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!

My First Sing-Along Siddur

May 11, 2010

Here at the Israel Bookshop, we like to work with background music. No, really. Not “background music” in the figurative sense, as in ringing phones and noisy printers, but in the literal sense—as in real music. Somehow, there’s something about the strains of the latest Baruch Levine or Shloimy Gertner CD that really gets the energy pumping in the air and the creative juices flowing as we work on ads and back cover texts. I guess you have to be a music lover to understand it, and we have a few of those here…

But if you had walked into our office sometime last month, you may have been surprised to hear songs like “We Open One Eye, We Open Two,” “Hashem Gave Us a Present,” and “Don’t Walk in Front of Me” wafting in the air. Yes, I know we all (supposedly) grew up already, but…the CD that comes along with My First Sing-Along Siddur is so irresistible, we just had to slip it in the CD player and listen to it ourselves before bringing it home for our kids to listen to a thousand times each day. (And by now, it’s practically coming out of our ears, although our kids are still asking to hear it for their thousand-time daily dose!)

The nice part of it all is that the CD comes with the most adorable “siddur,” fully-illustrated and containing all the age-appropriate tefillos for kids to say each day. Those kids old enough to read can follow along with the words, while the really little ones can daven simply by singing along with the CD. It’s a win-win situation, and one of the cutest and most practical gifts you can get a child of any age.

Click here to purchase a copy for the kids in your life…


May 10, 2010

New online serial novel, by Esther Rapaport, author of “Diamond in the Rough”

Rafi Zimmer, neglected child of a dysfunctional family, is at his lowest ebb. Nava Cohen, a high school teenager, is feeling stifled and choked by her relationship with her parents. And Ronny Gelbart is looking for just one thing—a way to get even with the chareidim in his neighborhood.

What happens when Ronny, on the warpath, searching for revenge, decides to make use of the insidious weapon called blackmail? Can Rafi ever escape his past and put his horrible background behind him—or will he forever be entangled in Ronny’s tight clutches? And is it possible for Nava’s eyes to be opened to the bright rays of the sun in her life—or will she always remain blind to them?

Check back on Thursday for chapter one of this new and exciting novel…

Interview with Bracha Goykadosh

May 6, 2010

In today’s world of literature, where authors and books seem to abound a dime a dozen, and every other person you meet claims to be an “aspiring writer,” it takes a very talented author to actually bring a character to life. One such talent is Bracha Goykadosh.

There is nothing flat, typical, or two-dimensional about the characters that Bracha writes about. To the contrary; I find them so authentic, so true-to-life, so “real”—it almost feels like I’ve actually met them in person! After reading too many books with characters comprised of the former qualities, static and unoriginal, it’s so refreshing to see something totally different in Bracha’s writing.

Take her newest book, Shadows on the Moon. I mean, how could any modern-day teenager NOT relate to Ella Sender? She’s so sarcastic and biting—yet, her tough exterior is only a façade covering up so many layers underneath… As an adult, who already went through my teenage years, I still found myself moved by Ella’s depth and her feelings. And Ruti Reuben, the so-called “perfect” class queen—who doesn’t remember the girl exactly like that from their high school class?!

I think the reason why I, and so many readers whom I speak for, too, loved this book so much, is due to its frankness and realism, elements that unfortunately are not found in your typical teen or adult novel. This, of course, can only be a credit to the book’s gifted author, Bracha Goykadosh. We spoke with Bracha about her entry into the world of writing, and about her writing in general. Here’s what she has to say:

You’ve been writing for a long time, yet you seem to be a young person. How old are you and since when have you been a published author? Read more…

50% off With Help From Above

May 5, 2010

When I first met Jodi, I was floored by how normal she looks. After reading about all her colorful travels and experiences in With Help from Above, I’m not sure what I was expecting her to look like! But the truth is, I think it’s her normalcy and level-headedness that helped shape her experiences and turn them into real stepping stones for personal growth.

Jodi’s approach to life is—when the going gets tough, you can either fall apart, or you can grow. Why not choose the latter and become a better person? And that’s exactly what Jodi has done.

Reading about the difficulties Jodi and her family experienced upon their move to Eretz Yisrael, and about the various accidents and mishaps that befell them, I couldn’t believe how Jodi managed to get up each time she was struck down—and even stronger than before, too. When I mentioned this to her, she gave a little laugh and said, “You know, when people are inspired by my life, that helps me, too.”

I, for one, became inspired tremendously from her life by reading her book. There’s nothing like a real-life example to drive home the message of how we Jews are supposed to view the experiences that we go through…

The book is available here for special 50% discount until May 14th.  Here’s an excerpt…

Judge to the Merit

The international community will never be the same following the terror that has been unleashed against the world under the banner of Islamic Jihad.  Our family was living in Eretz Yisrael when the Twin Towers that once graced the skyline of Manhattan were destroyed.  That day in September shattered America’s sense of optimism and invincibility.  That same day has also become a day of personal loss to our family; it was the day that our son lost his unparalleled enthusiasm for learning.

At the time when the two planes were crashing into their targets, thousands of miles away, in a beis medrash in Ashdod, our oldest son, Chaim, was diligently plowing through pages of the Gemara on his own. Read more…