Emergencies in Halachah @ The Lakewood Scoop

December 29, 2009

We love it when other outlets feature Israel Book Shop books. A few days ago, TheLakewoodScoop.com, and incredible website with all manner of Lakewood news, excerpted Emergencies in Halacha, a book about emergencies in halacha. They did it with permission, of course, like anyone who excerpts our books. And then they gave us permission to reprint it here. Select Lakewood Scoop comments follow the article. You can read the original piece at http://www.thelakewoodscoop.com/news/2009/12/fire-on-shabbos-what-do-you-do.html .

We all hear it all too often. The wailing of the fire trucks sirens and the roar of their engines. When a fire occurs on Shabbos (as it did for a Lakewood resident last Shabbos, as reported on Thelakewoodscoop.com) just as is the case of all other emergencies, people panic as they begin contemplating what to do. While we all know that pikuach nefesh takes precedence over all of the Torah at times of emergency and desperation, this clarity can become blurred. TLS got permission from The Israel Book Shop to reprint a section of their newly published Sefer Emergencies in Halacha which deals with the halachic issues of fires.
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Come for the Polls and the Prizes, stay for the posts!

December 29, 2009

Welcome to the Israel Book Shop Publications blog, a new way for Israel Book Shop to connect with readers of the best Jewish books available! The blog features previews and excerpts of recent and popular books, reviews and opinions, and of course, our feedback topics and polls, where we want to hear from you! Whichever of these brought you here, feel free to stick around and check out the others. Read a chapter from one of our recent bestsellers, and let the author know how you feel about it. Vote in our poll, give us your opinion on the pressing questions of the day, and you’ll be automatically entered into our raffles.  Disagree with one of the comments? You can comment on comments, too, and your opinion will post right where it belongs, underneath the comment. Get to know Israel Book Shop, and let us get to know you. Start by reading (and feedback-ing) below!

What is Your Opinion? (2)

December 25, 2009

Cast your vote on the poll to the right, then comment on this post… (leave a comment to be entered into our raffle, see details below.)

Are Today’s Children More or Less Literate Than Their Parents Were at the Same Age?

Brief explanation: Frum education has been evolving constantly for many years. We’ve gone from Talmud Torah in the afternoons, to full time yeshivah. Many yeshivas have gone from off-hours public school teachers to frum women and then to frum men teaching secular studies. Some Yeshivas have done away with the English department altogether. How has this affected literacy in our communities? Meanwhile, the world of frum literature has grown immeasurably. Judaica stores don’t even have room for all of the titles now available that cater to the frum market. Has this raised the level of literacy in a measurable way?


Raffle details:

Submit your answer via the comment section below. The best responses from both sides will be made public and their authors will receive a $50 gift certificate. All respondents will be entered into a weekly raffle for a free book, and a monthly drawing for $100 of books of their choice.


December 23, 2009

Your votes have been counted, and your opinions have been heard.

62% of you were against the idea of putting a hechsher on books, for a variety of reasons: The Israel Book Shop logo is a hechsher of sorts (A.W.) [good job, A.W!]  Books…already feature haskamos (Sara) A book that is perfectly suited to an individual from one background can be confusing to another. (C.L.) We need to trust our adults to make responsible decisions…(Chanie Greenberg)

38% of you voted Yes to a hechsher. Many people suggested alternatives to a hechsher, such as a rating system, or an age recommendation, haskamos, or asking a friend.

Israel Book Shop Publications, in response to all of the opinions posted, plans to ensure that our back cover descriptions be as accurate as possible in portraying the book properly in order for discerning readers to be able to make an informed judgment.

Look out for a new question in the next few days…

The following are the winning answers from each category:


C.D. Urbach Says:

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Interview with the Author of Two Kings

December 23, 2009
The following is an interview by Barbara Bietz of http://barbarabbookblog.blogspot.com
One of the lovely benefits of sharing interviews on my blog is the opportunity I have to meet wonderful people from around the world. Rabbi Fishel Jacobs is the author of the Two Kings books for children. He lives with his family in Kfar Chabad, Israel, a suburb of Tel Aviv. Rabbi Jacobs has many talents. He has written seven adult non-fiction books, served in the Israeli army, and is an eight degree Black Belt!
I’m delighted that Rabbi Jacobs was able to join me for a blog interview.


Tell me about your Two Kings books.
The Two Kings book series actually evolved from a play we performed for many years in front of tens of thousands of youth in Israel. The play, as well as the books, feature a main character, David, 8. He is charged with performing some sort of daily activity, such as helping watch the baby sister, do homework, whatever. Through simple text and really marvelous brilliant colored pictures we “see” and “hear” an internal Bad King trying to influence David not to do what he’s supposed to. Then we watch as the internal Good King responds with counter-arguments. Finally, we watch as David is torn and struggles to decide with which inner voice, inclination so to speak, he will go.

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A Letter from a Reader

December 15, 2009

I recently visited your blog called The Next Page. First, I want to commend you on your excellent work in publishing wholesome Jewish books for the whole family. As an avid reader, I have watched your company grow over the years and I have been impressed with your choice of publications.

What I want to comment on, and I hope all of your readers take me seriously, is: Mi K’amcha Yisroel!!! When I read through the hundreds of answers you have received to your question “Do Jewish Books Require a Hechsher?”, I am astounded. One after the other after the other, people took the time to try to put into words their thoughts and opinions on a matter of chinuch that is important not only to their children but to themselves…. Without going into the actual question, of which response is right and which is wrong, the mere fact that the response has been so overwhelming, and so passionate, shows us, and shows Hashem that – Your people care! They are interested in doing what’s right for their own neshamos and for the proper upbringing of their children al pi derech haTorah….

Regardless of whether such a rating system will be employed or not, we can all feel a little better in knowing that – WE CARE! Ultimately, what counts in Shamayim, and the real success in Chinuch Habanim, is just that: the fact that one cares, and really tries…..

May we be zoche that the next book that comes out, will be the one commemorating the bias haMashiach, bimheirah b’yameinu Amen!

Don’t Toy with Me

December 10, 2009

Excerpted from Adventures in the Produce Aisle by Perel Grossman

In preparation for Chanukah, I would like to warn my loyal readers about the dangers of certain games and recreational items that you may be tempted to purchase for your children. Now, I’m not talking actual physical danger here. I’m saying, danger to the mental stability of the person or persons overseeing the running of the household: namely, Mommy.

Lite Brite – This toy has, unbelievably, been on the market since I was a child (a mere few years). It is comprised of a backlit screen, a piece of paper sporting a pattern that slides behind the screen, and two zillion transparent pegs of various colors.

Unbeknownst to the innocent consumer, these tabs are programmed to secrete themselves in any and every crevice in the home. Homeland Security experts believe that they are Radical Islam’s secret weapon to bring the West to its knees. This they do, as moms and dads comb through the long hair of their mustard-yellow shag carpet (can you say “time to redecorate”?) on their hands and knees to find all of the missing pieces. Yet only small humans of teething age are successful in finding these tasty pegs.

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