Dance of the Puppet – Chapter 39

March 27, 2014

purple bookIsrael Book Shop presents Chapter 39 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 Zol Lakol supermarket was advertising one of its big sale bashes. Yaffa didn’t know exactly how it happened, but somehow, Yael Braun managed to drag her there at the end of a long workday. Towers of cans and packages of pasta were a bit of a strange backdrop for a conversation between them, and Yaffa suspected that Yael’s goal was to speak to her informally, out of the confines of the school. The two of them walked around with a single cart, which Yael had succeeded in finagling at the entrance with difficulty, as dozens of customers vied for every available cart. So far, all it contained was a package of microwave French fries for Elchanan and two bottles of oil that Yael had taken.

“These prices are really good,” Yael remarked. Then, casually, she added, “You know that Malka spoke to me today?”

“Wow, how unusual.” Yaffa chuckled.

“Actually it is a bit unusual, because we haven’t been talking much lately.”

“Why?” Yaffa grew serious. “Is she upset at you? It’s one thing if she’s angry at me, but at you?”

“I don’t know if it’s anger or discomfort. It’s clear that she suspects that I had a part in the whole thing with Mimi, and even if the idea wasn’t mine, that I actively supported it.”

“That’s not true.”

“Try telling her that.” Yael sighed and rummaged around in a huge bin of plastic plates. Keep Reading…

NEW RELEASE! Enough is Enough

March 26, 2014

L661Rav Shimon Schwab related how the Chofetz Chaim fasted because of a bad dream. He was old and weak, and his family wasn’t happy about his decision to fast. They asked, “What did you dream?”

“I dreamt that I’d become rich,” he answered.

“Is such a dream so terrible that it requires that you fast?”

“Absolutely,” said the Chofetz Chaim. “If it was a dream that reflects my thoughts during the day, then I must fast as penance. How unseemly of a man of my age to have such thoughts. If it is a prophetic dream, then all the more so must I fast to avert the evil decree, for wealth is a difficult test from which one must flee.” (She’al Avicha V’yagedcha, vol.3, pg. 299)


In Enough is Enough, Rebbetzin S. Feldbrand offers a treasury of inspiration to help us rise above our desire for wealth and become everything we can be—our best and most joyful selves—no matter what our financial bracket or circumstances in life may be. Take advantage of the powerful, down-to-earth advice, stories, and examples in this unique book, and begin your journey to become a better you!

Click here to purchase online.

NEW RELEASE! Jeremy and Heddy Levi

March 25, 2014

C362C361I have to admit, not every book we publish sends a thrill of anticipation running through me—but these two classics definitely did! Oh, for the glory of nostalgia! How vividly I recall reading all about Jeremy and Heddy Levi as a kid, curled up on my bed, oblivious to all else but the zany antics and activities of this whacky yet lovable—and oh-so-true-to-life—brother and sister.

When it comes to creating characters that the reader feels he or she has actually met and befriended, no one beats Yaffa Ganz. It’s not for nothing that she’s written over forty children’s book—and still has lots more to produce, b’ezras Hashem! Every time I read a Yaffa Ganz book, I’m always amazed at her keen perception into the mind of a child, and with Jeremy and Heddy, she really outdoes herself.

How does she manage to make you feel sympathy for Jeremy, what with all the trouble he gets himself into, but still laugh out loud when reading about his stint with the Livyasan bathtub-turned-boat that he built with his friend Sammy? And when it comes to Heddy…don’t get me started, because this precocious girl will have you in stitches after just one or two chapters! Trust me on that one!

So whether you’re as passionate a fan of The Adventures of Jeremy Levi and Hello Heddy Levi! as I am, or you’re young enough to have never read these books before and are just hearing about them now for the first time, I’d advise  you to pick yourself up a copy of both of them at the first opportunity possible. You’ll be thanking me for that advice soon!

Click here to purchase The Adventures of Jeremy Levi online.

Click here to purchase Hello Heddy Levi! online.

Dance of the Puppet – Chapter 38

March 20, 2014

purple bookIsrael Book Shop presents Chapter 38 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. 

“I told you, Menashe,” Mati fumed, “I should have neutralized your son. Our Ehud smelled something, tucked his tail between his legs, and ran. Isn’t it a shame to lose such a good worker?”

“Others will come just like he came,” Menashe said coldly, clasping his hands together on the glass surface of the desk. “My Amnon didn’t do anything, as far as I’m concerned. He was here, heard details that interested him, and—well, and it’s not my business what he did with them. You and I have other things to deal with.”

“Yes, but the question is if Ehud won’t start sniffing around about our other enterprises.” Mati rubbed his hand on the desk. “Because if he does, then what will you say?”

“He won’t sniff around and won’t find anything, the fool.” Menashe laughed. “It will be fine, Mati. Let’s move on. We’ll find other sources.”


“Why not? I know the field, and Korman helps us with information.”

“Don’t you think we’ve been burned for good now?” Mati waved the thick receipt book in Menashe’s face.

“Not at all. We’ll change names and move on.” Keep Reading…

NEW RELEASE! Shabbos Table Impact!

March 20, 2014

 L666It was sheva brachos for Yehuda Yitzchaki and Yehudis Yakabovitch. Yehudis’s father Yekusiel got up to say a few words.

“I would like you all to know why I took this young man as my son-in-law,” he began. “A few months back, I had to go from Yerushalayim to Bnei Brak. It was a blistering hot day and I was in a hurry, so I went to a hitchhiking spot to hitch a ride. A car stopped, and it was driven by none other than my new son-in-law Yehuda. We started driving and hit a real bad traffic jam. The trip took close to two hours, it was hot, and the car didn’t have air conditioning. Yet not once,” here he paused for dramatic effect, “not once during this frustrating trip did Yehuda honk at anyone. Not once! When I saw his self-control, I decided this was the young man for my daughter.” Yekusiel finished with a few words of brachah and sat down.

Yehuda leaned over towards him. “My horn wasn’t working that day,” he explained with an apologetic smile.


Got you to smile? Do I have your attention now? Sometimes all it takes is a short but powerful story, like the one above, to get your reader’s or your audience’s attention.

That’s why Rabbi Dovid Kaplan’s Impact! books are such a hit. Each one is filled with stories and anecdotes with punch lines that can make you roar with laughter, or fill your eyes with tears, or, at the very least, cause you to pause and think. What more can anyone who needs to give a speech—or to listen to one—ask for?

Shabbos Table Impact!, the latest book in the Impact! series, is no different. In this book, the “punchy” short stories are on the parshah, and each one drives home an immediate message or lesson for the reader that will make him think about the parshah in a way he may never have thought before.

For example, the above story about the chassan with assumed self-control appears in the book under Parshas Bamidbar. Oh, you want to know the lesson it brings out from that parshah? You’ll have to read the book to find that out…

Click here to purchase online.

NEW RELEASE! Free At Last – From Mud to Mirth

March 19, 2014

C357Do you have non-religious relatives whose kids are curious about Passover? Are your neighbor’s secular grandchildren coming to her for the Pesach Seder?

For those in need of a great kiruv tool this Pesach for newcomers to Judaism, Free At Last—From Mud to Mirth, is exactly what you need. Beautifully illustrated and accompanied by a Hebrew-English Haggadah, this whimsical and dramatic account brings readers behind the scenes of what happened during the slavery of Mitzrayim and the redemption. It comes along with its own musical read-along CD, so that even young children can appreciate what the book has to offer (before Yom Tov, that is; make sure to remove the CD from its sleeve if you want to use the book and Haggadah on Pesach!).

You may find yourself howling with laughter with Free At Last, but one thing is for sure: this book will definitely give its readers a terrific understanding of sipur Yetziyas Mitzrayim, in a really fun way!

Click here to purchase online.

Dance of the Puppet – Chapter 37

March 13, 2014

purple bookIsrael Book Shop presents Chapter 37 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. 

“Listen, Mister,” Moishe Berman growled. “I have no time for jokes. Go find someone else to play a trick on.”

“It’s not a joke. I am Ehud, the agent for Moreshet, and I would like very much to know why you are accusing me of theft, and what other deception you were referring to in your letter.”

Moishe hesitated. “I’m talking about the theft of Mrs. Wolkovsky’s esrog box,” he said finally. “For years, no one knew that the family had this valuable artifact in its possession. You were invited to give an estimate on its worth—and right after that, it was stolen. Just then, your ads disappeared from the paper and your phone is permanently switched off. You’ll agree with me, Mr. Ehud, or whatever your name is, that it’s very suspicious.”

“Very suspicious.” At home, Elchanan rubbed his fingers on the pages of the newspaper. “And what’s the second incident?”

“You bought a letter worth nearly six thousand dollars for pennies from a guy named Weiner. He discovered the letter for sale for an even higher sum at an antiques dealer. So, while it’s true that in this case, you didn’t really break a law, this kind of behavior exposes you as a swindler who extorts valuable items from innocent people.”

“I hear.”

“Maybe we should hear a bit from you, now—what do you say?” Moishe made signs of doubt to Nosson, who was about to leave. He hadn’t ruled out the possibility that the caller was an imposter looking for a bit of fun. “Would you want to meet with us?” Keep Reading…

NEW RELEASE! Chanie Goes to the Dentist

March 13, 2014

C356With my family’s bad dental history, I know I shouldn’t have been surprised. Still, when the dentist informed me that my four-year-old had seven cavities in her mouth, I kind of smiled, swallowed hard, and sweetly asked him, “Can you run that by me again, please?”

But my ears had heard right. And as my brain processed that information, I felt the horror rise up within me, faster than the bubbling water in the fountain outside in the medical building’s lobby.

Seven cavities! Seven cavities!

How, pray tell, was my daughter going to get through this? For that matter, how was I, her mother, going to get through this?

I wish I’d had the book Chani Goes to the Dentist, to help prepare my daughter for what was to come. But alas, this was last year, and the book hadn’t yet made its debut. And so all I had in my arsenal of tools with which to calm my little girl were my tefillos, of course; my hand (which she wouldn’t let go of the entire time she sat in the dentist’s chair); and some little trinket as a prize for when she was all done (you didn’t actually think the prize would be a lollipop, did you?).

But all of you parents who are presently dealing with your kids’ upcoming dentist appointments looming over your heads, especially if there will be cavity fillings done then—take heart! Here is a book that will really help prepare your child for all that will happen at the dentist, in a calm, reassuring, and even fun way!

In Chani Goes to the Dentist, written by the same author as the popular Moshe Goes to Yeshiva, kids discover exactly what happens when a cavity is filled, and how it’s not such a scary procedure after all. At the end of the book, Chani, who had a cavity filled, walks out of the dentist’s office with a big smile on her face—and your child can, too! All it takes is some gentle preparation beforehand, which is exactly what this book provides, and lots of Heavenly assistance from Above.

Oh, and a little trinket as a prize, too.

Click here to purchase online.

NEW RELEASE! The Invisibles Vol. 1: Secret of the Purple Bottle

March 13, 2014

C360Anytime my wallet is running short of cash, I send someone to check the mailbox. ‘What’s the connection?’ you ask. (You mean it’s not obvious?) There might be a million dollar check in there.

‘But Ma, is anyone supposed to be sending you a million dollar check?’ My son has often asked me. After all, most of the time he goes, he only returns with junk mail and bills. “No,” I am forced to admit, “but if we don’t go look, we’ll never know.”

Optimistically hoping for a magical solution to our challenges is definitely common. Getting that magical solution is not. Enter Rafi, a boy who receives a supernatural solution.

After his father is niftar, Rafi struggles to get through the day, yet yearns to be treated as the outgoing, happy boy he once was. Hoping to give him a chance to breathe and regroup, Rafi’s mother sends him to his grandparents’ home on a moshav. Far from finding tranquility there, Rafi is soon accused of stealing test papers from his new cheder! Have things gone from bad to worse? No way! Not when he has two new best friends to stick up for him, plus a purple bottle filled with amazing goop that turns him invisible.

Join Rafi and his friends, as they unravel the suspenseful mystery of the test thefts. Watch as he steps out of the role of sad, innocent victim and into the role of contented and powerful forgiver. Secret of the Purple Bottle is the first in The Invisibles series; an action-packed mystery fantasy with subtle, highly palatable life lessons that linger long after the back cover has swung shut.

Guest Blogger: Sara Miriam Gross

Click here to purchase online.

NEW RELEASE! Common Denominator

March 12, 2014

L658I was looking for a homemade segulah – some way to acquire a zechus that would help me finish the book I’d been writing, on and off, for the past ten years. So when Rivkah called asking to set a time for some pro bono marketing advice it was hard to say no. Of course, it was also hard to say yes, since I had pressing deadlines that seemingly came before free brainstorming over a cup of tea. I promised her we’d sit down together a few weeks later. Then I piggy-backed on Rivkah’s enormous zechuyos and began davening, asking Hashem to help me get my book and other assignments done, so I would have time available to help Rivkah.

It worked. I joyfully submitted my re-re-re-re-re-revised final-final file for the book and eventually even put up some water to boil in the kettle. Rivkah left our meeting with a promising list of new directions and strategic alliances, but I was only half peaceful. I was happy to have made the time to help, yet I still heard a little voice saying: ‘You have no business helping market someone else when you really should go market yourself.’

Hashem did not let me feel that way for long. The very next day, an acquaintance emailed me, offering an unexpected assignment that was a perfect fit, and that booked me solid for the next month and a half. I helped market Rivkah and Hashem marketed me.

At times when we do something difficult, we immediately see the wave of good it has brought back to us. Other times we only see what a good deed leads to after years, or decades. And sometimes, we are not privy to the ‘end of the story’ at all.

The Blum and Solomon families navigate very challenging and dramatic lives. How else could it be for children whose parents live 6,000 miles away?

Why are the Blum children living with their grandparents in Israel while their widowed mother Tamar is alone in New York? They were only supposed to go for a visit. Will their grandparents’ unlimited hospitality be good for them in the long run?

When Tamar makes the ultimate sacrifice for her employer, will she be left to pay the price for her unusual heroism?

When Ruthie tries to cut Mimi out of her life, will it destroy Mimi or save them both?

Why doesn’t Ari Solomon know who his father is? When he finds out, and is forced by the Mossad to reunite with him, can any good can come out of it?

Journey along with the families of Common Denominator and savor their days. Watch your heart beat a little faster, as you wonder what happens next. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could daven for the characters in a novel? Then we could ask for a ‘happily ever after,’ every time…

Click here to purchase online.