The Black Sheep – Chapter 45

September 13, 2021

Israel Book Shop presents Chapter 45 of a new online serial novel, The Black Sheep, by Esther Rapaport. Check back for a new chapter every week.  Click here for previous chapters.

Copyright © Israel Bookshop Publications. 

“This Dr. Kreisman is an interesting guy,” Osher remarked as he clicked the seatbelt closed.

“Is he?” Rabbi Reiness smiled broadly. “What did you see that makes you say that?”

“First he looked like a really simple type, you know…” He searched for an example. “I don’t know, like someone who works at a different kind of job. But then, the minute he started with his questions and papers, he became so professional. Like, all the way.”

“He is a very unique person.”

“He’s a childhood friend of yours?”

“No.”

“Oh, right, I forgot that he told me that you know each other through his son. I thought for a minute that he was in the same class as you, like Yosef.”

“Yosef? Which Yosef?”

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The Black Sheep – Chapter 44

September 6, 2021

Israel Book Shop presents Chapter 44 of a new online serial novel, The Black Sheep, by Esther Rapaport. Check back for a new chapter every week.  Click here for previous chapters.

Copyright © Israel Bookshop Publications. 

“Are you going home, Ima?”

Bassi raised her eyes from her pocketbook to her sleepy son. “Yes, Yisrael Meir. Aunt Sarah should be here any minute, and she’ll spend the night with you.”

“How will you and Abba get home?” He seemed to be struggling to formulate coherent thoughts despite his veil of grogginess. “There’s no bus…” He sighed. “From Haifa to there.”

“We’re staying in Haifa, sweetie—it’s fine. We are staying in this cute little apartment, and Abba is learning in a kollel here in the city, for now.” She put the pocketbook down and leaned toward him.

“But I heard you saying on the phone that you don’t really like the apartment they gave you here.”

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The Black Sheep – Chapter 43

August 30, 2021

Israel Book Shop presents Chapter 43 of a new online serial novel, The Black Sheep, by Esther Rapaport. Check back for a new chapter every week.  Click here for previous chapters.

Copyright © Israel Bookshop Publications. 

The lavender scent suddenly weakened, and Rabbi Reiness took a deep breath. “You are one hundred percent right, Reb Yigal,” he said. “It really doesn’t make sense, in a way, and it is exclusively my fault. Throughout the beginning of this process, I thought that Osher was in touch with you. Our approach is to rely on the boys’ responsibility and maturity, because after all, they are not twelve-year-olds.”

“In a certain sense, Osher is still a lot like a twelve-year-old,” Mr. Erenbaum snapped as he slid his pen holder from side to side on his desk.

“And I was wrong,” Rabbi Reiness continued, ignoring the comment. “I should have made sure that he was coming to us with your support and approval. When I saw Osher the first time, I got the impression that he had one foot in the street already, so pulling him out of there and bringing him to Acco seemed of vital importance to me. The question of whether he had told his parents or not was secondary.” He leaned back in the chair. “Don’t get me wrong. That same evening that I took him to Acco, while he was in my car, I asked him what his parents had to say about it.”

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The Black Sheep – Chapter 42

August 23, 2021

Israel Book Shop presents Chapter 42 of a new online serial novel, The Black Sheep, by Esther Rapaport. Check back for a new chapter every week.  Click here for previous chapters.

Copyright © Israel Bookshop Publications. 

Sarah Reiness joined the children on their van to Tzefas. She was Bassi’s only relative in the country, and it wasn’t only her little sister’s house and children who needed help. Bassi herself, in the hospital, needed her. She left Ariella at Bassi’s house; the younger woman reassured her that everything would be just fine in her absence. “And whatever doesn’t get done probably doesn’t need to get done,” she’d added with a smile.

Sarah wasn’t nervous. She’d smiled, waved goodbye, and left with the kids, after dropping off two-year-old Malka at the playgroup run by one of the neighbors.

Ariella locked the door and looked around. Remnants of the morning rush were evident wherever she looked, like in most normal houses. The fact that the children hadn’t made their beds this morning was perfectly understandable. And she knew that there were many homes like this, even if in the house where she grew up, there was no such thing as leaving your room before making the bed.

She walked into one of the bedrooms, stepping over a few pairs of pajamas that had been tossed onto the floor just in front of the door. The sheets were half off the mattresses, and she resolved to tuck their edges into place before she’d push the beds underneath one another. When did the kids get home? Sarah had said it was in the late afternoon hours. She hadn’t said anything about a meal, and Ariella had no idea what was permitted, and possible, to cook in this vegan home. Bean sprouts with mint leaves? Spinach in date honey with a quinoa and zucchini stir- fry?

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The Black Sheep – Chapter 41

August 9, 2021

Israel Book Shop presents Chapter 41 of a new online serial novel, The Black Sheep, by Esther Rapaport. Check back for a new chapter every week.  Click here for previous chapters.

Copyright © Israel Bookshop Publications. 

He has a communication problem.

Reb Elazar Reiness did not know where those words popped into his mind from, but he woke up with them in the morning. It was no wonder that he was thinking about Osher when he arose. Because when you talk about a person for nearly an hour, and then fall asleep for two and a half hours, it’s likely that that person will dominate your thoughts both when you’re asleep and when you wake up.

Rabbi Reiness did not recall having any special thoughts about Osher while he was asleep; apparently, the one hundred and sixty minutes he had gotten had been devoted exclusively to recharging himself. But the minute he opened his eyes and bent down to wash his hands, he saw Osher in his mind’s eye.

“Are you going now?” he heard Sarah’s sleepy voice ask.

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The Black Sheep – Chapter 40

August 2, 2021

Israel Book Shop presents Chapter 40 of a new online serial novel, The Black Sheep, by Esther Rapaport. Check back for a new chapter every week.  Click here for previous chapters.

Copyright © Israel Bookshop Publications. 

He had never been a coward, not even on those nights when he’d wandered around without finding a place to sleep. In the end he’d always returned home, perhaps because he really was a coward but just couldn’t admit it.

Osher shrugged and headed down the stairs. Maybe in a few years he’d be able to say of himself that he was afraid now, too, but just did not want to admit it. Regardless, he needed to check now what was going on here, with this place. The Rav had said that he was leaving for the night because he and his wife had to babysit their nieces and nephews. The problem was that a few hours ago, there had been a suspicious figure standing on the corner of the block, facing the house, and he hadn’t moved for a long while. Would the person use this opportunity, when the Reinesses were away for the night, to try to get what he wanted?

Osher did not know what the person wanted, but he knew that he would not allow the stranger to get in, no matter what. He could not see from afar if it was the Arab who had once knocked on the Reinesses’ door, when their son was home, because the man had been partially concealed by the hut on the corner, and the minute Osher had gone down to the street, he’d disappeared.

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The Black Sheep – Chapter 39

July 26, 2021

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

Copyright © Israel Bookshop Publications. 

“I don’t want to ruin any of your plans,” Ariella said, clasping her hands together. “It’s enough that I delayed you until now. If…if you could just bring me to the train station, and accompany me inside to make sure I get on the train and everything is alright, I’d be very grateful.”

“I hear,” Sarah said calmly, “but I’m not sure there is a train now. And, by the way, you didn’t ruin any of my plans. A neighbor put my sister’s children to sleep, and the key is waiting for me on the windowsill. So it doesn’t really matter when we get there.”

“Get where?”

“To my sister’s children. She lives in a new development, and her oldest is in the hospital right now, so she and her husband are with him.”

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Right Angles

July 21, 2021

LA225

Right Angles

You know those first-year teachers you can spot from a mile away? The ones who clickety-clack into the classroom in their high heels and blazers, with nary a smile in sight, because, as any fresh seminary grad who completed her teaching course will tell you, the rule of thumb is not to give the faintest hint of a smile to your students until Chanukah time.

That’s the kind of teacher Perri had. Yet despite Miss Fishman’s strict demeanor, and all her carefully prepared lessons, Perri thought nothing of acting out in her class and behaving otherwise obnoxiously toward her teacher.

How could Miss Fishman have known about all the water under the bridge in this student’s life?

In this well-written, emotion-laden novel, we meet a fun-loving, outgoing teenage girl, whose breeziness and air of extreme nonchalance tightly mask the turbulence and heartbreak going on beneath the surface. As the story progresses, the characters become alive in the reader’s mind, and our hearts go out to both Perri and her family and to Miss Fishman, who, through no fault of her own, has no inkling as to why her student is giving her such “royal” treatment.

Right Angles is a thought-provoking and enjoyable read, whose subtle message of the importance of seeing the bigger picture, rather than just one angle of it, comes through beautifully and clearly.

Click here to purchase online.


The Black Sheep – Chapter 38

July 12, 2021

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

Copyright © Israel Bookshop Publications. 

Ella didn’t respond. She was gripping a suitcase in one hand, and fumbling with the long strap of her handbag with the other.

“Ella?” Sarah drew closer. “Is everything alright? You look…well, not good. What happened?”

“I don’t know what happened. I don’t know.”

“What does that mean, you don’t know?” Sarah put a hand on her shoulder. “You came here like this, looking so frightened and confused… What happened? What scared you? Did you fall? Did you get hurt?”

“N-no, baruch Hashem.” Sarah noticed that Ella’s eyes were fixed on some point up the stairs. Sarah turned around to see what she was looking at; it seemed she was staring at their second floor.

“So what happened?”

“She…she’s an Arab,” Ella croaked. “I saw her in the street. And not just an Arab…she’s half a witch or something, I don’t even know what.”

“Who?”

“Aliza.” Ella took a deep breath. “Aliza. And it’s not her real name.”

“Who is Aliza?”

“The lady I was boarding with.”

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The Black Sheep – Chapter 37

July 5, 2021

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

Copyright © Israel Bookshop Publications. 

“I’m a Chareidi woman from Bnei Brak, and I live in her house…I mean, I was living there until now. For some reason, I was sure she is also Jewish…” Ariella stared at the old lace tablecloth. “It’s a good thing I don’t trust everyone who promises me that she only cooks kosher.”

“What?” Ya’ela Brinkler’s voice rose. “Do you mean to say that she cooked in my kitchen?”

“Uh…yes.”

“But the kitchen is not part of the contract, explicitly! She told me that she’s an older woman who doesn’t need much, and anyway she doesn’t cook, and that she’d manage without the kitchen. And I left it locked! That’s…wow, I’m in shock.” She paused, and Ariella could almost see her shaking her head.

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