The Cuckoo Clock – Chapter 3

April 22, 2019

Israel Book Shop presents Chapter 3 of a new online serial novel, The Cuckoo Clock, by Esther Rapaport. Check back for a new chapter every week.  Click here for previous chapters.

Copyright © Israel Bookshop Publications. 

 

“You’re asking why, Abba?” He ate while she spoke and folded his napkin over and over. “We’re asking the same thing… I know that there are people for whom it is accepted that the parents of the couple pay for the first bris, but we’d never even thought about that. Then, a month before Miri had the baby, I went to a bris that the mechutanim made. Yaakov’s younger sister had a baby and they invited us.” Elisheva’s eyes stared almost blankly at the fish on her father’s plate.

“The mechuteiniste made me feel very good. She’s a very warm woman; I’m happy for Miri that she is her mother-in-law. As we were talking, she casually mentioned that they had ordered the hall and chosen the menu and made all the arrangements with the head waiter. And then she said, ‘Of course, if my Sarah would have wanted to decide about these things, I would have left it to her. But she said that if we’re paying, then we get the right to choose.’” Elisheva smiled. “The mechuteiniste quickly added that the other side had paid half, but because they live far away, she was left to arrange it all. And I’ve been worrying about it ever since.”

She filled Abba’s cup with seltzer. “Almost all of Miri’s salary goes to paying their mortgage on that tiny apartment. I really don’t think they can pay for a bris right now. But we can’t either! Part of my salary goes to the mortgage also, and to pay up debts from her wedding, not to mention what I have to give for Tzippy now… And even though people say that you can make a bris on a much smaller scale, something at home, it will still cost something. Where am I getting that money from? Another loan? What’s this expense going to come in place of? Devoiry’s root canal that we’ve waited nearly half a year to take care of? And anyway, where exactly am I supposed to make a bris in my house?”

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NEW RELEASE: As a Father Cares for His Son

April 16, 2019

Do you remember where you were when you heard that Rav Shach was niftar?

I know I do. (Believe it or not, I was actually at a wedding…) When a monumental event occurs, it’s hard to ever forget the surrounding details of where you were and what you were doing at the time. And the petirah of a gadol hador like Rav Shach was nothing less than a monumental event—an exceedingly bitter one at that—for all of Klal Yisrael.

As a Father Cares for His Son is a magnificent collection of 25 beautiful stories about Rav Shach, the latest book in our gedolim series for kids. As the title suggests, Rav Shach truly cared for every Jew the way a father cares for his son. He was the rosh yeshivah of the roshei yeshivah, whose hasmadah and love for Torah were legendary, yet he thought nothing of accompanying a distressed talmid to an appointment late at night…and waiting outside for the boy the whole time, too. When he heard a beautiful explanation of a Tosafos from a chavrusa, he told the chavrusa, “I love this pshat so much; it is worth everything I own!” and promptly handed him every last dollar that he had on him—which happened to be $500 at the time.

These are the she’ifos you want your children to develop. This is the kind of book you want to read to them.

Which is why I plan on presenting this book to my own kids as a gift this Pesach. Just saying.

Click here to purchase online.

 


The Cuckoo Clock – Chapter 2

April 15, 2019

Israel Book Shop presents Chapter 2 of a new online serial novel, The Cuckoo Clock, by Esther Rapaport. Check back for a new chapter every week.  Click here for previous chapters.

Copyright © Israel Bookshop Publications. 

 

Bratislava 5704/1944

 

The woman who had materialized shook her head from side to side. “I’m not your mother, child,” she said hoarsely. Gustav gaped, fascinated, at the pathways that the tears forged on her face. “I’m…” she murmured, and lowered her eyes to the large bundle in her arms.

“You have the wrong address, ma’am,” Theodore said. “And I suggest that you get away from here before I summon our guards.”

“No,” the woman choked out. “No. They told me that here, at the orphanage of Lucius Jan, they will agree to take my child. Who can I speak to?” She pulled a small fabric sachet out of somewhere.

“With me,” Theodore said. “Only with me. And you have the wrong address. This place cannot take in another Jewish child. The problems we have with Gustav are far more than we can manage. Get lost.”

The woman ignored him and held the little sachet between her fingers. “There is payment here for you, please…” Gustav gaped wide-eyed as the woman continued to cry. “Take him, sir, and take care of him. At least he should survive…”

Theodore looked at the proffered sachet but didn’t take it.

Gustav tugged at the man’s arm.

“What?” Theodore asked.

“Theodore, Theodore, please…” he whispered. “Please! I promise to behave and not to make any more problems. Please, just take this boy. I’m ready to help you take care of him. His mother is such a poor, miserable lady. And she’s crying so much.”

“It’s not your mother.” Theodore raised Gustav’s chin with his finger. “It’s a different woman, and we cannot accept her child. He’s too young. Look.” He pointed to the large bundle. “How old is he?” he snapped.

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NEW RELEASE: A Fish on my Pillow And A Whack on my Head

April 12, 2019

The telltale knock-knock-knocking on my bedroom door slowly pulls me out of a deep sleep. I claw at the last vestiges of sweet sleep—maybe if I ignore the noise, it will stop and I’ll be able to drop back off to dreamland—but it’s a hopeless cause. The knocking is persistent, and soon it’s followed by a tremulous little voice.

“Ma? I had a bad dream…”

Groan. What was the bad dream about this time? And why, why, why did it have to be now, at 2:57 in the morning, when all I want to do is…(yawn)…go…back…to…sleep…

Sounds familiar? I thought so. Particularly if you’re the parents of imaginative little children, you’ve likely had your fair share of being woken up in middle of the night by fearful whimpering and “Can I come to your bed?” requests.

That’s why you’re going to love A Fish on my Pillow And A Whack on my Head. Here is an adorable children’s book that will actually help your little ones combat the very common childhood problem of having bad dreams at night. In a fun and entertaining way, kids will learn, as Ruvi does in this story, that imagination is a gift, and it’s an amazing tool that can be used to slay yucky nightmares, giving your kids—and hopefully you!—a peaceful night’s sleep…at last!

Click here to purchase online.


NEW RELEASE: Price Tags

April 11, 2019

Pesach might seem like a funny season to release a novel called Price Tags. Is there any season more costly than Pesach time? Between the matzah and all the pricey Pesach foods, and the new clothing for the family, and the new shoes, and all the cleaning help, etc., etc., whew—money sure is being spent!

But actually, that’s exactly what Price Tags is all about. It’s the gripping story of a family that “has it made” financially, and spends their money accordingly…and then their world gets turned on its head.

Oh, but this is not your typical “riches to rags” story—no, not at all. Because the characters—especially Yoni Greenstark—have so much background and baggage, which makes the plot so rich (no pun intended!) and multi-colored…

If you’re the kind of reader who enjoys “food for thought” novels, and you’re a fan of Ariella Schiller’s beautiful and emotionally-laden writing…then you’re absolutely going to LOVE Price Tags. Because this is one book that’s got it all—drama, a solid plot, lots of emotion, and some very important messages to think about.

Treat yourself this Pesach. You’ve worked hard…give yourself the gift of a good book to curl up with and enjoy, once all the cleaning/shopping/cooking is behind you. Buy a copy of Price Tags, and allow its magic to rejuvenate you!

Click here to purchase online.


NEW RELEASE: Modeh Ani, I Thank Hashem

April 10, 2019

“The cow is in the barn…it goes moo, moo.

The train is on the track…it goes choo, choo.

The bird is in the tree…it goes tweet, tweet.

All are saying Modeh Ani!”

If you’re humming along while reading these lines, then you probably have Uncle Moishy and Torah Island CDs playing constantly in your house and car. (Guilty as charged…) That Modeh Ani song is a great one, as are all the Modeh Ani songs out there that your nursery kids come home singing.

But when it comes to books on this important topic of thanking Hashem for His many kindnesses…well, there really aren’t too many of them. It was this dearth that made us so excited about Modeh Ani—I Thank HashemHere is an adorable children’s book that focuses specifically on the first tefillah that we say each morning immediately upon opening our eyes: Modeh Ani!

With cheerful and bright illustrations on each page, Modeh Ani—I Thank Hashem first explains, in a very age-appropriate way, what our neshamah is, and how it goes up to Hashem at night when we sleep and then returns to us each morning. The book then goes on to detail how much Hashem loves us all, and that is why He gives us our loving family…our eyes…our mouths…our feet…and a new day full of opportunities to serve Him.

Reading this book will fill your child with love in return for Hashem, and with appreciation to Him for showering us with so much good, and for believing in our ability to use that good properly. Modeh Ani…I thank Hashem!

Click here to purchase online.


The Cuckoo Clock – Chapter 1

April 8, 2019

Israel Book Shop presents Chapter 1 a new online serial novel, The Cuckoo Clock, by Esther Rapaport. Check back for a new chapter every week.  Click here for previous chapters.

Copyright © Israel Bookshop Publications. 

 

“I’m going to warm up the bottles. Should I make you a cup of tea, Elisheva?”

Elisheva stopped rocking the playpen for a moment. “Yes, Gitty, thanks.”

“In a minute she’ll fall asleep, and then we’ll be able to sit down for a few minutes together,” Gitty, her coworker, said. “How much sugar in your tea?”

“One teaspoon.” Elisheva flashed her friend a grateful smile, which did not convey the fact that she didn’t have too much patience today to sit and chat about this and that.

Gitty had been right. After another minute of Elisheva rocking the playpen, she began to hear deep breathing sounds coming from it, indicating that Ruchie, the fifth baby under her care, had fallen asleep.

In the second row, where Gitty’s charges lay, it had been quiet for more than five minutes already. Only she, Elisheva, was still running around, putting in a pacifier here, picking up a baby for a hug there, rocking lightly, or tucking in a blanket. It wasn’t so pleasant, taking into account that Gitty was at least seventeen years younger than her and had only one little boy of her own, while she, the mother of thirteen children, was having trouble coping with the multitude of tasks that were part and parcel of taking care of several little ones at the same time.

“It’s all a matter of getting used to it,” Mrs. Gottlieb, the day-care center director, had told her when she’d hired her. “You have the experience, baruch Hashem, but dealing with several little babies at once is something that even experienced mothers find difficult. Ask anyone who has triplets…and I’m talking about a group of five babies here!”

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