May 31, 2010

Rebbetzin Feldbrand fans, rejoice! And all you others out there who aren’t familiar with this beloved author’s style, listen up! Bitachon, Rebbetzin Feldbrand’s ninth book, has just been released.

Bitachon is filled to the brim with all sorts of practical strategies to help you acquire just that—bitachon in Hashem. You’ll love the stories and real-life examples that the author brings, which are all extremely helpful in modeling how one goes about acquiring this vital middah.

As we go through life, we see more and more how essential it is to have bitachon. Whether regarding getting a good mark on your Chumash test (if you’re a kid), or coming up with the money to pay the rent or mortgage each month (if you’re an adult), it’s clear that the happenings in our lives are not in our control. So why bother worrying about anything at all? Let’s all just—as the saying goes—“let go and let G-d!” With Hashem as our Driver, we’re in the best hands possible—so why not just trust His driving skills and sense of direction?

With Bitachon as your guidebook, you’ll learn exactly how to do so—and how absolutely amazing the dividends of it are!

Here’s an excerpt:


There are certain factors which lead to despair. When a person is overwhelmed with suffering, he finds it difficult to believe that salvation is at hand. When a person requires something that would require a miracle, like having a disease disappear or acquiring something beyond his reach, he should still daven to Hashem to save him. Knowing that one has sinned should not prevent the individual from turning to Hashem. A person should never give up hope (Yefas Toar).

At one point in his illustrious career, Rav Moshe Sherer stood up to the powers that be who were determined to pass a bill that would have harmed observant Jews throughout the United States. The members of Congress and the president were determined to see that their amendment was ratified into law, but Rav Moshe used all the connections at his disposal to prevent that law from being passed. Read more…

Divided Attention – Chapter 3

May 27, 2010

Israel Book Shop presents Chapter 3 of a new online serial novel, Divided Attention, by Esther Rapaport. Check back for a new chapter every Thursday or Friday.    Click  here for previous chapters.

Copyright © 2010 by Israel Bookshop Publications

Ayala’s green notebook became filled with her close, neat handwriting.

I held the list in my hand. Auerbach, Arnon, Ben Shlomo, Badani, Guttenberg… They were all new names. I didn’t recognize a single one of them and did not know which of the faces sitting before me belonged to which name. I observed a few faces that had closed expressions, as though these girls had made a firm decision not to enjoy a single thing that happened there.  I didn’t know if they were the girls who had been accepted to the old school and had been forced to switch, or perhaps they were the girls who hadn’t been accepted anywhere. For me, they were all new, sweet girls.  New faces, a new page of new names, in a brand new attendance book.

“Dermer, Chaya.”

At the back of the classroom, a diminutive figure sat up straight. Why had she chosen to sit so far back? I was inclined to tell her to change seats with someone sitting closer up front, but at the last second I remembered that I’d better get to know her first, at least a little, before I made any changes.

“Horner, Avital.” Ah, so that girl with the glasses on the left was Avital. Interesting; I thought that at this age the girls already wore lenses, I mused. Keep Reading…

kids will be… kids!

May 25, 2010

“I promised to take my kids on a special trip, but something came up that leaves me no choice but to cancel the trip. I know my kids will be terribly disappointed. My husband says these things happen and I shouldn’t worry, but I feel so guilty about not being able to keep our promise to the children. How can I face their disappointment?”

“My thirteen-year-old daughter is a daydreamer. Whenever I ask her to do a chore, she’ll sit there and daydream instead of doing it. Is this something to worry about? How can I help my daughter stay more down-to-earth?”

“What should we do about our five-year-old, who takes what isn’t hers?”

Our fourteen-year-old son is short, and very self-conscious about it. When his friends make fun of his height, I feel like telling them to stop.  How should I handle this sensitive issue?”

Do these parenting scenarios sound familiar to you? When you read them, do you feel like saying, “Oh, my goodness, that’s me!” or “How did they know?! That’s my child!”? If so, you will find a new friend for yourself in Kids…will be Kids!

The above true-to-life examples are only a sampling of the parenting questions addressed to Mimi Schechter Kleiman, RCSW. In Kids…will be Kids! Mrs. Kleiman, a practicing therapist and social worker in the greater New York metropolitan area for the past twenty years, skillfully and sensitively answers dozens of common parenting questions. She starts by explaining the “why” of the problem and then goes on to share her secrets for how to successfully resolve the issue.

You’re a good parent. We all know that—and (hopefully!) so do you! So do a favor for your kids and for yourself. Pick up a copy of Kids…will be Kids! and watch Mimi Kleiman’s magic begin to spread to you and  your family!

Here’s a sample:

How can I get them to stay in bed?

For the past few years we have been spending our summers in the country. The one thing that is a hassle for me is getting the younger kids to go to sleep when so many of their friends are still playing outside.

During the year I stick to a tight schedule. All the kids, except for my oldest daughter, who is now 12, are in bed by eight o’clock. I am basically a night person, and when the kids are asleep I get all my work done in peace and quiet. Now, during the summer, after running after the little ones all day, I look forward to sitting out with my friends and relaxing in the evening.

I don’t have patience for the hundreds of excuses my kids always have for getting out of bed — chief among them that other kids are still outside playing so why do they have to go to sleep so early.

If I let them stay up later, they don’t get up in time for camp the next day. Then I have to rush them out or they’ll miss the camp bus.

How can I get them to stay in bed and go to sleep on time, for everyone’s benefit?

Fighting the Summer Sleep Battle Keep Reading…

Adventures of the Levy Family 1&2

May 24, 2010

It’s another one of those long Shabbos afternoons, and your eleven-year-old is at it again:

“Ma, I’m so BORED. What should I do?”

You: “Why don’t you go read a book, dear?”

She: “All the books in this house are so BORING. They’re all written for adults and have nothing interesting in them for me.”

At this point you start fumbling with your lines, wondering how to respond (you must not have done a good enough job memorizing your script!). Maybe your kid does have a point there. It’s true that the amount of quality Jewish literature out there—novels, short stories, biographies, and everything in between—has grown in recent years by leaps and bounds, at least compared to how it used to be a mere decade or two ago. But to find quality literature appropriate for and of interest to a preteen-aged kid—now that still presents a challenge.

That’s why The Adventures of the Levy Family series is such a breath of fresh air. Each historical novel in this series is fun and exciting as it is educational, and your kids will just devour these books. Whether in Channah’s New World, where they’ll read with bated breath about the terrifying and dangerous flood that threatens Channah’s family in Johnstown, PA, or in Zeesl’s Shining Moment, where they’ll relate to fifteen-year-old Zeesl ‘s  trepidation and anticipation at landing a teaching job in Woodland, New Jersey, the books in The Adventures of the Levy Family series will keep your kids spellbound and coming back for more!

Buy these books for your kids. Your kids will thank you, and best of all, you’ll have found a solution to the “Ma, I’m so bored”-Shabbos-afternoon problem!

Here’s what one reader, a Principal of a Lakewood elementary school had to say:

“…I started to read the book Friday night I was bored after the meal.  I couldn’t put it down!! Her articulation is superb!  I could see the laundry hanging out of the window in the Lower East Side.  I could feel scared with the kids re the Halloween party and I am an adult!  Could I get a list of books she has written? My girls love her as well…”

Divided Attention – Chapter 2

May 21, 2010

Israel Book Shop presents Chapter 2 of a new online serial novel, Divided Attention, by Esther Rapaport. Check back for a new chapter every Thursday or Friday.    Click  here for previous chapters.

Copyright © 2010 by Israel Bookshop Publications

Eight-year-old Avi looked at the note. The atrocious handwriting was very familiar, a little too familiar. But how had Ronny gotten a hold of this? And what did it say?

“Do you know who wrote this?” Ronny’s gentle tone did not fool Avi for a minute. His big brother was angry, and he, Avi, was undoubtedly his intended victim.

“Yes,” he said, standing up very straight. He could not allow Ronny to see that he was afraid of him. “He’s my friend.”

“Your friend? Which one?”

Avi giggled. Calling Rafi a friend was preposterous, but that wasn’t Ronny’s business. “Rafi Zimmer. He’s a kid in my class.”

The older boy crumpled the note into a little ball, but then reconsidered. He smoothed out the creased paper and put it into his pocket.

“Get him for me,” he said, his eyes boring into his younger brother’s face. “Did you hear me? I said to go get him.”

Avi laughed nervously. Ronny was asking him the impossible. “Get him? I can’t,” he said uneasily.

“Why not?” Keep Reading…

NEW! Bris Secrets

May 18, 2010

Anyone out there made a bris recently? If yes, first of all mazel tov, and secondly, I’d like to ask you a question: Did you understand all that was taking place at the bris? Don’t worry; you don’t have to respond, and I’ll never know if you did or not! But seriously, so many fascinating minhagim take place at a brisminhagim that we all know about, but rarely know the reason behind them. For example, did you know that the reason the honor of kvatterin is given to a husband and wife is based on the idea that bris milah is compared to marriage, because through the milah the baby is betrothed to Hashem? And that one of the reasons why the bris milah takes place on the eighth day is because right before the baby is born, an angel taps him on the mouth and causes him to forget all the Torah he has learned inside the womb, so there first is a seven-day mourning period because of all this forgotten Torah?

In Bris Secrets, you will find all of this information—and much, much more. From the common minhagim to the unusual ones, be they the customs of Ashkenazim, Sephardim, or Chassidim, you will find all the what’s and why’s of a bris milah in this handsome book. Also included is a section on the birth of a baby girl, which is comprised of the various customs pertaining to naming a baby girl and the celebration of a kiddush, as well as the reasons behind these customs.

So whether or not you already made a bris, have one coming up, or are just curious about the in’s and out’s of this special mitzvah, be sure to check out Bris Secrets! Also makes a great gift for your relatives and friends who are making a bris or a kiddush!

Special Delivery Vol. 2 – Shema

May 17, 2010

On the heels of the successful release of Special Delivery 1 (Birchos Hashachar), it was hardly surprising that Special Delivery 2—on the Shema—hit the shelves of the bookstores so soon afterward. There’s something so beautiful about this series, so irresistible, that you just want to buy each Special Delivery book for your kids. These books are simply gorgeous! Each illustration is so striking and realistic, it can take your breath away to just look at them! Of course, the content of the books is of the highest caliber; doesn’t every parent dream of teaching his or her children the beauty and the meaning of the tefillos we say each day? And when the lessons are being served up to your children in such an appealing way, with  these stunning full-colored pictures, your kids are sure to love these books as much as you’ll love them.  Click here for some sample pages.

JUST ARRIVED! Forever With Me

May 14, 2010

If you’re the type who likes a good cry, and you’re looking to be inspired in a meaningful way, this new book, available in select stores before Shavuos and online, is the perfect book for you.

Forever with Me, by Shoshana Rube, is a moving memoir depicting the searing pain of a teenager who watches her mother suffer from a terminal illness and eventually succumb to it. In her honest account, the author shares personal letters written lovingly to her mother as disease swept across her mother’s body, as well as the letters she wrote even after her mother’s untimely passing. Through the letters, we watch a young girl struggle with pain, yet find strength for the future and emerge from the heartbreak in a hopeful and optimistic frame of mind.

This is a book that will bring you to tears, yet will uplift and inspire you at the same time.

The following is a sample letter:

Dearest Mommy,

I sit here alone in this hospital lounge room.  Panic and devastation has overtaken me.  I can feel my body shaking from the grim news and I feel as though my life is over.  I want to join you in your hospital room and hold your hand and hug you tight and cry on you, but I can’t.  Daddy is afraid that the news would be emotionally too difficult for you to deal with.

Daddy sadly informed us that you have less than one week left.  This can’t be! Keep Reading…

Divided Attention-Chapter 1

May 13, 2010

Israel Book Shop presents Chapter 1 of a new online serial novel, Divided Attention, by Esther Rapaport. Check back for a new chapter every Thursday or Friday.

Copyright © 2010 by Israel Bookshop Publications

The large bag contained just a few garments; too few.

“When it gets full, you’ll take it down to Mrs. Brown, the neighbor, alright?” Sarah would say every time she visited. Once, a long time ago, perhaps even a year ago, Ima would wash the clothes herself. But she didn’t do that anymore. Now she only washed clothes for herself and for Shira. She had completely forgotten about Rafi.

Mrs. Brown would take the full bag from him and after a day, sometimes two, he would find it waiting outside the door when he came home from school. She never asked for money, but he knew that Sarah gave her lots of money. Sometimes the woman from the social services would come and arrange the closet, checking whether he had enough clean clothes. But neither she nor Sarah understood why the bag filled so slowly, while the shelves in the closet looked almost the same every time.

Only Rafi knew, as did the children in his class.

“You’ve been wearing that shirt for a whole week already!” Avi Gelbart had sneered just yesterday, pinching his nose closed. “What a smell! Ugh! Like fish!”

Everyone standing around Avi had laughed, but Rafi knew that Avi was lying. Fish? Nonsense. There wasn’t any fish in their house, nor was there chicken. Rafi thought that Ima must have long forgotten how to cook. Sometimes Sarah or the other lady brought a bit of food, but that was it.

Rafi didn’t tell Avi that he was a liar, though; he didn’t tell him anything at all. All the kids could laugh all they wanted at Avi’s words—but they wouldn’t dare laugh at Rafi’s fists. And that’s what Rafi used now to answer Avi. He didn’t care that Avi limped around until lunchtime; Rafi knew it was just a show so that their teacher, Mrs. Davidi, would have pity on Avi and send him, Rafi, the “big, bad bully,” to the principal. This time, however, Mrs. Davidi didn’t send him to the principal. Instead, she just announced in that horrible voice of hers what a shame it was that they had such a boy in their class.

And, as usual, everyone laughed.

They had been laughing at him since first grade, when he would come to school with his clothes on backwards. He wondered if they knew how to dress themselves at that age, the spoiled brats! But that didn’t happen anymore. He knew exactly how to check if his clothes were on right, and if he could see the stitching on the outside, he knew he had to turn the garment inside-out.

Rafi had learned to do lots of things himself. Still, Sarah said that a boy of eight-and-a-half can’t do everything himself. She also said that he wasn’t eating properly, and that it was important for a growing boy to eat healthy food. She wanted to take him somewhere else, where he would have a different Abba and Ima, who would take care of him and prepare healthy meals for him to eat. But he didn’t want to go. Maybe Ima would suddenly decide that she loved him as much as she loved Shira? Perhaps she would suddenly have an urge to cook something especially for him? It would be such a shame if he wouldn’t be home just then.

But he didn’t explain all that to Sarah. She wouldn’t understand anyway. Keep Reading…

Halachically Speaking 2 in Stores Today!!

May 12, 2010


For all you Halachically Speaking fans looking out anxiously for the release of Halachically Speaking 2, you need not look out any longer; it’s finally here! And just in time for Shavuos, too! The second in a groundbreaking series on hard-to-find halachos pertaining to everyday living, you will love the clarity and easy-to-read format of this sefer. See for yourself—pick up your own copy at your local bookstore or online today!