Night Flower – Chapter 13

March 12, 2018

Israel Book Shop presents Chapter 13 of a new online serial novel, Night Flower, by Esther Rapaport. Check back for a new chapter every week.  Click here for previous chapters.

Copyright © Israel Bookshop Publications. 

“You didn’t finish your compote, Rachel,” Elsie said.

Rachel wrinkled her nose. “Compote is such a hospital word,” she said. “In the dorm we don’t usually have dessert at the Friday evening meal. Anyone who wants can take cookies from the tea room, but they are the exact same cookies that we have on Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wedne—”

“I got it, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday,” Elsie said patiently. “It’s really a shame that you have that all week. It’s just not healthy. So you don’t want to eat your compote?”

“No,” Rachel said. “If it would be the apples that you cook, that would be one thing, but this is just plain pineapples from a can.”

“If I would have known you were coming, I would have prepared apple compote for you, but I didn’t know you’d be here.”

“Don’t tell me the dorm mother didn’t call you.” Read the rest of this entry »

Night Flower – Chapter 12

March 5, 2018

Israel Book Shop presents Chapter 12 of a new online serial novel, Night Flower, by Esther Rapaport. Check back for a new chapter every week.  Click here for previous chapters.

Copyright © Israel Bookshop Publications. 

Chaiky’s father-in-law finished singing Shalom Aleichem, made Kiddush, and poured wine into the small cups.

Nu, uh!” her mother-in-law said as she passed the cups.

“Yisrael and Yaakov!” she scolded, after drinking her wine. “Can you stop being so wild? You’re supposed to set a good example for Dovi and Naomi, not the opposite!”

“But we’re so happy that they finally, finally came to us!” Yisrael said as soon as he’d swallowed his wine, and tickled Dovi in the ribs. Dovi giggled and stuck his hand out to get his little goblet.

“Well, that’s children for you…” Shlomo’s mother sighed as she smiled at Chaiky, who smiled in return. The happiness and energy that enveloped the children here served her quite well. It somewhat blurred her discomfort and the long silences, although she did have to make sure that her kids’ unruly behavior did not become all-out chaos.

As soon as she’d entered the somber-toned, closed-in dining room, she’d felt that familiar sensation of being stifled. She had never liked the heavy velvet curtains, tied with gold ropes; the elegantly carved bookcase that gleamed to perfection; or the two black velvet chairs in the corner of the room. When she’d first come to her in-laws’ home as a kallah, she’d mused that she and her mother-in-law just didn’t share the same taste at all, but as long as Shlomo had been at her side, it hadn’t bothered her so much. Keep Reading…

NEW RELEASE! Born to Rule

February 26, 2018

Generally, you either love historical fiction or you really dislike it. History buffs will drool over a new historical novel (the thicker and more detailed, the better!), while those seeking drama and intrigue for their reading pleasure will choose an emotion-laden, contemporary novel instead.

Born to Rule, though, crosses boundaries when it comes to book genres. Yes, it is a historical novel, taking place during the fascinating Geonic period, when Baghdad and its environs were the central location of the Jewish community. But at the same time, this is a book that throbs with emotion and drama.

We enter the lives of Surura, the spoiled only daughter of the Reish Galuta, who has everything she could want but is plagued by loneliness and unanswered questions; Osnat, Surura’s aunt, whose dreams are shattered merely hours after her wedding; and Gershon, whose journey to a distant land becomes a whole lot more perilous than he ever expected. We follow these and other characters’ lives as they intersect in spellbinding ways.

When it comes to surprising plot twists and character development—this book has definitely got it all. And the wealth of information you will gain about Jewish history, particularly during the times of Rav Saadya Gaon, will absolutely enthrall you, whether or not you ever felt drawn to this topic.

Truly, Born to Rule is a book that will find its place on the “Favorites List” of readers with all kinds of tastes!

Click here to order online.

Night Flower – Chapter 11

February 26, 2018

Israel Book Shop presents Chapter 11 of a new online serial novel, Night Flower, by Esther Rapaport. Check back for a new chapter every week.  Click here for previous chapters.

Copyright © Israel Bookshop Publications. 

“Hey, there’s someone new!” Rachel said in surprise and hurried over to the baby’s crib. She put down her large bag on the floor, skirted the intravenous pole, and leaned over the high railing, peering into the crib. “He’s cute…” she said thoughtfully. “What does he have, Elsie?”

“A serious heart problem,” Elsie the nurse said from behind a tower of folded sheets. “It’s affecting his entire development. Please open this cabinet, Rachel.”

The fourteen-year-old raised her eyes. “Is his life in danger?”

“Not at this moment—otherwise he’d be in intensive care, not here. He’s recovering from his second surgery, and we are praying that he grow up to be healthy.”

“A second surgery! Poor thing… How old is he?”

“Eight months.”

“And when he gets healthy, where will he go?”

“We’ll see,” Elsie said. “But Rachel, if you’ve already come for Shabbos, I prefer you help me with Sarit. She’s bigger and needs your attention. She actually just ran out into the hallway, and I can’t run after her all day. This little one, on the other hand, rests quietly, and I’m not sure that he even realizes what is going on around him—who is with him and who isn’t.”

Rachel gazed into the crib at the baby who lay there with closed eyes, unresponsive to her stroking. “He’s not so little,” she said quietly. “And I’m worried. When you send me from one baby to another, it’s usually because you don’t want me to get too connected to that baby, because then my heart will break if something happens to him, chalilah.” Keep Reading…

NEW RELEASE! The Humble Giant

February 22, 2018

It was a scene I’ll always remember. While in Eretz Yisrael on a seminary tour, I went to Bnei Brak for a Shabbos. The girl I’d gone with was distantly related to Rav Wosner, and she suggested that the two of us go over to his home on Friday night to receive a brachah from him.

brachah from such a gadol? What an opportunity! My heart thumping in anticipation, we walked to Rav Wosner’s simple apartment and knocked on the door.

The sight that met my eyes when we were welcomed in is too special and touching to put into words, but I’ll try. Rav Wosner had just returned from shul. He looked resplendent in his shtreimel, his face glowing with an other-worldly shine. His children and grandchildren—many of whom, apparently, came over every Friday night just for this purpose—were lined up respectfully before him, and he gave each one a warm brachah, stopping to add a few words, a loving smile, a gentle pat, before turning to the next one on line.

This went on for a long few minutes, while my friend and I just stood there and stared. The holiness in that little room was so blatant, it was mesmerizing! Of course we received our brachos from the tzaddik, too, and we left the house on a high, feeling incredibly moved and uplifted.

Of course, those who knew Rav Wosner on a personal basis would tell you that this glimpse of greatness that I caught on that Friday night is just a drop in the bucket of the persona Rav Wosner was. Hundreds of beautiful and incredible stories have been told about him, his hasmadah, his love for Torah, his sterling middos.

In The Humble Giant, we attempt to give children a peek into this gadol’s life, with 25 amazing stories about Rav Wosner. Show your children what a true Torah giant is all about, in this stunning, full-color book!

Click here to purchase online.

NEW RELEASE! Daniel and the Lions

February 20, 2018

I’ve never learned Sefer Daniel, at least not inside. I guess it just wasn’t part of the curriculum of the schools I attended. Of course I’d heard the famous story about Daniel being saved in the lions’ den. But the details, all the mefarshim on the story…I really didn’t know those.

Until I read Daniel and the Lions, the first book in a brand new series for kids on stories from Tanach. Yes, I know the book is technically for kids, and that while I may wax poetic about how I’m really a kid at heart, let’s face it, I’m a full-fledged adult—but…what can I tell you? This book speaks the language of the heart, and it most definitely spoke to me, and taught me a great deal too!

In this carefully researched book, the story of the incredible miracle which Daniel Hatzaddik experienced is related in full detail, and with the most stunning, lifelike illustrations you’ve ever seen. The time period comes alive, and the events grip you—and remember, this is coming from an adult! Kids, for whom this book is really intended, will be absolutely mesmerized by the story that unfolds with each turn of the page.

If you’re looking to delight a child, while giving him/her the priceless gift of knowing Klal Yisrael’s rich history—you’ll want to buy Daniel and the LionsThis is a book that will pay for itself time and again.

Click here to purchase online.

NEW RELEASE! The Great Shabbos Food Debate

February 19, 2018

Remember Corduroy, that old classic for kids about a teddy bear that sat anxiously on his shelf in the department store, waiting for someone to come along and buy him? For those who grew up with that bedtime story read to them each night, the concept of store items talking among themselves should not come as any surprise. After all, when you’re a child and you’ve got an awesome imagination, the sky’s the limit—anything at all can happen!

In The Great Shabbos Food Debatea delightful book by children’s entertainer and author Yossi Berktin (a.k.a. Rabbi B.), your kids will listen spellbound as you read of the big debate held by the wine, the challah, the fish, and all the other Shabbos foods, in the grocery store on Shalom Way.  Each food felt it was most important for the Shabbos table.

But then comes the part where the foods—and your avid listeners—learn an important lesson…

This is a book your kids will love—and you will, too! Adorable, very kid-friendly, accompanied by the cutest illustrations…The Great Shabbos Food Debate has all the makings of another children’s classic!

Click here to order online.