Without a Trace – Chapter 9

July 27, 2012

Israel Book Shop presents Chapter 9 of a new online serial novel, Without a Trace, by Esther Rapaport. Check back for a new chapter every Thursday or Friday. Click here for previous chapters.

Shevi’s mother scraped the last plate and placed it on the counter. Her daughter sat at the table, following her mother’s moves silently, in a near dreamlike state. Her mother wanted to wash the dishes? Fine. Nothing really made a difference to her right now. The dishes could dance in circles in the sink or wash one another, for all she cared.

“It’s a good thing Gavriel called me!” her mother said as she bent down to the cabinet under the sink, where, like at home in Haifa, the cleaning supplies were stored. “My daughter feels like this, and no one should help her?” She took out the bleach. “For the chagim I will buy you a dishwasher, do you hear me, Elisheva? A dishwasher! Who washes dishes these days?”

“Gavriel, sometimes,” Elisheva said weakly, and lay her head down on the table. She raised it almost immediately. The pain in her ear only grew worse in that position.

Nu, but he has his learning. There’s no reason for either of you to have to stand at the sink. If you don’t have a dishwasher, then at least use paper goods!” She glanced at her daughter. “Do you want to go lie down a bit? You’re pale.”

“The ear hurts much more when I lie down…” Shevi replied tiredly. Just a few days earlier she had parted from her parents, regretting that their visits were so rare, and now her mother was already here again.

“An ear infection,” the doctor had said in a surprised tone. Apparently he didn’t often have young women with ear infections—and in the summer to boot. Ear infections were much more prevalent among children, and in the winter. But Shevi wasn’t surprised; she knew she had always had sensitive ears that reminded her of their existence at least twice a year. Infections in the summer were not especially out of the ordinary for her.

Elinor came into the kitchen holding the broom. “Where’s your dustpan, Shevi?” Keep Reading…


July 25, 2012




Translated by Herbert Weisberg and Yosef Y. Kazarnovsky


Rav Moshe Sherer, z”l, was known for his efficiency and precision in just about all areas of life. He once noticed that a form of some sort had been left in the wrong place in the office, and he reacted with a touch of irritation. One of the office workers asked him why something so slight bothered him to such a degree.

He said, “If this isn’t right, what else isn’t right?”

Carelessness in one area indicates that carelessness exists elsewhere, with the result that things are not as they should be. Eventually the whole enterprise falls apart.

When a new book comes into my hands, the first thing I notice—without even making a conscious effort to do so—is the degree of professionalism. There is an old saying that says, “You can’t judge a book by its cover.” Well, those in the know say, “Anyone who says you can’t judge a book by its cover has never been in the publishing industry.”

The resplendent cover of The Malbim on Iyov, published by Brand Name Publishing, is an indication that a professional and conscientious job follows between the covers of the book. One who spends time looking through this work will find that it is indeed a superb piece of workmanship.

The translators’ preface grabs you and kindles your interest. The layout incorporating the Hebrew and English translation of the entire sefer of Iyov is top-notch. But most important, of course, is the translation itself. The translators  clearly chose their words carefully in order to facilitate clarity in understanding the thickly obscure language and concepts of Iyov and the profound commentary of the Malbim.

When the translation of a Torah text comes out, the reaction of many is, “This is absolutely meant for beginners and novices.” However, this is not at all accurate. As the Novominsker Rebbe, shlita, wrote in his approbation to the Hebrew edition of the Schottenstein Shas, “A translation is an entryway for one to gain the basics and then be able to delve deeper.” This translation of the Malbim’s commentary on Iyov, while certainly indispensable for a novice, is just as beneficial for a veteran Torah scholar. When learning the Hebrew original of Iyov and the Malbim’s commentary, one certainly comes away with an understanding of what the Malbim wants to convey. However, seeing it in one’s “mama loshen”—in this case, English—can trigger a new depth of thought that comes from the subtleties of a finer understanding. Everyone at every level can gain from this exceptional work.

In any translation, one must strike a balance between literal translation and flowing readability at the expense of accuracy. This is a difficult challenge—especially so regarding the book of Iyov and its commentaries—but the translators succeeded to an impressive degree. All that is left is for the reader to take advantage of this outstanding work.

Brand Name Publishing, under the direction of Rabbi Hershel and Suri Brand, has once again lived up to the high standards that has come to be expected of them.

To order online click here.

Without a Trace – Chapter 8

July 20, 2012

Israel Book Shop presents Chapter 8 of a new online serial novel, Without a Trace, by Esther Rapaport. Check back for a new chapter every Thursday or Friday. Click here for previous chapters.

Zevi was searching for his comb, which seemed to have disappeared. It wasn’t in his case, nor in his drawer or on the dresser. Where could it be hiding? The silence in the room was broken only by his rapid breaths. The clock—that traitor. How could it creep ahead calmly for two hours, and then suddenly, in the last fifteen minutes, run so wildly, without giving him a second to breathe?

Yehuda Levy burst in, hair wet. “Eight more minutes!” he shouted. “Do we have candles?”

“I don’t,” Zevi said, finally pulling out the missing comb from under a bunched-up pajama top in the closet. “Maybe Yisrael bought some.”

“Even if he did, I have no intention of going through his closet to find them,” Yehuda said, rummaging in his own bag. “Clean socks, where are you? Ouch!” he cried as his bandaged finger slammed onto the open zipper. “When you have a second, Zevi, run and ask someone on this floor for candles.” Keep Reading

NEW! Tatteh Said “Run”!

July 11, 2012

“Children, I forbid you to enter the ghetto! Those trapped in the ghetto will be transported to the Place of No Return…You must pack your most vital belongings immediately…and flee for your lives!”

With his father’s final plea ringing in his ears, young Pinchos Yeshaya Kornbluh said goodbye to his days as a serious and diligent bachur in yeshivah, and began his escape flight, always attempting to keep one step ahead of the Nazis…

Yes, it’s the Three Weeks, and with thoughts of the Churban painting all of our everyday interactions in somber tones, which type of reading would be more appropriate than a Holocaust book?

And Tatteh said, “Run!” is a Holocaust book that you will not be able to put down—guaranteed!

Originally written in Yiddish, and then translated to Hebrew, this book has been a bestseller for years. Now it has been translated to English, and is bound to take up residence on the bookshelves of all English-speaking book-lovers out there.

In this book, you will read about the long chain of hardships and miracles experienced by Pinchos Yeshaya, the split-second decisions, whose outcomes often spelled life or death, that were his constant companions. Yet from his time in the Hungarian army, where the commander of his battalion, noting the youngster’s daring spirit and leadership qualities, soon put him in charge—even submitting to the boy’s decisions himself—through the misery of the Gunskirchen concentration camp, from where he was eventually liberated, Pinchos Yeshaya persevered. He learned to look danger right in the eye, to keep his cool and outsmart even the wiliest of German guards, armed only with his pure faith, his zeal to keep as many mitzvos as possible, and his determination to stay alive.

Just as Tatteh had mandated.

…sounds like a fiction book, doesn’t it? But it’s not. It’s a true story, the story of Pinchos Yeshaya Kornbluh, and, in a sense, the story of our entire nation…

So read more about it—discover what Tatteh said, “Run!” is all about!

Click here to purchase online.

Without a Trace – Chapter 7

July 6, 2012

Israel Book Shop presents Chapter 7 of a new online serial novel, Without a Trace, by Esther Rapaport. Check back for a new chapter every Thursday or Friday. Click here for previous chapters.

“I think we were too tough on him.”

“Nonsense!” Minda Dresnick turned around angrily from the sink, switching to Hungarian, like she always did when she was upset. “Who was tough? Like butter you were, Zalman, too much so. You know what Chasida would say if she’d hear you now.”

“Chasida?” Zalman waved his hand. “Let her hear. She doesn’t know Hungarian well anyway. And besides, what does she understand about what was then? She was just a girl at the time.”

“At the time.” Minda wiped her hands on her apron. “And today? And fourteen years ago?” Her husband’s silence was significant, and it got on Minda’s nerves more than all the words that he could have said but didn’t. “You’re always sure that we made all the mistakes, but Eliyahu himself was very wrong and you know it.” She whipped off the yellow apron and hung it on the hook. “I won’t say anything about his mother, aleha hashalom, because I know that you don’t like it when I talk about her, but if I would send our Yitzchak to grow up in his uncle’s house, he would have behaved differently!”

“Yitzchak is Yitzchak and Eliyahu is Eliyahu,” Zalman said placidly, yet firmly. Keep Reading…