Divided Attention – Chapter 22

October 29, 2010

Israel Book Shop presents Chapter 22 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

A note landed smack in the middle of Nava’s desk. She shoved it over to the corner and continued to gaze at Morah Dinner, who was explaining the calculations of the days of the Mabul. Miss out on Morah Dinner’s riveting explanations? Not her.

“Open it already, Nava!” Batya whispered. “Devoiry’s getting upset at you!”

Nava didn’t bat an eyelash.


“Not now!” Nava whispered back and turned her concentration back to the board, trying to focus on the subject at hand. Rafi had started learning Chumash Bereishis with Abba, in addition to Chumash Shemos that he was learning in class. She was supposed to study with him. The good thing was that Rafi loved learning with Abba, something she herself had never liked. What was the difference? Was it Rafi’s constant need for attention? Was it the special way Abba treated him?

Perhaps you should be a bit honest with yourself and admit that Rafi simply likes to learn. He sits and gazes at Abba with huge eyes as he listens to the lively explanations.

Sarah had visited yesterday just when they were learning and had observed them from the kitchen doorway.

“I can’t believe it! It’s just not the same child!” she kept exclaiming. “Yael, this must be an act, right?”

Nava had been offended by the question. Did she really think that they treated Rafi like a circus animal that performed on command?

“An act?” Ima had asked with her soft, calm smile. “You’re invited to come every evening to watch them. He always listens like this, and sometimes even better.”

“Yes, I know that he feels better when I’m not here,” Sarah said and retreated into the kitchen. “Are they supposed to finish in the next few minutes? I want to speak to him a bit. By the way, what’s that bruise on his face?”

Nava bit her lip. What did it matter? Didn’t normal kids fall sometimes? What was the social worker so worried about? Did she think they abused him in their home?

“That bruise? We were also wondering about it,” Ima had answered with her unflappable composure. “He said that he was running and had bumped into the wall. What do you think? Can we believe that?”

“No one called to complain that Rafi had attacked their child?”

“Not at all.”

“So you can be calm,” Sarah said wryly. “It must really be a bang from the wall. I don’t remember this child ever being hit and taking it sitting down. If you haven’t heard any complaints, then it’s likely that no one hit him. I can’t believe how much he’s changed in a month and a half! Since when did he ever obey anything?” Keep Reading…

In Stores Now! The Castle Builders

October 28, 2010

It’s time for a new novel, folks, and this is one novel you won’t want to miss!

Anyone who has read Menucha Chana Levin’s first book, The Youngest Bride, will agree that this author has the most beautiful way with words. They just seem to flow effortlessly from paragraph to paragraph, from chapter to chapter, until you come to the end of the book, at which point you look up and say, “What? That’s it? No more left?”

In The Castle Builder’s, Menucha Chana has done it again. Four Holocaust survivors, Simone, Estie, Claire, and Miriam, come to life under the author’s talented pen, as she weaves a striking tapestry of unforgettable characters and events, realistically portraying life in the aftermath of the black years of the Holocaust. A Vietnamese little girl becomes the key player in a shocking chain of events, which ends with –of all things!—a surprising marriage proposal…

If you’re looking for an out-of-this-world piece of literature, with a suspenseful plot and very satisfying conclusion, then your search has just ended.

Click here to purchase online.

Divided Attention – Chapter 21

October 22, 2010

Israel Book Shop presents Chapter 21 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

Reb Nechemia patrolled the noisy yard, enjoying the sound of the children playing and the blowing breeze. He smiled when his eyes fell on the bearded man. “Oh, Reb Baruch. I wanted to speak to you quietly for a few minutes.”

“Quietly?” The cacophony around them hardly fit that description. Baruch Perlmutter smiled.

“Quiet, noise, it doesn’t really matter. As long as we can both speak, that’s fine.”

They moved closer to the wall of the building. Reb Baruch looked at the tree, which stood sentry beside them. “What do the police say, Rabbi Paksher?”

“The police? They say…all sorts of things. Nu, it’s not the police we trust. How’s your new student doing? Have you taken a look at his bruise?”

Perlmutter’s face grew serious. “You can’t miss it. I asked him about it, but he insisted that it was just a bump from the wall and nothing else.”

“Does that make sense to you?”

Reb Baruch mulled the question over for a minute. “I think so,” he said slowly. “It didn’t look like he was hiding anything. But that’s not all.”

“Meaning?” The principal stroked his beard.

His expression turned grim as he heard the rest of the story. “How did you react?” he asked the teacher.

“At first I was very surprised. After all, until now, he was such a quiet boy. I haven’t had any chutzpah or discipline problems with him, and except for a few normal spats with his classmates, things have been very smooth.”

“Spats? Including hitting?”

“Yes. And he sure is good at that.”

The principal folded his arms. “And what did you do this time?” Keep Reading…


October 19, 2010

Okay, ladies, you can calm down. You, over there, you can stop squeezing your stress ball, and you, cowering in that corner, you can stop looking so frazzled. Yes, you’re all going to be fine. Just fine. Really. How do I know? Because IT is coming; it really is. What’s IT, you ask? Oh, only what you’ve been begging and pleading with us for these past few weeks… Yep, the solution to the chaos in your day, the lifesaver so many of you have come to depend on, is about to make its presence known throughout the many Jewish bookstores of the world… It is—drum roll, please—The Balabusta’s Daily Organizer for 2010-2011!

For 2 years already, frum women of every type and stripe have come to know and love this amazing organizer, which, though slim and handy, somehow has everything in it. It includes a weekly calendar, complete with Jewish and secular dates and all the Yamim Tovim and (l’havdil) legal holidays, menu planning lists, to-do lists, grocery lists, candle-lighting times in many Jewish communities, tips, and so much more. Little wonder that so many of you have been after us, asking when this third edition would be released!

So, get a grip on your life, do yourself a major favor, and pick up a copy of The Balabusta’s Daily Organizer. We’ll accept thank you’s at any time.

Click here to order online.

Divided Attention – Chapter 20

October 15, 2010

Israel Book Shop presents Chapter 20 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

Manny pulled up at the curb.

“Have a good day, Rafi!” he said and waved from the window. “Hatzlach—Hey, what’s going on over there?”

The large, wide tree had lost all its charm. It stood there black and sooty, its blackened, leafless branches stark against the winter sky. Dozens of children stood at the base of the tree, pointing and waving animatedly.

“They’ve done it again?” Manny whispered in horror. “They’ve got to catch those bandits! Rafi, go ask them what happened.”

A curly-haired boy ran over to them, shouting something at Rafi, who shrank back and put his hand on the car.

“Rafi, did you see what they did here?” the kid breathlessly asked. He peeked into the car. “Are you Rafi’s father? Hi. My name is Meir Cooperman and I sit next to him,” –he pointed at Rafi—”in class.”

“What happened over there?” Manny asked, pointing at the swarming yard.

“They burned the tree, and the wall near it almost got burned! Everything’s black! They also threw rocks into some classrooms and the windows broke! Our classroom window is also smashed! And they spray painted the back wall!”

Manny sighed. “This is terrible. I hope they’ll be caught soon. Rafi, if you see your principal tell him I was very sorry to hear.”

“Oh,” Rafi said expressionlessly, and without smiling, he waved at the man behind the wheel and walked through the gate beside Meir Cooperman.

“Come,” Meir urged, energetic as always. “Look what they did behind the building. They drew the face that was painted inside last time with the tongue sticking out!”

Rafi stood facing the virtual carbon copy of his creation, only this time it wasn’t red; it was black. With a neutral expression on his face, he touched the drawing; his fingertips immediately turned black. “It’s not spray,” he told Meir.  “It’s paint. Black paint.”

“How do you know?” Meir asked, also touching the black face.

“Paint is wet. Spray paint gets absorbed by the wall,” Rafi said, and then breathing heavily, asked, “Why did they burn that nice tree?”

“You know lots of things!” Meir said with admiration. “Maybe we should make a secret club and catch them!”

“Catch who?”

“The guys who keep doing this to us! I think that Gavriel and Yudi would want to join. How about you? I think you’d be a great detective; you’re really smart and you’ll be able to help us a lot!”


After a light knock, the door of the third grade classroom opened and the principal gazed at the students with his warm brown eyes.

“Hello, Rabbi Paksher,” the teacher greeted him. “Boys, we’ve finished the perek. You can close the chumashim.”

Rafi’s hands automatically closed the chumash in front of him.

“Boys,” the principal said, pulling the door closed behind him. “I just wanted to talk to you myself, to calm down anyone who is afraid. Hashem has put us in this place, and we are doing the best we can. Obviously there are some people who are angry that we are here, but I’m sure that, b’ezras Hashem, they won’t hurt any of you. They just want to bother us a little, nothing more. What do you think we can do in this situation?” Keep Reading…

In Stores Today!!! Double Check

October 13, 2010

If you are a student (or the parent of one), you know that once Sukkos is over, you’re in for the big haul—a l-o-n-g winter filled with tests, homework, and term papers, with a grand finale of midterms for dessert. Not really anyone’s idea of fun, huh?

Unless you’re like Libby Simons, of course.

Libby is the model student, the one who actually enjoys schoolwork and does excellent in her studies, too. The genius of her class at Beit Tzofia’s boarding school and the envy of all the other girls, it’s only natural that Libby should have a wonderful and smooth year there, right?

But…not quite. (You knew that would be the answer, didn’t you?) You see, Libby has an aunt like Doda Batya in her life, and she’s been living with her since she was very little. Doda Batya is…well, Doda Batya! Overprotective and eccentric, while she loves Libby dearly, she hasn’t exactly been able to provide Libby with a regular childhood. Because of this, Libby has never really had any friends, and she had been looking forward to attending boarding school and having a fresh start for this very reason.

Then Doda Batya has a nasty fall. And just at this time, Shainy Burla, the girl whom Libby admires to no end, decides to befriend Libby—if Libby will allow it…

As you may have guessed, things are not so simple. Libby has a long road ahead of her, filled with lots of ups and downs, exciting news, a disturbing mystery regarding disappearing books, and then a very frightening experience, until things become straightened out and clear for her.

Follow Libby on this road to self-discovery in this heartwarming and suspenseful book. Double Check is a book you will enjoy reading to no end, and best of all, it will give you that welcome break you are craving for during the upcoming winter months!

Click here to purchase online.

Divided Attention – Chapter 19

October 8, 2010

Israel Book Shop presents Chapter 19 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

We have to be at peace with our decision, Nava’s father said to himself as he turned the wheel. Especially since you’ve consulted the rav. Yael had been right after all. The child would learn here for the time being, and when he would advance, they could move him to a regular Talmud Torah. If we want to go far, we have to start at a slow pace, especially since his Torah knowledge was extremely scant for a child his age in a normal cheder. Here, at least, many of the children came from backgrounds similar to his.

The car stopped with a slight squeal. Manny turned his head to the back. “We’re here, Rafi,” he said. “You can open the seatbelt and get out.” The child didn’t move. He sat hunched into the back seat, reminding Manny of that first half an hour he had been in their home. His eyes were fixed on the window, scanning the school. “Is it too hard for you because of your hands?” Mr. Cohen asked, and got out of the car to open the back door. “Here, I opened it for you. Now you can come out.”

Rafi crept out, moving in almost slow motion. He kept glancing at the building warily, especially at the big tree in the yard. Something about this place was very familiar, but he wasn’t one hundred percent sure. There had been a yard, a tree and a small window there, too. How many details had he absorbed during those cold, dark nights? Almost nothing. Maybe it was just coincidentally similar.

“There’s nothing to be afraid of, Rafi. The principal here is a very, very nice man. I’ve spoken to him by phone. I’m sure you’re going to love it here. You just have to remember to behave nicely, like you know how.”

Manny knocked on the door of the office and pushed it open a little. Rafi’s muscles stiffened so tightly that they hurt. He followed Manny leadenly, feeling as though he was in a huge soap bubble. In another minute, the bubble would burst and the principal would remember him right away. Keep Reading…