Shimshon’s Struggle-Expanded and Revised, back in print after many years.

January 30, 2012

Shimshon.

His very name conjures puzzling images and questions in the mind.

Who was this righteous man, this nazir and Shofet, who led the Jews for so many years? What was the source of his supernatural strength, the incredible might that enabled him to tear apart a lion and crush together the pillars of a building? How do we understand his marriage to Delilah, his Philistine wife? What lessons can we glean from his life and demise?

Shimshon’s Struggle, written by Harav Gershon Weiss shlit”a, was written with the goal of trying to clarify these difficult questions, as well as provide us with many important lessons along the way. Drawing upon numerous mefarshim, the book provides readers with the means to emerge from this enigmatic story in Sefer Shoftim with a most lucid understanding of the events…and the remarkable messages, applicable to each and every one of us, that can be gleaned from this great tzaddik’s life.

Whether you are a rebbi or morah attempting to teach Sefer Shoftim to your students, or you are a student learning this sefer, you will appreciate the clear and comprehensive approach Shimshon’s Struggle offers.

Click here to purchase online.


Beneath the Surface – Epilogue

January 27, 2012

Israel Book Shop presents  the epilogue of a new online serial novel, Beneath the Surface, by Esther Rapaport. Click here for previous chapters.

The Egged Number 1 bus wound its way through the city on its way to the Kosel. Sitting on the bus, Dan Weingarten reached up to adjust the small yarmulke on his head, for the tenth time in the last half an hour. It wasn’t like he wasn’t used to wearing a yarmulke—he usually wore one whenever he was around his mother—but he had never felt comfortable with it on his head, and this time was no different.

It had been his decision to wear the yarmulke for this whole trip, just as it had been his decision to travel to Israel at this time.

His mother had recently returned from there, with a glowing report of how adorable Shragi and Menuchi’s baby girl—Lara’s first great-grandchild—was, and a stack of photos to prove it.

“She looks just like Shragi,” Lara had told him, her eyes misting over. “Oh, Dan, you’ve never seen such a proud father! And Menuchi looks so happy, too, so relaxed, so good… Such a wonderful simchah!”

Listening to his mother’s happy talk, Dan had suddenly, inexplicably, felt a desire to go to Israel himself and be a part of this happy occasion. Ever since he had read Shragi’s poignant letter, a good few months back, Dan had felt closer to his nephew than he had felt to anyone in a long time. The letter had awakened something within him, some long-dormant feelings for Judaism, and not long after reading it, he had found himself signing up for a weekly parshah class that was being offered by a rabbi in their community. Keep Reading…


Recent Release – Split Loyalties

January 26, 2012

One of the fringe benefits of being in the publishing industry is never having a shortage of reading material. There are always manuscript submissions sitting on our desks, waiting to be read and evaluated. Of course, that’s not to say that all manuscripts were created equal—just like our readers, we have our tastes and our preferences, and some manuscripts are just so pulling that we have no choice but to gravitate toward them immediately!

Like Split Loyalties. When the manuscript landed on my desk, it got whisked up by eager hands so fast, it barely had a chance to rest its tired back! “Historical fiction? I’m taking that one!” “A novel that takes place in the Egypt and Europe of the Middle Ages? Ooh, that should be good!”

Whatever its redeeming qualities were, the manuscript got devoured almost instantly by a whole bunch of us, and no one was disappointed. We all agreed that Split Loyalties is a gem of a good book: satisfying, entertaining, and informative.

Set against the backdrop of the Middle Ages and the menacing Crusade boot, some 800 years ago, an era of darkness unfolds… As the noxious Karaite movement gains momentum, the tectonic plates of history shift, creating irreversible schisms between neighbors, friends, and families… Plunged into the epicenter of conflict and tragedy, four young adults are forced to confront heart-wrenching decisions like never before…

Sounds tempting? We won’t ruin it for you! Join the crowds of satisfied fans of Split Loyalties and read this amazing historical novel yourself. You’ll be happy you did!

Click here to purchase online.


Beneath the Surface – Chapter 38

January 20, 2012

Israel Book Shop presents Chapter 38 of a new online serial novel, Beneath the Surface, by Esther Rapaport. Check back for a new chapter every Thursday or Friday. Click here for previous chapters.

The minute darkness fell on the hall with the upholstered seats, the audience quieted down.

“Good luck, Menuchi,” Simi said as she squeezed Menuchi’s arm.

Menuchi eked out a smile. “Thanks, and good luck to you, too,” she murmured, without shifting her gaze from the screen in front of her. Adina had repeatedly explained what she had to do, and it was really very simple; nevertheless, as she usually was during tense times, Menuchi was overcome with uncertainty. What if the slide show got stuck? What if part of the translations wouldn’t appear suddenly? And if…

“And if and if and if!” Adina had exclaimed impatiently. “Why do you always have to think about the worst-case scenario? This program is so simple, even a five-year-old could operate it.”

“Well, I’m not a five-year-old,” Menuchi had replied. “So maybe you should find someone more age-appropriate?” Keep Reading…


Beneath the Surface – Chapter 37

January 13, 2012

Israel Book Shop presents Chapter 37 of a new online serial novel, Beneath the Surface, by Esther Rapaport. Check back for a new chapter every Thursday or Friday. Click here for previous chapters.

“Did you see the ad, Menuchi? It’s great, isn’t it?” Adina’s voice came through the receiver energetic and enthusiastic as always. It sounded like she had been up for at least two hours, Menuchi mused, yawning quietly to herself.

“I didn’t see it. I don’t have a newspaper,” she replied and stuffed her Tehillim into her bag. Quick! Where was the key to the clinic? Why was she always rushing to leave at the last second possible? And why did the phone almost always ring just as she had one foot out the door? She scurried around the apartment with the cordless phone pressed to her ear.

“Ditza did a fantastic job. The graphics are gorgeous. Ask your mother-in-law to bring the paper to work for you!” Menuchi was tempted to ask how Adina was so sure that her mother-in-law even subscribed to the daily paper, but decided she didn’t have enough seconds to spare for such a question.

“A neighbor here in the building brought the ad up to us,” Adina continued.

“Read it to me, please,” Menuchi asked as she slipped her feet into her shoes.

“One side of it is Hebrew and the other side is English, and it says: For English speakers, and even those who aren’t: The Light of the Night—A Riveting Performance Based on a True Story. Full Hebrew translation on screen!” Keep Reading…


Recently Released – Brain Power

January 10, 2012

How’s your memory these days? (What? You don’t remember?) Have you been retaining your learning, or do you easily forget what you’ve learned? If you are tired of experiencing memory slip-ups and embarrassing “senior moments,” especially when it comes to Torah that you have learned, you may find Brain Power to be of invaluable assistance to yourself.

What is Brain Power? Written by Rabbi Aharon Pessin, Brain Power is a unique sefer that focuses exclusively on the subject of memory and forgetfulness. In addition to being a comprehensive compilation from the Talmud and our Sages on this subject, bringing down the various opinions and sayings of Chazal on it, the sefer also includes many segulos and practical advice on how to improve one’s memory.

Eating olives. Eating olive oil. Sleeping with clothing under one’s head. Leaving open the pages of a sefer when leaving the room. All the well-known and little-known do’s and don’ts to prevent forgetfulness and aid one’s memory can be found in this handy, slim treasure.

Give your memory this gift. Brain Power—Torah’s Timeless Secrets to a Stronger MemoryIt’s a book that will fascinate you as it helps you in many practical ways.

And don’t forget that!

Click here to purchase online.


Beneath the Surface – Chapter 36

January 6, 2012

Israel Book Shop presents Chapter 36 of a new online serial novel, Beneath the Surface, by Esther Rapaport. Check back for a new chapter every Thursday or Friday. Click here for previous chapters.

The mirror back on the kibbutz reflected exactly the image that Diana wanted to see: a refined-looking girl, with her hair gathered in a yellow rubber band, wearing a flowing skirt that almost reached the floor. Her thick socks weren’t visible in any case, but she didn’t want to skip even a single detail in her appearance. This was excellent.

She straightened up, smiled at her reflection, and walked out to the gray gravel path, pulling the wooden door closed behind her with her good hand.  Her regular clothes were buried deep inside her suitcase in the room. She had an hour until she would have to go out to the highway to catch the bus to Haifa, and decided to spend it at the cowshed. She hadn’t been there since yesterday morning. She had been minimizing her work hours since she had come back from her two-day vacation with her hand in a cast.

“She’s living here on our account,” Arnon fumed at one of the small kibbutz meetings, “and she hardly shows up at the cowshed. Who needed this whole thing in the first place?”

“Don’t exaggerate. It’s still pretty worthwhile for us,” one of the senior kibbutz officials said, taking a handful of peanuts from the dish in the middle of the table. Arnon nodded. Yes, sure it was worthwhile, taking into account the volunteer situation today.

Now Diana walked toward the paved path between the metal fences that cordoned off the cows. She held her skirt carefully, ensuring that the hem didn’t touch the floor, which was covered with trash. She was amused at the way she was walking; it reminded her of a play she had participated in as an eleven-year-old schoolgirl. She had played the role of the queen. Then, too, she had worn a long dress and had taken care with every step not to trip.

“Hey, what happened?” She reached the milking building just as Noga, Arnon’s wife, was walking out. Noga looked at Diana almost threateningly. “What’s with the costume?”

“Excuse me?” Diana raised a conciliatory eyebrow. “I did think that I had the right to dress as I please. I don’t think it’s within your domain. Please take care of things that are relevant to you, such as Golda, your mother-in-law, who’s been in bed with the flu for two days. Have you visited her?” And without waiting for a response, Diana continued walking to the milking machine. She made the rounds of the cows for a few minutes, and then hurried to the Haifa-bound bus. Noga’s constant supervision was beginning to irk her deeply. Keep Reading…


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