Dance of the Puppet – Chapter 22

November 28, 2013

purple bookIsrael Book Shop presents Chapter 22 of a new online serial novel, Dance of the Puppet, by Esther Rapaport. Check back for a new chapter every week. Click here for previous chapters. 

Copyright © Israel Bookshop Publications. 

“Mimi, I’m…” Malka sniffed the air. Three pots stood on the stove, which was gleaming like it never had, even before her mother’s stroke. The counters, sinks, floor and tiles looked like they had just been cleaned for Pesach.

“Mimi, I…have no words. No words!” She took off her jacket and walked over to the refrigerator, where her daughter stood smiling shyly. The house was quiet. Well, that was to be expected: it was after eleven p.m. “Did you cook for Yom Tov? Yourself? How did you leave the kitchen like this? You know how my kitchen normally looks on an Erev Yom Tov. I don’t have to tell you.”

“I knew you’d come home tired and wouldn’t have too much time tomorrow,” Mimi said as she untied the apron she was wearing over a faded robe. “Do you want to taste something?”

“No, I’m just enjoying the smells,” Malka chuckled, and Mimi proudly uncovered each pot. Two roasts were simmering in the large pot, potato and sweet potato strips were sautéing in the skillet, and a large pot of soup bubbled on the back flame.

“This is wonderful, Mimi,” Malka gushed.

“Well, Abba did the soup. I did the rest.”

“And the kitchen just looks fantastic.”

“My friend helped me with that,” Mimi said. “She just left a short while ago. She’s great at this stuff.”

“Cooking and cleaning?”

“Both. She’s the one who cooks supper for her brothers three days a week and scrubs her house almost every day. She’s a real balabusta, Ima; I wish could get done half as much as she does. She’s really quick.”

“Who is it, Devorah?”

“No, Shuli Emmanuel.”

Malka raised a tired eyebrow. “I never heard that name.” Keep Reading…

NEW RELEASE! Goodbye, Pacifier!

November 28, 2013

C355Is your little one not so little anymore and still refusing to let go of his or her pacifier? Have you tried nearly every method possible to get your child to give it up? Do you feel yourself saying, “Take that pacifier out of your mouth!” numerous times each day?

If so, your child may be the perfect candidate for our newest book by S. Licht, creator of the Super Social Skills series, called Goodbye, Pacifier! In this book, we meet Shauli, who’s becoming bigger each day but who still has a very hard time being without his trusty pacifier. We follow Shauli and his mother as she begins the process with him that gradually leads to…Shauli throwing out his pacifier. For good.

As would be expected, it’s not an easy process for Shauli. His pacifier has been his comfort for so long—how can he fall asleep without it? How can he walk around and play without it in his mouth? But with lots of praise and encouragement from his family, Shauli rises to the occasion and ultimately learns that the very best feeling of all, even better than the comfort of having a pacifier in his mouth, is the feeling of being a big boy!

Click here to purchase online.

RECENT RELEASE MiddosMan: Learning to Share

November 27, 2013

C349Question: What could be better than teaching your kids good middos by way of an adorable, beautifully illustrated children’s book?

Answer: When that children’s book comes along with its own Read-Along/Sing-Along CD!

Yup, that’s exactly what you’re getting when you purchase MiddosMan: Learning to Share, the first book in the exciting MiddosMan series for kids.

In this book, your kids will meet MiddosMan, who drives his very own MiddosMobile, wears a special MiddosMan outfit, and has a Mr.-Yetzer-Horah-detector machine that beeps loudly when Mr. Yetzer Horah is around. MiddosMan’s mission is to teach people how to have good middos, and in so doing, fight Mr. Yetzer Horah and his bad ideas.

As he works to accomplish his goals, MiddosMan sings his catchy little songs—which your children will be singing, too, as they listen to the CD that comes along with the book.

For those of you looking to delight your little ones with something special, MiddosMan: Learning to Share book-and-CD-set is the perfect gift idea!

Click here to purchase online.

For a preview of the read-along CD click here.

Dance of the Puppet – Chapter 21

November 21, 2013

purple bookIsrael Book Shop presents Chapter 21 of a new online serial novel, Dance of the Puppet, by Esther Rapaport. Check back for a new chapter every week. Click here for previous chapters. 

Copyright © Israel Bookshop Publications. 

She really despised going to the Well-Baby Clinic, but it wasn’t like she had a choice; Bentzy needed to get his vaccinations. Yaffa felt wound up as tight as a spring as she walked into the clinic and surveyed the line.

“You’re here for Sophie, right?” the secretary asked affably. “You can go in. The woman ahead of you is finished already.”

There were two people in the room; Sophie, poking around as usual on the computer keyboard, and another strange woman who gazed expectantly at the doorway.

“Sophie, the next in line is here,” she said, smiling at Yaffa.

Sophie raised her eyes. “Oh, Yaffa, come in. This is Edna from the Health Ministry,” she introduced the stranger. “She does inspections at the clinics every so often. Is it okay with you if she’s here now?”

Yaffa nodded and took Bentzy out of the carriage. He squirmed restlessly, like he’d been doing for much of the past few days. The babysitter had told Yaffa she thought he was teething.

“Your sister’s not here with you today, I see,” Sophie remarked, her eyes on the screen.

“No.” Yaffa felt the spring wind even tighter, if that was possible. She was on the verge of snapping. Keep Reading…

NEW RELEASE! Guilt-Free Chocolate

November 19, 2013

C353When you’ve taken one bite of a heavenly, melt-in-your-mouth, nougat-filled, Viennese-crunch-covered piece of chocolate (hungry for some, anyone?), well, there’s no stopping at just that one piece! You’re bound to reach for another piece…and then another…and then another…

That’s the way it is with Rachel Stein’s short story books for tweens. Her first collection of short stories, The Story that Never Ends, was so tantalizing, that many of her tween fans wanted more. And since we at Israel Bookshop do our best to deliver…here you have it, the release of Guilt-Free Chocolate, a delicious, new collection of short stories that the special tween in your life will absolutely devour, without any guilt whatsoever!

In Guilt-Free Chocolate, tweens will read about kids their own age, kids just like them, who have struggles and triumphs that they can relate to oh-so-well. We recommend this as a great reading book for any tween-aged kid. So sit back with it, relax, and enjoy—and bon appetite!

Click here to purchase online.

NEW RELEASE! When the Clouds Part

November 18, 2013

L642Okay, it’s 19 years later and it’s time to fess up: I’m the one who put the porcelain butter dish in the grab bag. I was invited to a Chanukah party but only decided to go at the last minute. There was going to be a grab bag and each person had to put one inexpensive gift inside. How could I go if I had nothing to give?

That’s when inspiration struck – I could give the new butter dish, or more precisely, the extra butter dish. Somehow I had justified buying two of them when we set up house, only to hear my husband say

“Does anyone use these things?”

“Some people do,” I had assured him, and hoped I was still enough in the know to be right about that.

And so, I timidly began to use one of the off-white dish and cover sets, while the other sat collecting dust. Until Chanukah,when it became my ticket in to that big, crowded party. I went with a friend. We didn’t speak about the grab bag on the way there. But there was plenty to talk about on the way home…

“Whaddya get?” I innocently inquired.

“I actually don’t know,” she said as she reached into her bag and began the show and tell. “What do you think it’s for?”

“Hmmn,” I said v-e-r-y slowly. “Looks like a butter dish.”

“Who gives a butter dish as a Chanukah present? Does anyone still use these things?” She asked, with an expression most often seen on the face of someone sitting in the back seat – who is car sick.

“Some people do,” I managed to mumble. After that, I changed the topic. I spoke about how hard it was to maneuver my new stroller. I spoke about how what it took to get out of the house that night. And I spoke about anything else that came to mind, just to fill the air time. I didn’t have it in me to tell her I was the person responsible for her disappointing gift. I also knew that she would be embarrassed to know she had just badmouthed my humble Chanukah offering, to my face.

That night I learned it’s better to show up empty handed sometimes (Yup. A few ladies did that, smiled sweetly, and somebody still let them come in and nosh on latkes! They just couldn’t pick a prize from the grab bag, that’s all.) and I also learned that it’s better to keep secrets sometimes. In fact, even though I speak to that friend on an almost weekly basis, I still haven’t told her. Hopefully by now she would just laugh it off, but who knows? Why stir up unnecessary friction?

If that’s how awkward it can be to keep a minor secret, what’s it like to be sitting on top of a massive secret that’s as volatile as a volcano? When the Clouds Part can answer that question. It’s a novel with real life flavor.

At the center is Motty Kleinman, a small baby with big secrets; secrets that his family tries desperately to guard. Some of the story eventually leaks out and it’s clear who the culprit is – Osnat, the friendly but too-talkative teenage girl their family has taken in for the year. Accusations fly and Osnat flees without a trace. How could she? Why would she?

A generation later we also meet Motty’s niece, seventeen-year-old Dassi. Dassi has a secret too: She’s not everything she’s cracked up to be. When she quickly resigns from her position as a Bnos group madrichah, everybody “knows” the reason why. In fact, they all think so well of her because of it – but they’re all totally wrong!

Between the lines of this story that spans decades, are many silent but pointed questions:

When do you keep secrets, and at what price?

What is it like to gain a false reputation? Is it worth fighting it?

Can severed relationships ever really be mended?

If you do the right thing for the wrong reason is it still a good thing?

You’re invited to read this emotionally charged, illuminating book and see what conclusions you reach. And, if you also happen to be invited to a Chanukah party and are asked to bring a gift for a grab bag,take it from me and just give something safe, like a box of Kleenex and this book!

-Guest Blogger: Sara Miriam Gross

Click here to purchase online.

NEW RELEASE! Rebbe Mendel – The Zany Inventor

November 15, 2013

C351When I was in fourth grade our teacher launched an invent-a-product contest. Each student would invent something completely new and different, and then market it to the class.

I invented polka dot paint “For people whose furniture doesn’t match their walls.” Coloring in the bright circles on the advertising poster was fun. Putting together a convincing sales pitch was challenging, but also fun. And thankfully, that was where it stopped. After all, how could a ten-year-old manufacture spotted paint and create an actual sample? How could any grownup make such paint for that matter? If only I had known Professor Binenshtick back then…

You say you’ve never heard of the absent-minded but positively brilliant inventor of hundreds of useful (and occasionally useless) inventions? The arrogant mastermind behind: the moving sidewalk, condensed potatoes, the carcopter, the collapsible bus stop and the PFP (I can’t give away everything, now can I?) Well, truth be told, neither had I, until I read the new Rebbe Mendel book: The Zany Inventor.

Ephraim Offenbach (the professor’s faithful assistant and a fine fellow with a few inventions to his own good name,) has managed to record, not only the professor’s grand inventions, but also his dramatic run-ins with enemies: Author Wilhelm Wursst. Police Officer Chamid, Duke & Taxi Driver Sir Raymond Gaton and Yoram Kichli, Mayor of Kfar Tenneh.

How did the well-meaning professor manage to make all these enemies?

Will they succeed in sabotaging his inventions and robbing him of his hard-earned fame, fortune and (somewhat) good name?

When Binenshtick and Wursst are both vying for the Nobel Prize, which one will tame his appetite for fame and emerge as the real middos winner? Well…well, I can’t give everything away, now can I?

WARNING: Read this book before you give it to your kids or else you may not have the chance. And if you had any thoughts about giving your kids some extraordinary gizmo this Chanukah  –like maybe a robot that makes mac and cheese while it does their homework — know that this humorous, touching, well-crafted and totally out-of-the-box book is guaranteed to make any cutting-edge gadget look like a skimpy consolation prize. Might as well skip the robot, save the cash, and just give them this book.

–Guest Blogger: Sara Miriam Gross

Click here to purchase online.

Dance of the Puppet – Chapter 20

November 14, 2013

purple bookIsrael Book Shop presents Chapter 20 of a new online serial novel, Dance of the Puppet, by Esther Rapaport. Check back for a new chapter every week. Click here for previous chapters. 

Copyright © Israel Bookshop Publications. 

The last time they’d visited Elchanan’s parents, his mother had asked Yaffa to “keep an eye on him because he’s gaining an awful lot of weight.” Yaffa didn’t know how exactly she was supposed to watch her husband’s eating. She rarely joined his monthly shopping expedition to the supermarket. On the odd occasion that she did, if she saw him toss four bags of potato chips into the cart, was she supposed to take them out and declare unequivocally that they were fattening and that his mother didn’t allow him to eat it? Or when he smeared his eighth slice of bread with butter, was she supposed to grab the knife out of his hand and say, “That’s enough now”?

In any case, Chaya had once told her, incidentally or not, that she and her husband went out each evening for a brisk walk. Yaffa had liked the idea. Elchanan, except for the times that he was tired after an exhausting day at work, didn’t object, and their thrice-weekly evening walk became almost routine—if the two weeks they’d been doing it for could be called “routine.”

“You’re thoughtful tonight,” Elchanan said, as he kicked away a small stone that had gotten stuck between the wheels of Bentzy’s carriage.

“Right,” Yaffa answered, looking at the stone that rolled to a halt in the middle of the sidewalk. She bent over and moved it near the fence running along the sidewalk.

“Is something bothering you?” Keep Reading…

NEW RELEASE! The Legacy of Maran Hacham Ovadia Yosef

November 13, 2013

L640The much anticipated first volume on the life of Rav Ovadia Yosef zt”l has been released and is in bookstores throughout the country and around the globe.

The Legacy of Maran Hacham Ovadia Yosef (Israel Bookshop Publications)  – excerpts below – appears only a week after the shloshim, and contains the haskamah of the Sephardic Chief Rabbi of Israel Rabbi Yitzchak Yosef, which was penned only two days after the end of the shivah period!

This meticulously researched book contains only authentic, inspirational, true short stories of Rav Ovadia, from his youth until his recent passing. It focuses almost entirely on his greatness in Torah, and his unquenchable love for Torah which propelled him forward throughout his life, and enabled this Gadol Hador to emerge from a poor Iraqi immigrant boy.

“This is the perfect book for anyone, young or old, who wishes to grasp the essence of Hacham Ovadia Yosef, which was Torah, Torah and more Torah – together with a tremendous love for his fellow Jew.” So says the book’s co-author, R’ Yehuda Azoulay, founder of the Sephardic Legacy Series, The Institute for Preserving Sephardic Heritage. Written in captivating and easy-to-read style, with hundreds of photos, it will make a coveted Chanukah gift as well.

Rabbi Azoulay’s extensive full-length biography of Hacham Ovadia Yosef is due out in the months ahead.

Click here to purchase online.


Through Gunfire

One evening when he was about thirteen years old, there was heavy Arab shelling and Yerushalayim responded with a total blackout. Keep Reading…

NEW RELEASE! In the Parshah

November 13, 2013

L637Twenty-six years old and still single, Miriam was a jaded dater. She felt like she’d met all the shadchanim who existed, read all the shidduchim books possible, met all the frum boys who were even remotely compatible to her—and still, nothing. She was burnt out and frustrated, and felt like no one could understand her. Worst of all, she felt like she was at an all-time spiritual low. 

Then she began reading Rabbi Yoni Posnick’s articles in the Yated. What at first was simply “interesting reading material” to her soon grew to become “really good stuff” and then even “excellent articles”! There was no question about it: Miriam was hooked on Rabbi Posnick’s writings.

What makes Rabbi Posnick’s articles so refreshing, especially to singles, is the way he takes all of his shidduchim advice from the Chumash itself. In this way, readers feel like they are getting a spiritual boost and learning about the parshah—which they really are—while gaining invaluable insights and advice from a veteran shadchan at the same time.

And Rabbi Posnick is not your typical shadchan. He is known for his warmth and sensitivity in the way he deals with singles, making them feel validated and understood. This warmth threads its way throughout all of Rabbi Posnick’s writings, which is why so many singles, as well as their parents and those who deal with their shidduchim, enjoy the articles so much.

In the Parshah is a compilation of Rabbi Posnick’s on-the-mark articles on shidduchim and shalom bayis. In these pages, you will discover a plethora of Torah-based advice on these all-important topics. You’ll enjoy reading what Rabbi Posnick has to say, as well as how he says it…and who knows? The guidance he provides may be the very thing you need in order to discover your own zivug…

Besuros tovos by all!

Click here to purchase online.