NEW RELEASE! Hachi Garsinan

November 12, 2018

At a recent kiddush for a baby girl, who had been named Liba, I overheard an interesting conversation.

A middle-aged man turned to someone and said, “Liba. Doesn’t that mean heart? As in, v’sein b’libeinu binah…?”

When the other fellow nodded, the man shook his head ruefully and said, “You know, as a newcomer to Judaism, I can’t take my understanding of any Hebrew or Aramaic word for granted. Just to know what I’m saying when I daven, I need to spend hours reviewing the basic words that make up the prayers in the siddur.”

Well, I had a whole new appreciation for ba’alei teshuvah after that! Imagine plugging away for hours, reviewing root words, prefixes, and suffixes, just to be able to daven properly! The fact that I, an FFB, can understand, more or less, the tefillos that I say, without having to spend hours studying and reviewing them,  is something that I shouldn’t take for granted!

But the truth is, it’s not just BTs who may have trouble understanding the language of the siddur and of the Gemara. Not everyone is a “language person,” and especially when it comes to learning, trying to understand a difficult concept while simultaneously trying to understand the language in which the concept is written, can be very, very challenging.

The book Hachi Garsinan was written for this reason.

Hachi Garsinanwhich literally means “This is how we say it,” is a one-of-a-kind work which aims to assist those who are learning Gemara but aren’t necessarily familiar with Aramaic, the language of the Gemara. The book explains the origin and meaning of many of the Aramaic words commonly used in the Gemara. In a nutshell, it teaches the non-Aramaic speaker how to understand the Talmud.

Even seasoned Gemara learners, who are fine with Aramaic, have reported being helped by Hachi Garsinan, as the book sheds light on so many nuances of each word.

As the esteemed author of this book writes: “Learning Hachi Garsinan from beginning to end will make you intimately familiar with the Aramaic language, so that when attempting to master a sugya, you will find yourself in ‘familiar territory.’”

There you have it—your “cheat sheet” to help you learn the daf properly.

So whether you’re a BT or an FFB, if you are attempting to understand “Gemara language,” or to delve deeper into your learning, Hachi Garsinan is there for you, ready to empower you on your journey through the Gemara.

Click here to purchase online.

Night Flower – Chapter 46

November 12, 2018

Israel Book Shop presents Chapter 46 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. 

Adi’s parents were not happy, to put it mildly, about the change that had come over their daughter and son-in-law. The change hadn’t yet become firm by the time Adi’s husband passed away, but if they hoped that because he was the leader, without his influence Adi would go back to her “normal” ways, they were mistaken. It infuriated them so much that the ties between them and Adi became very chilly. Adi would call only once a week, before Shabbos.

But this morning, she called. “Ima,” she said, “can Abba come and install a new door for me today? He’ll be paid, of course.”

“A door?” her mother asked. “What happened? Your old door was broken into?”


“Oh, you poor thing. Where were you? Out shopping or something?”

“No.” A chill slithered up Adi’s spine. “I was home.” Keep Reading…

Night Flower – Chapter 45

November 5, 2018

Israel Book Shop presents Chapter 45 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. 

Chaiky leaned her head on the headrest of the seat in front of her, reveling in these last few moments of being so far from it all. Yisrael Meir was resting on her lap, and she held his little hands, gazing at his tranquil, smooth forehead. Something about Reva Margulies’s warmth, natural demeanor, and pampering care still lingered, perhaps hiding among the containers of food she had prepared for their trip. Chaiky saw how caringly the sandwiches were wrapped in foil and the vegetables cut, and Reva had added two chocolate bars.

Just a few hours ago, they were still standing together, and Reva had spoken to her.

“Remember, Chaiky,” she said, and Chaiky had devoured her words as though Reva was twenty years her senior. In actuality, the age gap was only two years, as they’d discovered this past Shabbos when they had been sitting in the afternoon and reminiscing about their respective high school years. “Remember, Chaiky, that you can call me as often as you want. I’ll literally be waiting for your calls, and if you don’t call—I’m going to call you.” She smiled. “And there’s something else I want to suggest that you do sometimes.” She wrapped the food in Saran wrap and continued speaking, without looking directly at Chaiky. “Today, with all the nice words that people give everything, it sounds almost trite to say this, but it’s such an important thing: talk to Hashem. That’s what I do when the going gets rough for me.” She paused for a minute as she put everything she had prepared into an insulated tote bag. “It’s amazing how a few sentences—but real, sincere sentences—can help.”

If her tone had been the slightest bit schoolmarmish, Chaiky would have been annoyed. But Reva spoke with such candor, and made her feel so cared-for and close to her, that Chaiky had just nodded quietly.

Then they’d had to attend to the last few details before leaving the house, followed by their farewell at the airport and takeoff, during which time Chaiky hadn’t had time to think. When the plane finally reached cruising altitude, Yisrael Meir had begun to wail and fuss, exhausting his mother. When he finally fell asleep, she was so drained that within a few moments, she also fell into a deep sleep.

But now, she had twenty-five minutes left until landing, and if she didn’t want to land back into her life with a big boom, she had better look things in the eye and be prepared. Not too prepared, of course, because not much was left of all those nice, organized plans she had once had. But still, something. She felt a sudden urge to turn to Hashem, but she didn’t know where to start. Yisrael Meir gazed at her with his large eyes, and she hugged him.

“I’m afraid…” Keep Reading…