Snow In August Study Guide

Chapter 17 Summary

On a wet Tuesday afternoon, Michael dropped by the synagogue. He discovered the rabbi playing the shofar, a ram’s horn. He was trying to play the songs that he was hearing on the radio. He wanted to be like a regular Ziggy Elman with his Shofar.

Notes: Rabbi Hirsch’s happiness is similar to a child’s: always thirsty to try something new.

Chapter 18 Summary

A few weeks before Easter, the boys were playing baseball and continued to discuss about Jackie Robinson. Sonny brought up the topic of the secrets of the synagogue again. They discussed about moving away to avoid the Falcons from attacking them. Michael left his two friends, remembering that he still has to wash the halls. While on his way, he saw Frankie McCarthy with three of his buddies coming towards his way. He froze with fear.

He went back to his friends and warned them that Frankie was out of jail. Michael thought about seeking refuge at the synagogue, but decided otherwise. All three of them were panicking about what Frankie would do to the three of them.

Notes: Frankie’s release from jail made the boys more anxious. They were correct about expecting worse stuff to happen from here on out.

Chapter 19 Summary

For three consecutive nights, Michael was dreaming the same dream. He always woke up sweating and scared. He even thought about borrowing a dream book from one of his neighbors to find out what his dreams meant. He decided to push through with it and talked to Mrs. Griffin on the second floor.

He asked the old woman to interpret his dream for him. It matched everything that was occupying his mind lately: Mister G, Jackie Robinson, the rabbi. The woman advised him to pray. And then he stopped having the dreams.

The three boys were all alert. Sonny was keeping watch on the Falcons and Frankie and kept everyone calm.

On the Sunday before Easter, Kate Devlin took her son to Orchard Street in Manhattan to get him fitted for his Easter clothes. Michael saw a suit that he would like to wear. The man selling it was Jewish, and they managed to get 3 and a half dollars off because of how Michael spoke to the man in Hebrew. The clerk even brought out tea for the three of them.

Notes: Michael’s Yiddish lessons were finally paying off. He’s making good progress.

Chapter 20 Summary

When he returned to the parish, Michael was very eager to tell the rabbi about his purchase in Orchard Street. However, the synagogue was locked. He wished that the rabbi were all right. His stomach was churning from the worry. He only felt relief when he saw the rabbi walking towards the synagogue. Rabbi Hirsch did some groceries for Passover. He told the rabbi about what happened at Orchard Street.

The rabbi told Michael about the history of Passover and why it needs to be celebrated. He even fed Michael some matzoh. The rabbi gave Michael some rye bread to take home to his mother.

The rabbi then talked about the Passover seders that they would have with his family in Prague. The rabbi told Michael that maybe next year, they can have a seder in the synagogue. Michael asked Rabbi Hirsch to come over their house and celebrate seder there instead. The rabbi told the boy that he intends to hold it next year, and that maybe they could send Jackie Robinson an invitation too. Michael then asked him about God not sending a plague to save the Jews from the Nazis. He noticed that the rabbi’s answer hinted that he might not love God as much as he should be.

Notes: The rabbi’s disbelief towards a higher power was slowly being revealed. This is crucial to how the rabbi will be healed at the end of the story.

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