NEW RELEASE! Born to Rule

February 26, 2018

Generally, you either love historical fiction or you really dislike it. History buffs will drool over a new historical novel (the thicker and more detailed, the better!), while those seeking drama and intrigue for their reading pleasure will choose an emotion-laden, contemporary novel instead.

Born to Rule, though, crosses boundaries when it comes to book genres. Yes, it is a historical novel, taking place during the fascinating Geonic period, when Baghdad and its environs were the central location of the Jewish community. But at the same time, this is a book that throbs with emotion and drama.

We enter the lives of Surura, the spoiled only daughter of the Reish Galuta, who has everything she could want but is plagued by loneliness and unanswered questions; Osnat, Surura’s aunt, whose dreams are shattered merely hours after her wedding; and Gershon, whose journey to a distant land becomes a whole lot more perilous than he ever expected. We follow these and other characters’ lives as they intersect in spellbinding ways.

When it comes to surprising plot twists and character development—this book has definitely got it all. And the wealth of information you will gain about Jewish history, particularly during the times of Rav Saadya Gaon, will absolutely enthrall you, whether or not you ever felt drawn to this topic.

Truly, Born to Rule is a book that will find its place on the “Favorites List” of readers with all kinds of tastes!

Click here to order online.

Night Flower – Chapter 11

February 26, 2018

Israel Book Shop presents Chapter 11 of a new online serial novel, Night Flower, by Esther Rapaport. Check back for a new chapter every week.  Click here for previous chapters.

Copyright © Israel Bookshop Publications. 

“Hey, there’s someone new!” Rachel said in surprise and hurried over to the baby’s crib. She put down her large bag on the floor, skirted the intravenous pole, and leaned over the high railing, peering into the crib. “He’s cute…” she said thoughtfully. “What does he have, Elsie?”

“A serious heart problem,” Elsie the nurse said from behind a tower of folded sheets. “It’s affecting his entire development. Please open this cabinet, Rachel.”

The fourteen-year-old raised her eyes. “Is his life in danger?”

“Not at this moment—otherwise he’d be in intensive care, not here. He’s recovering from his second surgery, and we are praying that he grow up to be healthy.”

“A second surgery! Poor thing… How old is he?”

“Eight months.”

“And when he gets healthy, where will he go?”

“We’ll see,” Elsie said. “But Rachel, if you’ve already come for Shabbos, I prefer you help me with Sarit. She’s bigger and needs your attention. She actually just ran out into the hallway, and I can’t run after her all day. This little one, on the other hand, rests quietly, and I’m not sure that he even realizes what is going on around him—who is with him and who isn’t.”

Rachel gazed into the crib at the baby who lay there with closed eyes, unresponsive to her stroking. “He’s not so little,” she said quietly. “And I’m worried. When you send me from one baby to another, it’s usually because you don’t want me to get too connected to that baby, because then my heart will break if something happens to him, chalilah.” Keep Reading…

NEW RELEASE! The Humble Giant

February 22, 2018

It was a scene I’ll always remember. While in Eretz Yisrael on a seminary tour, I went to Bnei Brak for a Shabbos. The girl I’d gone with was distantly related to Rav Wosner, and she suggested that the two of us go over to his home on Friday night to receive a brachah from him.

brachah from such a gadol? What an opportunity! My heart thumping in anticipation, we walked to Rav Wosner’s simple apartment and knocked on the door.

The sight that met my eyes when we were welcomed in is too special and touching to put into words, but I’ll try. Rav Wosner had just returned from shul. He looked resplendent in his shtreimel, his face glowing with an other-worldly shine. His children and grandchildren—many of whom, apparently, came over every Friday night just for this purpose—were lined up respectfully before him, and he gave each one a warm brachah, stopping to add a few words, a loving smile, a gentle pat, before turning to the next one on line.

This went on for a long few minutes, while my friend and I just stood there and stared. The holiness in that little room was so blatant, it was mesmerizing! Of course we received our brachos from the tzaddik, too, and we left the house on a high, feeling incredibly moved and uplifted.

Of course, those who knew Rav Wosner on a personal basis would tell you that this glimpse of greatness that I caught on that Friday night is just a drop in the bucket of the persona Rav Wosner was. Hundreds of beautiful and incredible stories have been told about him, his hasmadah, his love for Torah, his sterling middos.

In The Humble Giant, we attempt to give children a peek into this gadol’s life, with 25 amazing stories about Rav Wosner. Show your children what a true Torah giant is all about, in this stunning, full-color book!

Click here to purchase online.

NEW RELEASE! Daniel and the Lions

February 20, 2018

I’ve never learned Sefer Daniel, at least not inside. I guess it just wasn’t part of the curriculum of the schools I attended. Of course I’d heard the famous story about Daniel being saved in the lions’ den. But the details, all the mefarshim on the story…I really didn’t know those.

Until I read Daniel and the Lions, the first book in a brand new series for kids on stories from Tanach. Yes, I know the book is technically for kids, and that while I may wax poetic about how I’m really a kid at heart, let’s face it, I’m a full-fledged adult—but…what can I tell you? This book speaks the language of the heart, and it most definitely spoke to me, and taught me a great deal too!

In this carefully researched book, the story of the incredible miracle which Daniel Hatzaddik experienced is related in full detail, and with the most stunning, lifelike illustrations you’ve ever seen. The time period comes alive, and the events grip you—and remember, this is coming from an adult! Kids, for whom this book is really intended, will be absolutely mesmerized by the story that unfolds with each turn of the page.

If you’re looking to delight a child, while giving him/her the priceless gift of knowing Klal Yisrael’s rich history—you’ll want to buy Daniel and the LionsThis is a book that will pay for itself time and again.

Click here to purchase online.

NEW RELEASE! The Great Shabbos Food Debate

February 19, 2018

Remember Corduroy, that old classic for kids about a teddy bear that sat anxiously on his shelf in the department store, waiting for someone to come along and buy him? For those who grew up with that bedtime story read to them each night, the concept of store items talking among themselves should not come as any surprise. After all, when you’re a child and you’ve got an awesome imagination, the sky’s the limit—anything at all can happen!

In The Great Shabbos Food Debatea delightful book by children’s entertainer and author Yossi Berktin (a.k.a. Rabbi B.), your kids will listen spellbound as you read of the big debate held by the wine, the challah, the fish, and all the other Shabbos foods, in the grocery store on Shalom Way.  Each food felt it was most important for the Shabbos table.

But then comes the part where the foods—and your avid listeners—learn an important lesson…

This is a book your kids will love—and you will, too! Adorable, very kid-friendly, accompanied by the cutest illustrations…The Great Shabbos Food Debate has all the makings of another children’s classic!

Click here to order online.

Night Flower – Chapter 10

February 19, 2018

Israel Book Shop presents Chapter 10 of a new online serial novel, Night Flower, by Esther Rapaport. Check back for a new chapter every week.  Click here for previous chapters.

Copyright © Israel Bookshop Publications. 

Yoel and Shifra arrived late in the evening for a visit.

“Ima isn’t very excited about the idea of someone coming to live with you.” Yoel got right to the point as Chaiky boiled water for coffee. She was happy that the kitchen was in reasonable shape. “But even she thinks that it’s something to be seriously considered.”

“She’s not excited because of Anna,” Chaiky said. “And she’s aware of it. Shifra, when you have a cold, you prefer tea, right?”

“Yes, thanks,” her sister-in-law replied.

Yoel leaned on the counter, his legs crossed in front of him. “Anna left the house when I was very little, and I remember nothing about that time,” he said. “You do remember something?”

“Sure,” Chaiky said as she took the milk out of the refrigerator. “I was six at the time.”

“And what do you remember?”

“I remember someone older than me, spoiling me, taking me to her friends’ houses, and playing with my hair. I also remember her having these endless conversations with Ima, though I understood almost nothing about what they were saying… You know how I was your big sister as you were growing up? That’s exactly what she was for me.”

Yoel stuck his hands in his pockets. “But what do you remember about her leaving?” he asked.

– Keep Reading…>

NEW RELEASE! House of Secrets

February 15, 2018

Imagine a group of children passing by a kid in a wheelchair, and simply greeting him normally as they would any other child. No stares, no awkward or intrusive questions, just wholehearted acceptance.

What a different world we would have if that kind of situation would be the norm, right? That was the thought floating through my head after reading the tween mystery novel House of Secrets.

The book is about two boys who are best friends, Rafi and Zechariah, and a new family who moves onto Rafi’s block with a mysterious cloud surrounding them. When the red flags become one too many, Rafi and Zechariah begin investigating the “house of secrets”—and what follows will remain undisclosed here, as I don’t want to ruin the story for anyone! The book is, hands down, author M. Jakubowicz at her best once again; the storyline, plot, and messages are superb as they are age-appropriate.

But what really sets this book apart is the fact that Rafi, one of the main characters in the story, is actually a paraplegic, confined to a wheelchair.

Now before you start thinking that the book is all about the importance of including those who are handicapped, let me tell you—there is nothing preachy in this book whatsoever! It is an action novel, plain and simple, which happens to include a handicapped boy in its cast of characters. But, I believe, therein lies the beauty of the message.

To Zechariah, Rafi is a regular kid—a pal to knock around jokes and ideas with, just like any other boy in their class. So, he may be unable to walk. So, Zechariah may have to walk alongside Rafi’s wheelchair on their daily trek home from school, rather than having an actual walking partner. Big deal! Bottom line is, Rafi is no different than anyone else, capable of solving a mystery as well as any other preteen yeshivah boy.

This, I feel, is the best message you can convey to a young reader on the topic of people who have handicaps.

Click here to order online.

NEW RELEASE! The Secret Clubhouse Kids

February 14, 2018

There’s a certain charm to the kids of Yerushalayim. If you’ve been there (or are lucky enough to live there), you’ll know what I mean. Something so pure, so ehrliche, so innocent… You just need to look at a picture of a long-peyos-ed, white-kappel-ed kid walking through the alleyways of Me’ah She’arim, and already you feel a tugging at your heart.

Reading The Secret Clubhouse Kidsan outstanding children’s comics book that recently hit the market, I was reminded of these Yerushalmi kids. That’s because the boys in the story who are part of “the secret clubhouse,” and who are thrown head-first into a suspenseful mystery, possess this same sweet innocence and chein. They may be hot on the trail of a pair of robbers who stole the sefer Torah from their shul, but it’s not enough for them to get back the precious sefer Torah. The Secret Clubhouse kids aren’t done their mission until they understand why two Jews would ever do such a thing—and they get them to do teshuvah.

This is the kind of book you want your kids reading. It’s full of adventure and suspense—make no mistake about that!—but the characters are so lovable and goodhearted, it makes the book into a really wholesome read, not just some good guys-versus-villian, empty thriller. It’s a book your kids will love, but so will you…need we say any more??

Click here to purchase online.

Night Flower – Chapter 9

February 12, 2018

Israel Book Shop presents Chapter 9 of a new online serial novel, Night Flower, by Esther Rapaport. Check back for a new chapter every week.  Click here for previous chapters.

Copyright © Israel Bookshop Publications. 

Already the next afternoon, the girl from the brick wall knocked at her door.

“Your salad was good,” she told Mira, taking a step inside the apartment, “but my aunt said that she has no time to prepare such things, and if you think that it’s important for me to eat cucumbers and peppers, then you should give them to me yourself.”

The problem was that her stock of vegetables had been almost depleted, but Mira did not give up. In the drawer of the fridge she found one shriveled carrot, a small kohlrabi, and a tiny radish. “Today I’ll make you a different type of salad,” she said to Anna, and took out her cutting board. “This way you’ll get to taste different vegetables.”

The kohlrabi was especially difficult to cut; she’d never tried to cut it into tiny cubes. But twelve minutes later, she had a salad ready in a little bowl. Three minutes after that, it was gone.

“This was also pretty good,” Anna said and leaned back in her chair. “But yesterday’s was better.”

“But I’m out of pepper and other things,” Mira said. “Do you want to go with me to the vegetable store?”


That day Anna went with Mira to the vegetable store. The next day they went to the grocery together, and the day after that, when Mira returned home from work, she found the girl standing at her closed door, an accusing look in her eyes. “Didn’t you know that I’d come?” she asked.

“I didn’t know,” Mira said honestly, rummaging in her pocketbook for her key. “And I couldn’t be home today—I was at work.”


Keep Reading…

Night Flower – Chapter 8

February 5, 2018

Israel Book Shop presents Chapter 8 of a new online serial novel, Night Flower, by Esther Rapaport. Check back for a new chapter every week.  Click here for previous chapters.

Copyright © Israel Bookshop Publications. 

“I thought that maybe, it will be good for me if someone moves in with us here.”

“What?” The darkness outside the bus window was so inky, Mira couldn’t even see the outline of a single tree or hilltop, and she felt like darkness was also smothering her brain. What was Chaiky talking about?

“I said that maybe it would be good for me and the children if I would find someone to live here with us. She can help me a bit, let’s say with babysitting. And in general, I won’t be alone.”

“Oh.” Mira was quiet, suppressing a deep sigh. So the idea that Chaiky was coming to terms with was Yoel’s. “Someone to come live with you?” she echoed slowly.

“Yes. I’ll find a woman or a girl who needs a place to live, even in exchange for payment or something. You sometimes see ads in the paper about these kinds of things.”

“Right, but through the newspaper it’s impossible to know exactly who the woman or girl is and what kind of story there is behind her.”

“So you make some reference calls,” Chaiky replied sensibly. “And we can always make up ahead of time that we would start with a trial period.”

“Right.” Suddenly, when the idea of Chaiky coming to live with them did not seem like the ideal solution it had seemed before, Mira found herself looking at Yoel’s idea through a different lens. Remarkably, it didn’t seem quite so bad.

But why did she still just not like the sound of the whole thing?

Keep Reading…