OverviewIn this interfaith and multicultural fable, eloquent representatives of all members of the animal kingdom—from horses to bees—come before the respected Spirit King to complain of the dreadful treatment they have suffered at the hands of humankind. During the ensuing trial, where both humans and animals testify before the King, both sides argue their points ingeniously, deftly illustrating the validity of both sides of the ecology debate. The ancient antecedents of this tale are thought to have originated in India, with the first written version penned in Arabic sometime before the 10th century in what is now Iraq. Much later, this version of the story was translated into Hebrew in 14th century France and was popular in European Jewish communities into the late 19th and early 20th centuries. This exquisite English translation, illustrated with 12 original color illumination plates, is useful in introducing young and old alike to environmental and animal rights issues.
Author BiographyRabbi Anson Laytner translated the Hebrew version of this story found in Jerusalem into English. Seyyed Hossein Nasr is the author of over thirty books Islamic studies, comparative philosophy and religion, philosophy of art and the philosophical and religious dimensions of the environmental crisis. Rabbi Daniel E. Bridge has been the executive director of the Hillel Foundation for Jewish Campus Life at the University of Washington for 17 years. He has previously served as assistant director of Pacific Southwest Council for Reform Judaism, member of the California State Commission on the Changing Family, and board member of the Central Conference of American Rabbis.