The Black Sheep – Chapter 14

January 18, 2021

Israel Book Shop presents Chapter 14 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. 

Aryeh’s car stopped near the house, and five sweaty, scraggly-looking children burst out of it. “It’s here! I remember it exactly here!” one of them cried, and dashed up the stairs.

“Oops!” A young man, who almost collided with the boy, stuck out his arm to block his path. “Is that how you run, without looking where you’re going or anything? We both almost went tumbling down the stairs! Where are you rushing to?”

“To our aunt!” the boy said.

“Your aunt?”

“Aunt Sarah!” he said, his tone clearly implying what he thought of this creature who had not heard of his aunt.

“Oh.” The young man pressed himself again the railing, and the child didn’t wait another second. He knocked loudly at the door, and without waiting too long, just opened it. By then, the other four children had followed him up the stairs. Their father, still downstairs, shook Reb Elazar’s hand. Rabbi Reiness had just emerged from the carpentry shop, accompanied by three youths.

Bli ayin hara, a real crew you’ve got here!” Aryeh said to his brother-in-law. The boys nodded politely and then somehow slipped away.

“Look who’s talking!” Elazar Reiness said, looking at the cheerful face that peeked out over the railing from the second floor. “Who is that—Baruch? Hey, kiddo! The railing isn’t very high! Be careful!”

“Yes, he’s not used to such heights,” Baruch’s father said as he and his brother-in-law headed for the stairs. “So what is this, Elazar? You opened an institution? You came all the way here for the carpentry shop? Nu, come on. You can’t tell me stories.”

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The Black Sheep – Chapter 13

January 11, 2021

Israel Book Shop presents Chapter 13 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. 

Sarah Reiness put her appointments book into her bag and pushed it over to end of the countertop. She looked around for the cover of her pen while answering an incoming call. “How are you, Bassi? How are the kids? How are you managing?”

“Baruch Hashem, wonderful.” She heard the cheerful voice of her younger sister. “Baruch and Gadi went out to chase a deer that they claim they saw. Shulamis and Meira tried to tell them that there are no deer in the Galilee Hills, and they all went out to decide who’s right. Arik and Daniel are playing Kapla here next to me, Malka is trying to knock it down, and Kreindy is sleeping, and that’s it. Oh, and Yisrael Meir is not back from cheder yet, of course.”

“And who was right? I’m curious. Are there deer in the Galilee or not?”

“What else do you want me to know? I don’t even know if there’s enough laundry detergent in the house, and you’re asking me about deer?”

Sarah chuckled. “Would you like to come to us for Shabbos?” she offered.

“With Kreindy? I don’t like traveling with such a small baby in this cold.”

“But how will you be able to cook this way?”

“Oh, the kids help me. You have to see the dips that Shulamis can prepare… I’ll make a challah dough and fish tonight, Aryeh will make the cholent, and we’ll manage just fine.”

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The Black Sheep – Chapter 12

January 4, 2021

Israel Book Shop presents Chapter 12 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. 

“Reiness…” Mordechai Reiness knitted his brows. “Which Reiness?”

“His first name is Elazar. From Acco. Or Haifa, actually.” Yigal Erenbaum looked ahead as he gripped the wheel. He regularly gave people rides on his way home; he knew it was a great chessed for them and was happy to help them out. After this passenger got in and thanked him effusively, Yigal’s attention was piqued when he heard that the man’s name was Reiness.

“Elazar Reiness? Oh, you mean my cousin. We were actually just talking about him recently.”

“He’s your cousin?”

“Yes, but we’re not the same age at all. He’s about thirty years older than me. His father was much older than my father.”

“And what does he have there in Acco? A yeshivah? A youth hostel?”

“I have no idea.” Mordechai shrugged. “I just know that my brother was very surprised when he moved back to Acco.”

“Back?”

“Yes, his family lived there when he was a child. My older brothers still remember one single, historic visit they made there.”

“So, why did he move back?”

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