with children) and the format was better than blocks of text for these short wisdom tales.
Aug 01, 2011 Jennifer rated it liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels
A cute fun read that tries to set Jewish folktales in a mythical American west. I like Sheinkin's use of Hasidic and other folktales but the Western setting is less developed. His art is deliberately simplistic, but I was really bugged by the type face. It would have looked much better hand-lettered. Overall it entertained me for the half hour it took to read.
Jason McKinney
Feb 12, 2014 Jason McKinney rated it it was ok
Interesting, but nothing great...
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