A Time to Laugh…

April 30, 2010

Those of you lucky enough to be a student of Rabbi Kurland in Sh’or Yoshuv yeshivah will know exactly what I’m referring to when I say that Rabbi Kurland’s style is one of a kind. It’s not just the humor he injects into every lesson—which, by the way, there’s a lot of. (There’s a reason why his book is called A Time to Laugh, A Time to Listen!) It’s also his amazing knack of being able to teach fundamental concepts  in a down-to-earth, concrete way that you’ll find both inspirational and enjoyable. Each gem of an article in this book begins with a good joke, which then leads into a powerful essay that connects pesukim, midrashim, and Gemaras from all over, in a breathtaking display of Rabbi Kurland’s unique manner of teaching.

Ready for a laugh? Want some inspiration? Go ahead; it’s all yours—A Time to Laugh, A Time to Listen.

Here’s a sample…

The Hebrew school teacher was projecting her own heretical views, when she asked her class if they really believed that Jonah was swallowed by a whale and survived. Little Sarah, unabashed, was brave enough to respond:

“Yes! I believe every word of it!”

“Well, how will you prove that it is true?” the dissident teacher asked.

Sarah, not hesitating for a moment, answered, “When I get to Heaven, I’m going to ask Jonah myself!”

“But how do you know that Jonah is in Heaven?” asked the teacher. “Maybe he’s in the other place.”

Sarah didn’t flinch. “Then you ask him!”

Children are bright, resourceful, and quite perceptive, very often putting us adults to shame. One thing is for sure: Any parent or teacher who thinks for a moment that he is “merely dealing with a child” underestimates and misunderstands the “absorbent sponge” and pure-minded phenomenon that stands before him. Everything we do and say will be soaked up by this precious child, either through his unusual sharp senses, or through the process of osmosis. We adults must always be on our best behavior, lest our children’s lasting impressions of us come back to haunt us one day! Read more…

Diamond in the Rough-Excerpt

April 13, 2010

This gripping novel sheds light on complex family dynamics and the inner strength needed to overcome years of tension and friction. You will be mesmerized by the man who must come to terms with a difficult past and find it within himself to open up his heart and home, and enthralled by the underground revolution that has far-reaching ramifications for individuals on the other side of the globe.  Here’s a sample chapter for your reading pleasure…

Chapter 9

Toronto, Canada

With Pesach just around the corner, Mrs. Zichel was determined to use every spare moment for scrubbing. She removed the red washcloth and examined the silver mezuzah case with a critical eye.

“You see, Shlomo?” she said with satisfaction. “Every house needs a woman to clean it and organize it and care about it! The best cleaning lady in the world won’t do what a balabuste does in her own house.”

From his place in the hallway outside Mrs. Zichel’s apartment, Shlomo nodded politely and stifled a big yawn. The night shift had completely exhausted him. A serious car accident had foiled his plans to slip home at twelve o’clock noon. He’d been in the emergency room for five hours straight without a moment’s rest. In all, he had been at the hospital for twenty-five hours. Read More…