Recent Release! Chafetz Chaim on the Torah

November 5, 2012

Let’s face it—with all the talk about our world being so small and constantly shrinking even more, the options available for consumers in the world only continue to grow. Especially when those consumers are Jewish, English-speaking ones who are looking for new books on Chumash and the parshah. Walk into any sefarim store, and you can become dizzy just looking at the displays of all the English parshah books there are on the market. Some are geared to men, some to women, and still others to children. Some are heavy and deep; others are less so. Some are colorful and full of humor; others are of a more serious and scholarly nature.

And this plethora of options is a good thing—no one can deny that. When you think about the amount of English parshah books—or lack thereof—that was available even just fifteen, twenty years ago, you can’t help but marvel at the astonishing leap in numbers.

With all due respect to these many fine sefarim on the Chumash, however, there is something to be said when the sefer was written decades ago (in lashon hakodesh) by a close talmid of the Chafetz Chaim, Rav Shmuel Greineman zt”l,and the divrei Torah and hashkafah within it are the very words of the Chafetz Chaim himself…

Yes, Chafetz Chaim on the Torah is not your ordinary Chumash/parshah book by any means.

In the words of the great author (translated into English):

“The sefer you are holding in your hands may be a slim volume, but it is of great value. I did not author it; I merely compiled it. I followed the reaper, collecting and gathering single stalks from the harvest and brought them together into the granary.

The owner of the field, and the one who planted the wheat, is Rabban shel Yisrael, the tzaddik, Maran Rav Yisrael Meir Hakohen zt”l, the Chafetz Chaim…”

For years a fixture on many a serious Jew’sbookshelf or table, this beautiful sefer has now been translated into English for the very first time.

In addition to the Chafetz Chaim’s divrei Torah on the Chumash, the sefer also includes a section entitled “Maasai L’Melech,” which is comprised of stories about the Chafetz Chaim and his life, what he said about various happenings, and lessons learned from him. The sefer is literally packed with Torah hashkafos and yiras Shamayim, and as you read it, if you listen with your heart, you may even hear the Chafetz Chaim’s gentle voice, guiding you, instructing you, connecting you to him and to his legacy…

Like we said, not your ordinary Chumash/parshah book at all.

Click here to purchase online.

Recently Released – Parsha Potpourri

November 2, 2012

The thoughts running through my head after reading a sample of Parsha Potpourri were: Wow!! This is beautiful!!

There really is a lot to “wow” over in this unique parsha book, and it really is nothing less than a masterpiece in its content.

With so many parsha books out on the market today, logic would dictate that a new book of this genre would need to work extremely hard in order to sell itself. But this book—and its author—speak very eloquently for themselves.

First of all, Rabbi Ozer Alport is a well-known name in the divrei Torah-on-the-weekly-parsha world. He writes a weekly, very well-received newsletter with divrei Torah on the parshah, which he culls from an astonishing range of eclectic sources. In this book, a compilation of some of Rabbi Alport’s best offerings, you’ll find the divrei Torah of the Chafetz Chaim, Rav Tzadok Hakohen, the Chiddushei HaRim, the Brisker Rav, and Rav Zalman Sorotzkin (Oznayim L’Torah), among many other sources.

And the book itself? Well, you really should pick it up and leaf through it yourself to see what I mean. It just grabs you. Maybe it’s the rich and inviting tone in the presentation of the divrei Torah, or maybe it’s the sense of challenge and intrigue found in the “Points to Ponder” section, as you think to yourself, Hey, that’s a good question! I wonder what the answer is.

One thing is for certain. No matter which parsha you’re looking at in Parsha Potpourri, you are bound to find something (or many such “somethings”) very apropos, very pertinent, and very beautiful to say over at your Shabbos table.

The food and the guests, though, you’ll have to provide for yourself.

Click here to purchase online.

Without a Trace – Chapter 18

November 2, 2012

Israel Book Shop presents Chapter 18 of a new online serial novel, Without a Trace, by Esther Rapaport. Check back for a new chapter every week. Click here for previous chapters.

Only after the bus finally pulled out of the bus stop did Zevi allow himself to relax on the brown and blue patterned seat. He was on the way home, and he had made the bus, even though Savta had been sure he was going to miss it.

His blue tote bag on the seat beside him almost fell as the bus lurched into the next stop—which Zevi remembered as being the last. He pushed the tote back a bit and rested his hand on it, expecting someone to ask him to sit in the seat any second. But no one did. Just two families boarded and found seats other than the one next to him. Zevi leaned back, one hand on his bag and the other on the window pane, which rumbled with the rhythm of the bus’s turning wheels. Small rays of sun bounced off his freckled forearm, but they didn’t warm him at all.

Savta had said he was better off taking his bag onto the bus, and not putting it into the luggage compartment. “Someone could steal it, you know,” she had warned him as he was about to walk out of the house, two minutes after he had hung up with his mother. “And people taking their things off the bus could knock it out by mistake, and it will be left on the road.”

He really didn’t want to take the risk of getting home without his belongings. In all honesty, Zevi could not recall the last time he had lost something, if at all.

In fourth grade, the rebbi had announced to the class at the end of the year that the only one who hadn’t forgotten a notebook or lost a pencil, eraser, book, or his food the whole year, was Zevi Bloch. Some of Zevi’s childhood nightmares were about him forgetting notebooks at home, not finding things, and not having a pen to use, because everything had disappeared from his drawers. But these dreams were odd, because Zevi’s drawers were the neatest in the whole house, and he would carefully prepare what he needed for the next day on the evening before.

“Too careful,” his father would say when he was home, while lovingly pinching the freckled cheek. Once he had asked his son, “What will happen if you forget a pencil once in a while?” Keep Reading…