NEW RELEASE! Robot World

July 15, 2015

C404It’s morning, I’m running late, and the kids are not cooperating. First they don’t like the clothes I set out for them; then they start squabbling with each other over something as direly important as who gets cereal first. And that’s when the milk spills. All over the table, the floor, and the baby’s clean clothes. And I close my eyes and imagine how wonderful it would be if I had my very own robot to clean up this mess for me…

What do you say—how does a world in which robots take care of all your chores, sound to you? Well, if you’re anything like Tova Klein’s mother, you wouldn’t be too thrilled about it. In fact, while all of Tova’s friends’ families have robot maids to make their beds and sweep their floors and go grocery shopping for them, Mrs. Klein refuses on principle to have any robots in her home. She wants her family to operate the old-fashioned way, where the kids themselves pitch in and know how to do chores, much to Tova’s embarrassment and chagrin. But then Mrs. Klein has to be away for a while, and she has no choice but to rent a robot nanny to help take care of the family. And that’s when the adventure really begins…

This is a book that will tickle the imagination of every tween reader out there! Set in futuristic times, Robot World is a one-of-a kind book that will fascinate kids with its wackiness, humor, and some great lessons, too! Try it out on your tween…and you’ll see exactly what we mean.

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NEW RELEASE! Forever in Faith

July 14, 2015

L737I used to hate saying yizkor. Everyone young left the room except for me. It took many years to recognize the blessings that being orphaned at age seven, brought into my life.

As long as we are still in galus, we all have our work cut out for us. Health issues, parnasa woes, chinuch crises, middos challenges, bereavement, and other enormous tests.  In the midst of the darkness, it’s usually not enough to remind ourselves that “This too shall pass.”  What we really need is an infusion of emunah – to connect with Hashem, and to notice that our darkness isn’t as pitch black as we thought.

Rebbetzin Bluma Teitelbaum, the Sassover Rebbetzin z”l, lived through the epitome of darkness: The Holocaust. She suffered immensely, yet she also recognized the rays of chesed and humanity that illuminated that darkness and gave her the strength to carry on. The kind words and gestures, the warm coffee after a freezing night of slave labor, the gift of candies that revived her, the used black velvet garment she managed to sell in order to bribe the camp doctor, the friendship of her Bais Yaakov sisters, and more.

Read the Rebbetzin’s memoirs, see the Shoah from her lofty eyes, and then, as you step back into the tests of your own life, recognize and savor the rays of chesed that already illuminate your darkness.  The task will be easier now.

Guest Blogger: Liba Lauffer

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NEW RELEASE! The Unfinished Diary

July 9, 2015

L734As he sat crouched in a foul-smelling cowshed and hayloft for months on end, with nothing but his own bleak thoughts to keep himself occupied, Chaim Yitzchok Wolgelernter turned to his pen as a means of endurance. An unusually gifted writer, this young husband and father of two made it his goal to chronicle his Holocaust experiences as they were occurring, in book form, no less.  And so, as he wandered the countryside, worrying about the fate of his family members also on the run, Chaim Yitzchok wrote. And as he hid in a dilapidated mikveh building together with his terrified younger brothers, Chaim Yitzchok wrote some more. And as he sought refuge in the cowshed of a Polish woman, who would eventually turn her back on him, Chaim Yitzchok continued to write.

The result: a personal Holocaust journal with a rare level of genius and skill apparent in each chapter chronicled by the author.

Chaim Yitzchok, unfortunately, did not survive the inferno of the Holocaust; he was brutally murdered just a few months before liberation. His diary, though, did survive. It was found by his brother and eventually made its way to North America, where it lay in a drawer, untouched, for many years.

In the meantime, Chaim Yitzchok’s surviving child, Feivel, grew up, married, and had children of his own. His son, Nafti Wolgelernter, was the one who pushed for his grandfather’s diary to be deciphered and translated, so that the family could connect with Chaim Yitzchok’s writings.

What followed were many years of meticulous work and effort, and now, seventy years after being written, the diary is finally being brought to light, released, in English, to the public.

This rare and historic work can be appreciated at many levels. Each page reveals an astounding depth of emotion, coupled with a cynical, witty—at times, even humorous—literary style. The diary is breathtaking in its eloquence and scope, heartbreaking in its descriptive account of the travails suffered by the author and his family. Given its unique perspective, this compelling account lends an entirely new dimension to the world of Holocaust literature.

The following excerpt, from The Unfinished Diary, illustrates just one of Chaim Yitzchok’s brushes with death during his time spent in hiding and on the run.

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