The Black Sheep – Chapter 11

December 28, 2020

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

Copyright © Israel Bookshop Publications. 


I opened my drawer and took out the linen with a pattern of colorful squares. Nechemiah sat on a chair near the bed and drank the tea I had made for him. He watched me stretch the sheet over Yeruchem’s mattress, and wave the thick blanket in the air a few times. “So that it should be soft and fluffy and full of air,” I explained as I did it again. I remembered my father waving our blankets in the air. At home, Abba always does that when he puts on the linen. I could never do it as well as he does, but I’m getting there.

“I thought that the only way to do it is to bang the blankets,” he said, his eyes closed.

“So from now on you’ll know that you can also wave them in the air,” I said as I folded it back. “Here you go—make yourself at home.”

He laughed at my joke, but his laugh was hoarse, clearly the laugh of someone feeling ill. He got up, swayed a bit, and then slowly walked toward the bed. He just about fell into it.

“Do you want some Tylenol?” I asked.

“Yes, thanks. I think there is some in the kitchen cabinet, right side on the top.”

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I Believe!

December 21, 2020


I Believe!

The power of a song…it’s really incredible.

Ask me a question on something I learned in third grade, and I’ll give you a blank look. I mean, who remembers what they learned in third grade?! But ask me to tell you a pasuk from Birkas Yaakov, and I can rattle it off for you, though that was something I’d learned in third grade too. What’s the difference? You see, we learned Birkas Yaakov in a song, and my classmates and I must have sang it 100 times or more over the years in elementary school, every Parshas Vayechi, and every time we met our old third-grade teacher in the hallway and wanted to impress her…you get the picture.

There’s no question about it: songs stick in the mind. You don’t even have to take my word for it; there are scientific studies to back this up! And that’s why we believe so strongly (excuse the pun!) in Rabbi Mordechai Dubin’s new, groundbreaking book-and-CD, I Believe!

Rabbi Dubin, a talented mechanech who also has a passion for music, wanted to ingrain the thirteen Ani Maamin’s into the minds and hearts of his young students. With this goal in mind, he took the words of the Ani Maamin’s which are found in the siddur, translated them into easy English, and then put the words to a beautiful and catchy tune. The results? A stunning song that, once you listen to it a few times, you’ll find yourself singing over and over again.

The book that goes along with the CD is a masterpiece in and of itself. The illustrations are gorgeous and lifelike, and really bring the words of the song to life. The beauty of the two—book and CD—is that with them, you can teach your kids the Thirteen Principles of our faith without delivering a single lecture or lesson. Just pop the CD into a CD player, hand your little ones the book…and watch the magic begin. It won’t be long before your kids will have these fundamental concepts memorized, and you’ll hear them singing the precious words of the Ani Maamin’s as they go about their day.

And really, as ma’aminim bnei ma’aminim—isn’t this something all frum parents for their children?

Click here to purchase online.


The Black Sheep – Chapter 10

December 21, 2020

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

Copyright © Israel Bookshop Publications. 

“Ariella! So good to see you! You haven’t been here for two days already!”

“That’s right,” Ariella said tonelessly. “It’s fine—you seem to have managed without me.”

“Should I make you a tea? You’re very hoarse again.”

Her sister looked at her gratefully. “Yes, thanks,” she said quietly, and sank into a chair in the kitchen, exhausted. “I’m thinking about going away.”

“Going away? Where to?” Lakey hung the milchig dishtowel on the hook.

“I don’t know.”

“Will you take me with you?” Lakey asked mischievously. “Sounds like a magical place, this ‘I don’t know.’”

“You have school.”

“And you have work.”

“My students can wait a bit,” Ariella said dismissively.

“That’s not exactly true,” Lakey said. “You teach about six girls a day, five days a week. So out of all of those, there aren’t some who have tests coming up? Accordion is one thing; you can always leave them some instructions about what to practice when you’re not here. But math?”

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December 16, 2020


“All of my kids loved this book, from my 3rd grader up to my 9th grader!”

“My son could not put this book down!”

This is some of the feedback we’ve been hearing from parents whose kids have read Framed! Or perhaps “gobbled up” would be a better way of putting it!

There’s something unusual about this book. It’s a top-notch, spine-tingling, bona fide thriller novel, yet there are no phones (certainly no cell phones!), cars, or planes anywhere in the plot. That’s because the story takes place in long-ago Eastern Europe, when fervently religious but illiterate peasants were mainstays at Jewish-owned taverns, and Catholic priests were often conniving, insincere individuals who wanted nothing more but to harm the Jews…and line their pockets with money.

Against this historical backdrop, skilled author Chayele Kohane weaves a dramatic plot that will keep your tweens and teens on their toes, from the first page until the very last. This is a most wholesome novel, and it contains plenty of wonderful lessons as well. But at the same time, there’s no skimping on the fun and suspense with this book!

Read Framed! for yourself (adults have loved it too!), and you’ll see just what we mean!


Click here to purchase online.

The Black Sheep – Chapter 9

December 14, 2020

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

Copyright © Israel Bookshop Publications. 


I sat on the floor of the carpentry shop and examined the carvings in the wood. With half an ear, I heard Reb Elazar speaking. He has a regular seder, I see. He starts with the parshah already on Wednesday evening, and he has two additional shiurim on the parshah, on Thursday and on Friday afternoon. Sometimes, he gives it in the carpentry shop; other times it can be in the back kitchen, or even on the beachfront.

He happens to be a very interesting speaker, and despite the ugly hole I had mistakenly made with the machine in the middle of the word ‘V’achalta,’ his words swirled around me and apparently also found an entry point to my head.

“I really enjoyed that midrash about Yaakov Avinu,” I told him afterward. “I wonder if my father knows this midrash. He likes to tell us lots of midrashim at the Shabbos table.”

“Tell him, and you’ll find out if he knows it.”

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NEW RELEASE: Middos Man – Vol. 6

December 8, 2020

MiddC584os Man – Vol. 6

There’s nothing like being pulled frantically in four different directions, all at the same time, to make you feel like you’ve earned your stripes in mommy-hood.

The first kvetch isn’t so bad: “Mo-o-m-m-m-y-y! I’m hungry! I want something to eat, NOW!!” Then comes the plaintive call from the bathroom: “Mommy, could you help me?” This is followed by the telltale signs of a fight in progress—slap, pinch, bang—and then, “Mommy! He hit me!” and, “She started it! She took away my ball!” (Of course that’s usually just about when the phone will decide to ring, the doorbell will chime, and your pot of soup on the stove will boil over—but that’s all besides the point.)

What should you do first?!

As the cries and calls escalate in their intensity, you throw your hands up in frustration and ask, “Can’t all you kids just have a little bit of PATIENCE?!

But you know, patience is not just something that’s helpful to mothers. Patience is actually an important middah that everyone—not just kids—needs to acquire and demonstrate in many situations in life. Of course the best place to start is by teaching it to our children when they’re young.

And what better way to do that than with good ‘ol MiddosMan???

Join MiddosMan on yet another adventure to combat Mr. Yetzer Hara—this time while teaching kids how to have patience. The read-along CD makes the experience even more entertaining for kids, while the fun illustrations and exciting details (check out MiddosMan’s awesome fly shoes!) make the story come alive!

If your kid is one of MiddosMan’s many fans, this is the best gift you can give him. And if he hasn’t met MiddosMan yet—well, what are you waiting for??? (This is not the time to have patience!)

Click here to purchase online.

The Black Sheep – Chapter 8

December 7, 2020

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

Copyright © Israel Bookshop Publications. 

The wheels of the accordion cart protested as Ariella wheeled it down the street; they were not enjoying the overuse after a long hiatus. Ariella tugged the cart behind her, deliberating whether to go into the hardware store to buy something to oil them with, or if she should leave the errand for the way home from Zahava’s house.

She glanced at her watch. No, she’d better wait for the way back. Zahava’s little students were waiting. They had made up for ten o’clock a.m., and now it was two minutes past ten…

“Good morning, Ariella.”

“Good morning, Morah,” Ariella said, not looking at her watch anymore, although Morah Mayer’s voice gave her an urge to glance at it again. It was a reminder of those days when the teacher would stand at the gate of the school to greet the latecomers.

“How are you, Ariella?”

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