Susan’s Book Talk: Are you a Sfardic?


In Jewish communities, a Sephardic Jew is one who hails, roughly, from Spain. That’s how I always remember it: Sephardic, Spain. S, S. You get the idea, even though the geographical area is actually a bit bigger than the one country.

So what’s a Sfardic?

My term for a fan of Joann Sfar, a (incidentally Jewish) fabulous graphic novelist. I first encountered him via The Rabbi’s Cat and have since picked up Vampire Loves and a few of the Dungeon books. I can’t get enough. In fact, I’ve taken a few out of my local library and somehow have wound up with two copies of The Rabbi’s Cat. I mean, how can you argue with a cat who gains the power of speech (in a way that’s simply brilliant) and demands a Bar Mitzvah?

To say I’ve flipped over this talented, creative, insightful, wise, and funny as hell artist/storyteller/what-have-you is an understatement. And now, with a new release on the shelves, you don’t have an excuse to stay away.



  1. Dewey

    April 28, 2007 12:41 pm

    Ha ha, a cat demanding a bar mitzvah. I always figure my cat worships Bast. Seems like as a crazy cat lady, it’s my duty to check these books out!

  2. OldOldLady Of The Hills

    April 28, 2007 3:22 pm

    Michele sent me today…This man is an interesting “artist”…! I’m not a reader of these kinds of books but I can certainly appreciate the talent that goes into these drawings.

  3. Blue Monkey Jammies

    April 28, 2007 5:17 pm

    Wow what a compelling recommendation! I’ll definately have to check him out next time I’m trawling my favourite book shop. Thank you.BR/BR/Here via Michele today

  4. margalit

    April 28, 2007 9:00 pm

    My son has read the Rabbi’s Cat, but I didn’t realize there were more in the series. I’ll have to look for more Sfar books when I’m in my bookshop tomorrow. Thanks for the tip.BR/BR/Here via Michele

  5. scrappintwinmom

    April 28, 2007 9:45 pm

    I’ll have to check her out – thanks for stopping by my place last week, Michele sent me again this week!

  6. Wylie Kinson

    April 29, 2007 12:04 am

    Well, you really do learn something new everyday! A new author to check out AND a new term.

  7. Paul

    April 29, 2007 12:32 am

    Thanks for stopping by my joint today. Sorry it took me so long to get back. Would you believe…I was writing?BR/BR/Can you recommend a great POD publisher? I’ve got Another Blog that I’m about ready to publish on paper. Only a few copies at a time.

  8. scribbit

    April 29, 2007 2:10 am

    I read The Source by Michener years ago and remember that Ashkenazi/Sephardim thing now that you mention it.

  9. Penina

    April 29, 2007 7:39 am

    Ooh…looks like I am logged in.BR/WHoowie.BR/BR/As usually milady, you have stumbled on a treasure, and I thank you for sharing the information.BR/If that second copy is looking for a new home…. wink

  10. Susan Helene Gottfried

    April 29, 2007 8:35 am

    Wow, Michelle! The Source. I read that EONS ago; my dad gave it to me and it was the thickest thing I’d ever seen in my life. I think I started it six times but never finished it…

  11. kenju

    April 29, 2007 9:11 am

    I will add that one to the long list of book recs I get from all the nice people here in blogdom. I just did a book review last week. Have you read “Honeymoon in Purdah? I recommend that one! BR/BR/Michele sent me.

  12. Madame Courtney Whiny Complainy Pants, Esq.

    April 29, 2007 11:00 am

    Good morning! Michele sent me.

  13. ~A:F~

    April 29, 2007 5:55 pm

    I think this is the second book I’ve read about here that I’ve made a mental note to get- I have a good friend who is Jewish and it’s something I’d like to know more about so I’m sure I’ll find this interesting. BR/Thanks Susan! Always gald to be here:)

  14. ~A:F~

    April 29, 2007 6:00 pm

    Is anyone having trouble getting into Michele’s blog?

  15. MarciNYC

    May 1, 2007 8:23 am

    S – this post made me smile. After the events of the past 24 hours, that’s a good thing.BR/BR/I rushed to my library’s website (as fast as my mouse and fingers would go) to see if they had The Rabbi’s Cat. Lo and behold – they did! So it’s been requested and I suppose I should be getting a call in the next couple days. Sounds like just the sort of book I could use right now.BR/BR/Thanks for the rec… 🙂

  16. karen!

    May 3, 2007 9:47 am

    Ok, definitely going on the wishlist.BR/BR/However… what are you going to do with that second copy of EMThe Rabbi’s Cat/EM? :whistle:

  17. Carmi

    May 3, 2007 8:42 pm

    I’m an Ashkenazi, alas. Eastern European through and through, with a bit of Israeli mixed in for good measure.BR/BR/I’d pay money to see a cat praying.

  18. MarciNYC

    May 7, 2007 5:38 pm

    What a fabulous book – uh, graphic novel. I requested from the library and picked it up last Friday. I read it Saturday night/Sunday morning and loved most of it. BR/BR/I think Mark would like it… if he gave it a chance. Alas, he’s poo-poo’ed the idea, so back to the library it goes.BR/BR/So, this non-Jew enjoyed it, although I think some of it’s very Jewish-centric and perhaps went over my head. BR/BR/Thanks for the rec, S. You did well again.

  19. Susan Helene Gottfried

    May 7, 2007 8:01 pm


  20. West of Mars » Blog Archive » Susan’s Book Coveting: Comics?

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