Chag Sameach from Israel Bookshop!

September 22, 2010

Enjoy these treats l’kavod Yom Tov!

Click here for your free download of Treats for the Shabbos Table on Sukkos.

Click here for your free download of Treats for the Shabbos Table on Shabbos Chol Hamoed.

Click here for your free download of Treats for the Shabbos Table on Shemini Atzeres and Simchas Torah.

Feel free to pass around and share with friends!

The new book Treats for the Shabbos Table will be available at your local bookstore right after Sukkos.  To purchase online click here.

Divided Attention – Chapter 18

September 20, 2010

Israel Book Shop presents Chapter 18 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

Rafi’s world was divided in two. The first part was in Kiryat Yovel, at home with Ima, and in class with Mrs. Davidi and the other children. There, he was Rafi who did what he wanted; the boy of whom everyone was afraid. No one dared say a word of rebuke to him. He was Rafi who was buddies with Ronny, and to whom Rina, the guidance counselor, tried to speak. But despite all these people in his life, he was really alone, so very alone, and he knew that no one was particularly pleased that he was there in the first place. Now, they were probably happy that he was gone, but soon enough, after they removed his cast and bandages, he would go back there and show them all.

The other half of Rafi’s world was here, with Mr. and Mrs. Cohen and Nava. In their home, he was suddenly the youngest and everyone was worried about him and asking how he felt. They seemed to have his best interests at heart, or at least that’s what they said. He tried to be good, like they wanted him to be, and it wasn’t very hard. Only sometimes, they had to remind him that it was better to speak nicely, but except for that, they didn’t say anything. Even when he occasionally got up at night and made noise, they didn’t get angry or tell him that it was nighttime and that he had to sleep. Mr. Cohen would sit next to him and tell him a story, and sometimes, Mrs. Cohen would peel an orange or tangerine for him, or prepare for him some grapefruit segments sprinkled with sugar. The only problem was that he couldn’t always find his ball and that annoyed him, because sometimes, kicking the ball helped him sleep better afterwards.

He thought that he liked the Cohen family, and maybe—he wasn’t sure—they liked him. It was really worth wearing the kippah for that; he was sure that they liked him even more because of it. They hadn’t bought him strings for his pants, nor had they taken him to the barber, even though he’d told them that he wanted this. Mr. Cohen had said they would “wait and see.” Rafi didn’t understand what exactly they were waiting for. Did they want to see how long his hair could grow?

Meanwhile, Shabbos had passed, and it was a really pleasant day in a religious house.  He went with Mr. Cohen to shul at night, and sat next to him the whole time, except when he went outside to see what the other kids were doing. He had stood and watched them play for a few minutes. A few of the kids had given him a glance, but none of them said a word to him, except for one kid who asked, “Hey, you, there, what’s your name? Why are you staring at us?”

Rafi had wanted to go over to that kid and show him who he was starting up with, but his hands suddenly felt very heavy, reminding him that they were more or less useless right now. That worked out pretty well, because he was sure that Mr. Cohen would not have liked the idea of him starting up with other kids, even if they had really started up with him.

On the way home, Mr. Cohen spoke to him about all sorts of interesting things, like the shul and praying and Hashem.

Afterwards there was Kiddush in a silver cup with grape juice. He kept asking for more grape juice, and finished almost half the bottle. And there were nice songs, and Mr. Cohen spoke about people who went to Egypt and had to work really hard there to build buildings that kept falling apart. Mrs. Davidi had once told them something like that; or perhaps it was last year, with Mrs. Simon; he couldn’t remember anymore. But Mr. Cohen sure told it over much better than his teachers. Everything at the Cohens was nicer than it was over in Kiryat Yovel. He was happy he was here now, and that he didn’t have to meet any of the people from there. Keep Reading…

IN STORES TODAY!!! Shortchanged

September 15, 2010

If you live anywhere in the civilized frum world, you’ve heard of her. Etka Gitel Schwartz—the popular columnist in Binah Magazine and Hamodia. For years, this talented author has entertained thousands of readers with her well-written articles and serialized stories.

But, as any avid Binah reader can surely tell you, Etka Gitel’s first serialized novel, Shortchanged, was something different. When it began appearing in Binah Magazine, readers really sat up and took notice. Whether it was the fascinating plot, taking place during the Great Depression in America, or the true-to-life characters, or simply the amazingly well-written style of the author, it was this feature that Binah readers turned to first each week.

And now, Shortchanged is being published in book form! Not only that, but in addition to the story, Etka GItel has added over 100 pages of bonus content—deleted scenes, previously published tie-in stories, behind-the-scenes features, historical photos, a timeline, and The Miller Memoirs: Rochelle’s Story!

Read about the Rosen family, and the difficult decisions each family member must make. Feel what it was like to be a Jewish family living in America at this time. Open this book; you will enter the characters’ lives, and won’t be quick to leave them, either!

We’re sure you’ll agree with us when we vouch that if there’s one novel you’ll want to get yourself this Sukkos, Shortchanged is that novel. 

A Joke for Yom Kippur

September 14, 2010

The three cadets were to be interviewed at the Police Academy in Brooklyn, chosen among New York’s finest as potential candidates for the coveted Detective and Investigative Unit.

“Men,” said the Lieutenant, “we’re going to go through a little exercise to test your acumen and insightfulness for detective work. I’m going to show you a picture of a criminal for precisely twenty seconds, and I want you to tell me, simply by glancing at the picture, what type of crook we’re looking for. Jones, take a look. What do you think?”

“Sir! I think this guy has only one ear.”

“No, no, Jones! This is a profile. It only shows one side. What do you say, Burns?”

“Sir! This perpetrator only has one eye.”

“No, Burns. Don’t you understand? This is only a profile. Forget about it!”

About to give up, the Lieutenant showed the picture to the third cadet. “What do you say, Jackson?”

Without looking for more than five seconds, Jackson blurted out with confidence, “Boss! This outlaw wears contact lenses!”

“That’s right, Jackson! You’re incredible! How did you know that?”

“It’s simple, Chief! With one ear and one eye, how in the world is the guy gonna wear glasses?”

It is rare that we are privileged to see “the whole picture” of something. When we do see it, we need to indelibly imprint that image upon our minds and hearts, so that it can resurface and strengthen us anew whenever we are faced with challenges and confusion.

One of those auspicious moments is at Ne’ilah on Yom Kippur. As the holiest day ebbs away, we come face to face with the unmistakable truth that, “Hashem Hu Ha’Elokim—Hashem is G-d!” Seven times we recite those words, each time with more conviction and assuredness.

Hashem Hu Ha’Elokim! All the pettiness of the world suddenly seems to us like just that—petty and insignificant.

Hashem Hu Ha’Elokim! All the pent-up desires for the pleasures of Olam Hazeh, desires that have occupied our minds and our hearts for more hours than we care to admit, fade into oblivion, and are instead replaced with a yearning to cling to the Ribono Shel Olam.

Hashem Hu Ha’Elokim! All the fantasizing about living the “good life” is defused by the realization that the greatest joy is the unraveling of doubts and the clarity of mission, purpose, and destination.

Hashem Hu Ha’Elokim! How privileged and thrilled we are to be His servants, knowing as we do, with absolute conviction, that to be His servant is to have gained ourselves freedom.

Hashem Hu Ha’Elokim! What an amazing feeling to be able to think on a spiritual level, without any earthly interference!

Hashem Hu Ha’Elokim! The majesty of the Ribono Shel Olam is breathtaking; His kingdom is omnipresent. I am in awe of His greatness, which inspires and generates my love for Him.

Hashem Hu Ha’Elokim! I see light. I feel pure. I have been privileged to a glimpse of the whole picture, for which I am eternally grateful.

(excerpted from A Time to Laugh, A Time to Listen vol. 2.  Copyright © 2010 Rabbi Yehoshua Kurland)


In this new collection of forty-five original and inspirational articles, Rabbi Yehoshua Kurland, noted rebbi and magid shiur of Yeshivah Shor Yoshuv, once again explores various topics in hashkafah in a most palatable and appealing way.  Tap into the richness and pleasure that this book has to offer, as it evokes within you the ability to laugh, and most importantly, the desire to listen.

Click here to purchase online.

Free Download!

September 7, 2010

Click here for your free download of Treats for the Shabbos Table on Rosh Hashanah.

Click here for your free download of Treats for the Shabbos Table on Parshas Haazinu.

Feel free to pass around and share with friends!

K’siva V’chasima Tova and A Gut G’benched Yur from your friends at Israel Bookshop Publications!

IN STORES TODAY! Torah Tavlin vol. II

September 7, 2010

Just in time for Yom Tov and Parshas Bereishis!

There’s nothing like a new sefer on the parshah with which to start off the new cycle of parshiyos ha’shavuah, and then stay with throughout the year. And when that sefer is a brand new volume of Torah Tavlin, well, what more could you ask for?

We like to think of Torah Tavlin as a menu that includes something for everyone—from satisfying divrei Torah and savory stories of our gedolim to the “spicy” quotes of famous Chassidishe masters, and everything in between. A delectable dish is comprised of a vast assortment of ingredients, and in much the same way, the secret to Torah Tavlin’s popularity seems to lie in its diverse variety of stories, parables, and divrei Torah on the parshah each week. Also, the fact that Torah Tavlin is neatly categorized according the days of the week ensures that you could learn something short and sweet on the parshah every single day!

When Torah Tavlin Volume 1 made its grand debut, readers grabbed it, and then returned clamoring for more. Torah Tavlin on the Haggadah was our initial response to that demand, but now we’ve got even more for you—Torah Tavlin Volume 2! So get out there and pick up your own copy of Torah Tavlin Volume 2, before it sells out! With Parshas Bereishis right around the corner, you know, that may happen sooner than you think!

Click here for a free Rosh Hashanah Sample to add some “spice” to your Yom Tov table!

Click here to purchase online.

Divided Attention – Chapter 17

September 3, 2010

Israel Book Shop presents Chapter 17 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

Yael Cohen served her guests a plate of cookies and two cups of soda. “Which era interests you the most?” she asked in her soft, refined voice.

If Yaeli would have to sum up Mrs. Cohen’s personality in one word, that was the word she would choose: refined. As much as she tried, she could not possibly imagine this woman not being religious.

Tikva peeked at her. “Yaeli?”


Nu, which era?”

The truth was that Yaeli had not devoted even a second of thought to the matter before coming there. What difference did it make if they were writing about something that happened two hundred, five hundred, or even a thousand years ago?

“Maybe the unification of Germany,” she blurted, just to say something.

Tikva glared at her. “We don’t want to write about the Holocaust, remember?”

Yaeli sighed. “If you don’t mind my saying so, Tikva, the unification of Germany happened many years before the Second World War. It’s not the same thing at all.”

“Many years before?” Tikva echoed.

The historian, who had just finished filling their glasses with soda and was now capping the bottle, smiled. “Sixty-eight years, to be exact, if we are referring to the final unification declared in 1871, and not one of the previous stages.”

“I want something from longer ago,” Tikva said decisively. “The more ancient something is, the more interesting it sounds.”

“Could be,” Yael agreed and rose to look at the binders lined up on the top shelf. “Although you have to take into account that the earlier something happened, the fewer details we have about it. But let’s take a look at what we have….”

The curtain hanging over the window of the small room fluttered in the wind. A quiet voiced called out, “Ima?” Someone was talking.

Yael stopped and turned to the door. “Yes, Nava, what’s going on?” Keep Reading…

A treat for your Shabbos/Yom Tov table…

September 2, 2010

It is Shabbos, and the entire family is seated around the dining room table. All are partaking in Ima’s delicious cholent, and for a few moments there is a lull in the conversation. Then Abba takes one last bite and reaches for the book at his side.

“Okay, everyone,” he says. “Guess what it’s time for now?”

Immediately, all the children’s eyes light up, as they shout, “Treats for the Shabbos Table! Yay!”

The above scenario has, in all likelihood, occurred in many a frum home in Eretz Yisrael throughout the past few years, and now, will hopefully begin occurring in frum homes all over the world, as well. Because while up until now, Treats for the Shabbos Table has only been available in Eretz Yisrael, beginning with Sefer Bereishis, we at Israel Bookshop will iy”H be distributing it worldwide, thus making it available to anyone and everyone out there!

What is Treats for the Shabbos Table? you may wonder.

Treats for the Shabbos Table began as weekly sheets on the parshah, which contained a dvar Torah pertaining to each week’s parshah, in addition to clever illustrations by popular artist Yony Gerstein. The dvar Torah was always family-oriented as it was kid-friendly, making it the perfect material around which to center family Shabbos table discussions.

As the weeks and months went by, these dvar Torah sheets were eventually collected and published as a full-fledged book. Now, on any given week, no matter what the parshah, Treats for the Shabbos Table fans had what to read from and discuss around the Shabbos table.

Yet, as mentioned before, for years this “treat” was only available to the Israeli public. Now, however, all that has changed, and very soon, YOU, TOO, CAN PARTAKE IN THIS DELECTABLE SHABBOS “TREAT,” no matter if you live in America, England, or South Africa!

For the next few weeks, we will be making a Treats for the Shabbos Table dvar Torah available for downloading, so you can see for yourself how appealing each one is. Be sure to check us out each week… This is not something you want to miss out on!

Click here for Parshas Nitzavim-Vayelech.

Feel free to pass around and share with friends!

Released Today! A Time to Laugh, A Time to Listen Vol. 2

September 1, 2010

Sometimes it takes a really good book to push you to do something you know you should be doing, but just might be procrastinating. Such as learning hashkafah. You know it’s important. You know that every Jewish person needs to constantly replenish his Torah knowledge in order to remain fresh and vibrant in his service of Hashem. And you know that there’s no better time to start doing this than Elul.

But, of course, this is all easier said than done. Because, after all, if a hashkafah book is written in a boring way, we know that there is no way you’re going to get through it. (We work in the book publishing industry, remember? We know these things.)

That is where the beauty of A Time to Laugh, A Time to Listen—Volume 2 comes into the equation. Now here’s a hashkafah book that will actually keep you reading… and reading… and reading! The secret? Simple. It is the furthest thing in the world from a boring book!

The book focuses on different areas of Jewish life, such as Torah study, shalom bayis, and the Yamim Tovim, to name just a few topics. Each chapter begins with a great joke whose punch-line then seamlessly weaves into the hashkafah lesson at hand. The result? A hashkafah book that is inspirational and uplifting as it is attention-grabbing and enjoyable to read!

Don’t believe us? Check out the success enjoyed by A Time to Laugh, A Time to Listen—Volume 1, and see for yourself. Or better yet, buy the newest book of it, A Time to Laugh, A Time to Listen—Volume 2, and you’ll surely be hooked!

Here’s one for the Yamim Noraim:

The three cadets were to be interviewed at the Police Academy in Brooklyn, chosen among New York’s finest as potential candidates for the coveted Detective and Investigative Unit. Keep Reading…