Outside the Bubble – Chapter 39

January 23, 2023
outside-the-bubble

Israel Book Shop presents Chapter 39 of a new online serial novel, Outside the Bubble, by Esther Rapaport. Check back for a new chapter every week.  Click here for previous chapters.

Copyright © Israel Bookshop Publications. 

Hinda didn’t know if “Chaya Cohen” was a real name or not. The young woman talked and talked, hardly giving Hinda a chance to respond. Hinda scrubbed the soup pot, every so often inserting an “Uh-huh” or “Really…” But suddenly, Chaya’s rush of words stopped.

Then, after a long moment of quiet, Chaya added, “A support group doesn’t work for me, because I’m not the type who can sit and talk about these things in front of a few women. But I do feel that I need to do something with myself, because I don’t want to reach the point where I’ll need to say, ‘It’s either me or them.’”

“You won’t need to, b’ezras Hashem,” Hinda replied. She was unable to understand why Rebbetzin Werner had given her phone number to this woman. Their lives were so different, no matter which angle you looked at it from. Which part of her life experience could help Chaya? Her challenges, it seemed, were of another nature entirely.

“Do you think so?” Chaya’s voice was laced with a sense of despair.

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Outside the Bubble – Chapter 38

January 16, 2023
outside-the-bubble

Israel Book Shop presents Chapter 38 of a new online serial novel, Outside the Bubble, by Esther Rapaport. Check back for a new chapter every week.  Click here for previous chapters.

Copyright © Israel Bookshop Publications. 

Simi’s manners were impeccable, to be sure. She offered her courteous thanks, like one thanks a waitress in a restaurant, adding a compliment about how tasty the food was, yet she collected her own dishes from the table. Even when Hinda objected, she insisted on doing so, but when it came to wiping down the tablecloth, she relented, smiled, and went with her husband to their room.

“The food really was excellent,” Dov said, as he wiped down the tablecloth himself. “Did you even eat, Hinda?”

“A little bit,” she replied. “I don’t have much of an appetite.”

“That’s not good,” he protested. “You need strength. Hosting these new mothers one after the other…it’s not so easy.” He squinted for a moment, and Hinda imagined that he was recalling the other times that his previous home had hosted his daughters after birth, and the other person who had been hovering and catering to them.

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Shipwrecked

January 10, 2023

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There are those kids who will sit and listen to Rabbi Juravel CDs for hours on end. For them, this pastime is me’ein Olam Haba; they like nothing better.

Then there are other kids (some of whom I know quite well…) who have no patience to listen to a long CD. They have too many other things to do, people to see, places to go…

For some reason, though, when it comes to an action-packed book, especially a comic book, these kids are in all the way. Maybe because it (usually) takes less time to read a book than to listen to a CD. Or maybe it’s because the book has illustrations.

Whatever it is, I can tell you from personal experience that The 39 Melachos with Rabbi Juravel comic books are extremely popular among my kids, even those kids who have no interest in listening to the same story related on a CD!

And the best part is…when my kids are engrossed in Shipwrecked (or Shugashvili’s Secret or Falsely Accused—the other two books in The 39 Melachos with Rabbi Juravel comic book series), I know that they are imbibing wholesome lessons, Torah hashkafos, and solid hilchos Shabbos. What could be better than that?!

For those who are unaware, The 39 Melachos with Rabbi Juravel comic books are exciting mystery stories, written in comic form, with various hilchos Shabbos woven into each storyline, and then highlighted and explained better in a sidebar and at the end of the book. It’s really a win-win: Readers get to read a thrilling and suspenseful story, replete with spine-tingling drama, and they get educated about the 39 melachos at the same time!

Shipwrecked is the latest book in this series, and just by flipping through the pages, you can tell what a quality book this is. The illustrations are outstanding, and the content—as mentioned above—really can’t be beat. Whether or not your kids are into Rabbi Juravel’s CDs, if they like comic books—they’re going to love this book!

Click here to purchase online.


Outside the Bubble – Chapter 37

January 9, 2023
outside-the-bubble

Israel Book Shop presents Chapter 37 of a new online serial novel, Outside the Bubble, by Esther Rapaport. Check back for a new chapter every week.  Click here for previous chapters.

Copyright © Israel Bookshop Publications. 

Yosef stayed in the supply room until three o’clock. When someone from the staff entered—and it happened a few times—he pretended to be looking for something in the drawers, making every effort to appear calm.

When he emerged, glancing furtively in all directions, Ra’ayah, one of the nurses, greeted him with an angry rebuke that Dr. Tennenbaum had been looking for him, and what was this all about, and how could he display such a lack of responsibility? He apologized politely, but she did not seem pacified by his apologies, and they certainly were not going to help the doctor whose shift had already ended. Oh, well. Dr. Tennenbaum was a nice guy who usually complimented him a lot; they got along really well. Now he probably wouldn’t want to be as complimentary.

But what could he do? There are emergency situations in life.

He boarded the bus and headed for home.

Ima did not come to the door when he knocked; Dov was the one who opened it for him after a few long moments. “Ah, Yosef!” He looked surprised. He stood for another moment in the doorway, and then moved aside. “How are you?” he asked. Then, turning to inside the house, he called out, “Hinda, Yosef is here!”

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Outside the Bubble – Chapter 36

January 2, 2023
outside-the-bubble

Israel Book Shop presents Chapter 36 of a new online serial novel, Outside the Bubble, by Esther Rapaport. Check back for a new chapter every week.  Click here for previous chapters.

Copyright © Israel Bookshop Publications. 

“Yosef? Yosef Schorr?” Dr. Tennenbaum scanned the area with his eyes, but the young man did not seem to be in the whole Emergency Room department. Dr. Tennenbaum shook his head and went back inside, to the nurses’ station. “Has anyone seen Yosef Schorr around?”

“I saw him fifteen minutes ago,” said one nurse. “He went to bring Mr. Zeivald back from radiology.”

“Zeivald is here already,” the orthopedist muttered, a bit impatiently. “And I told Schorr that I need his help!”

“It happens that someone goes out for a moment,” the nurse replied. “He’ll probably be back in a couple of minutes.”

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Outside the Bubble – Chapter 35

December 26, 2022
outside-the-bubble

Israel Book Shop presents Chapter 35 of a new online serial novel, Outside the Bubble, by Esther Rapaport. Check back for a new chapter every week.  Click here for previous chapters.

Copyright © Israel Bookshop Publications. 

Martin tried again to read the words in the handwritten letter, but he wasn’t able to understand the hasty writing. What was she writing here? He could barely figure out the “I don’t understand what happened to you,” and, “someone called and asked about Weisskopf.”

Oh, right, Weisskopf. What time was it in Boro Park now? Maybe it was a good idea to try calling there again.

He hadn’t yet had the time to calculate whether his call would be waking someone up when it was already answered. “Hello?”

“Hello, Shimon?”

“Yes. Who is this?”

“I’m a friend of Michoel Perl, from Eretz Yisrael.”

“Oh,” Weisskopf said tersely.

“Can I ask you a question?”

“You can always try.”

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Outside the Bubble – Chapter 34

December 19, 2022
outside-the-bubble

Israel Book Shop presents Chapter 34 of a new online serial novel, Outside the Bubble, by Esther Rapaport. Check back for a new chapter every week.  Click here for previous chapters.

Copyright © Israel Bookshop Publications. 

Would they not let him finish this book?! First the knocking and ringing at the door, now the phone… Martin set aside The Revelation with a sigh and picked up his phone. “Yes?”

“Hello, this is Yeruchem Goldberg, from the Kletzkin Yeshivah in Netivot. My talmid dropped by this week, and you gave him this number for me to call?”

“Oh, that’s right,” Martin said slowly. “Mr. Perl hasn’t been feeling so well lately, and I’m handling his affairs. How can I help you?”

“He hired a secretary?”

“Yes.” Martin kept it terse.

“Nice. It’s really about time. It sometimes seemed to me like it was all too much for him… Anyway, do you know about the connection that our yeshivah has with his organization?”

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Outside the Bubble – Chapter 33

December 12, 2022
outside-the-bubble

Israel Book Shop presents Chapter 33 of a new online serial novel, Outside the Bubble, by Esther Rapaport. Check back for a new chapter every week.  Click here for previous chapters.

Copyright © Israel Bookshop Publications. 

Monsenego called on Friday morning, a few minutes after Martin decided that he’d finished going through all the drawers in the computer desk, and that it was time to move on to the bookshelves. His attention was drawn to a light pink book with a fat spine, with the title The Revelation, by S. Sternfeld.

He opened it to the first page, and then the international call came in.

“Hello?” he answered the phone.

“Good morning—it’s morning there in Israel already, isn’t it?” The voice spoke fluent English.

“Oh.” Martin sat down on the swivel chair. “Is this Mr. Monsenego?”

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Outside the Bubble – Chapter 32

December 5, 2022
outside-the-bubble

Israel Book Shop presents Chapter 32 of a new online serial novel, Outside the Bubble, by Esther Rapaport. Check back for a new chapter every week.  Click here for previous chapters.

Copyright © Israel Bookshop Publications. 

Someone knocked at the door. Martin looked through the peephole and saw a frum bachur, wearing a black hat and jacket, standing there. The boy’s body language conveyed tension, or nervousness.

Martin went back to the computer. The boy began to ring the intercom, and the device hanging on the wall in the office room kicked in. Martin stared at it for a minute, biting his lip, and then pressed the red button, cutting off the recording a moment after Perl’s voice began its endless recitation of, “I’m sorry, I can’t speak to you right now…”

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Flashes of Torah

November 28, 2022

LA315Flashes of Torah

Sometimes it takes a flash of something beautiful and bright to transform the ordinary into extraordinary—or in this case, a nice Shabbos seudah into a dazzling and uplifting one.

 Flashes of Torah is that bolt of luminescence.

It’s often challenging to come up with the perfect dvar Torah for your Shabbos table. You want it to be meaningful and thought-provoking, with a great lesson from the parshah, but at the same time you’d like it to be concise and to the point, for those at your table who may have a shorter attention span.

Then comes the question of which gadol/rosh yeshivah/rebbe to quote from. Do you love Chassidishe vertlach? Perhaps your family is Litvish, or Sephardi, or you have guests who are. Which sefer should you thumb through to find that perfect vort?

That’s the great thing about Flashes of Torah. This well-written, handsome book contains multiple divrei Torah and stories with lessons from each parshah, from gedolim of all segments of Yiddishkeit: LitvishChassidish, and Sephardic. Each piece is profound, yet brief and to the point. Using this book, you certainly don’t have to worry about your listeners falling asleep during your dvar Torah!

Of course some occasions call for a longer vort, and Flashes of Torah has that ma’alah too; in addition to the short pieces, it also includes a fascinating essay at the end of each parshah, which provides an excellent springboard for hashkafah discussions around the table. 

Want a taste of what Flashes of Torah has to offer? The following is a sampling from the nuggets in Parshas Vayeitzei:

Vayeitzei

וַיֵּצֵא יַעֲקֹב מִבְּאֵר שָׁבַע —Yaakov left Be’er Sheva (Bereishis 28:10).

The Midrash comments that when a righteous person leaves a city, a lessening of glory and holiness is felt. Rav Levi Yitzchak of Berditchev served as the rav of Zelikov. Due to the opposition there against chassidus, he was forced to leave the position. One of his detractors scornfully asked Rav Levi Yitzchak, “When Yaakov left Be’er Sheva, we are taught that his absence was felt. Why don’t I feel any loss now that you have left?”

Rav Levi Yitzchak responded, “I think I can explain that. Why does the Torah only tell us this principle by Yaakov? Avraham and Yitzchak also left their cities, yet we are not told that their absences were felt. The answer is that when Yaakov left Be’er Sheva, Yitzchak remained there, and a righteous person is able to discern the loss of holiness. However, when Avraham and Yitzchak left their cities, no decent people remained. Without righteousness, a person cannot even fathom what holiness is, let alone appreciate its absence. Is it any wonder that you don’t feel any loss?”

***

וַיִּדַּר יַעֲקֹב נֶדֶר לֵאמֹר אִם יִהְיֶה אֱלֹקים עִמָּדִי…וְנָתַן לִי לֶחֶם לֶאֱכֹל וּבֶגֶד לִלְבֹּשׁ —Yaakov made a vow, saying, “If G-d will be with me…and give me bread to eat and clothing to wear…” (Bereishis 28:20).

Rav Shimon Schwab related that the Chafetz Chaim once informed his family that he had dreamed he had become wealthy, and it was necessary for him to fast because of it. The family was surprised and asked him why he felt a need to fast for such a dream.

The Chafetz Chaim explained, “The Gemara says that some dreams have no validity and are merely a reflection of what a person thinks about during the day. If that is true, then I must fast as repentance for an old man like myself who still dreams about wealth! 

By Rabbi Ephraim Nisenbaum

Click here to purchase online.