Season 1: Episode 1

Two Sisters

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Amy and Emily are sisters, and best friends. They live on the 18th floor of an 18 story building and do just about everything together. In fact, they're alike in every way except that Amy has really bad allergies. Since Emily has tons of pets, hosting duties for Shabbat always fall to Amy. When each sister sets out to surprise the other, things get very interesting.

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Girl giving tzedakah

Decorate a tzedakah box together

Make a batch of cholent just like Amy and Emily.

If your family lives in an area in which a variety of cultures are represented, consider making a special effort to get to know a family with a different background from your own. Talk with your children about how to ask questions respectfully of their new friends if they see a practice they don't understand, and encourage them to share your own family's traditions. You can find children's books about different cultures at your local library, and an internet search will also bring up interesting information to share with your family.

If you liked this story, you’ll love one of these books:

Yaffa and Fatima Shalom Salaam
Snow in Jerusalem
Brothers Promise


Books about Tzedakah


Episode Notes

This episode, “Two Sisters,” is based on a folk tale about two brothers, who exchange their harvest with each other secretively. Though the story doesn’t have a Jewish origin, over the past 150 years it has been retold countless times in Jewish settings. So much so that the ending often states that the site where the two siblings or neighbors meet is the location of the Temple of Jerusalem.

This kind of storytelling exemplifies the way that world cultures and folklore from outside the Jewish community has impacted the Jewish tradition of midrash, or filling in the gaps that other stories have left for us. Regardless of its origin, this fable about the values of giving freely and performing acts of kindness continues to be adapted to inspire generations around the principle thinking of the needs of others alongside our own.


Episode Credits

Have I Got a Story For You is a production of PJ Library

Executive producers: Meredith Lewis, Alli Thresher
Director: Alli Thresher
Additional production: Craig Rossein
Website design: Christina Rizer
Audio editing, mixing and mastering: Peter Moore
Theme music: Penelope Alizarin Conley
Score: Peter Moore
Recorded at Palace of Purpose Studios in Malden, MA.
Cover art: Barb Bastian

This episode was written by Naomi Shulman and Jason Allen.

Narrator, Rita Toomey: Madelaine Ripley
Amy: Deirdre Wade
Emily: Rachel F. Hirsch
Harvey, the Parakeet: Peter Moore