NEW RELEASE! Heroes of Faith

July 9, 2013

Heroes of FaithFor the many, many readers whose Three Weeks—and the rest of the year—have been uplifted by Rabbi Dovid Hoffman’s popular Heroes of Spirit, here’s a second helping of a great thing: Heroes of Faith, a brand new book offering another 100 inspirational stories that took place during the Holocaust and under Russian rule. In this stirring volume, you will meet many great Jews—both famous rabbinic figures and so-called “pashute” Yidden—whose faith during these black eras of our history carried them and our Nation above the unspeakable tragedies they endured.

For all those looking for a dose of chizuk during the Bein Hametzarim or any time!

Click here to purchase online.

Keep reading for an incredible story from this volume:

Arugas Habosem: A Grandfather’s Promise Keep Reading…

NEW RELEASE! Those Who Never Yielded

July 9, 2013

Those Who Never YieldedHis name was Matisyahu Gelmann, and he was a young hero in our history, tragically cut down in his prime.

Have you never heard of this great person, the leader of Matisyahu’s Men, who bravely stood up to the Nazis and refused to bend an iota to them? Then you must read this book, a classic that has finally been republished after years of being out of print.

This legendary book that tells the true tale of a small band of Chassidishe bachurim who kept firm in their commitment to keep every aspect of their mesorah, even in the face of the wicked Nazi soldiers, has moved countless readers to tears. It will inspire you to no end, and will give you much food for thought this Bein Hametzarim.

Click here to purchase online.

Keep reading below for a sneak preview and an incredible story:

Yankel Geffen

Yankel Geffen, too, wears the halo of legend. At the side of Mattisyahu the Penitent, the major hero of the chassidic rebel movement, Yankel Geffen stands out as one of those who guided all the underground activities. Yankel had been an introverted student, modest and retiring, supported by his father-in-law and happily circumscribed by the walls of the shtiebel–until the winds of war came along and swept him out onto the battlefield to confront Satan. These very storm winds lifted him up to the lofty peaks of leadership. Keep Reading…

Take a Pesach Cleaning Break with Mordechai Schmutter :)

March 18, 2013

L378Calling all harried housewives, hungry husbands, and other stressed-out-from-Pesach-cleaning folk! Here is your chance to get your hands on the first and only book of absolutely kosher l’Pesach humor and stress relief!

Don’t Yell Challah in a Crowded Matzah Bakery was popular humor columnist Mordechai Schmutter’s first humor book, and though it sold itself out, we are proud to announce that it is now back in print once again! This is the book you’ll want to buy for your wife, after you come home to a sparkling clean, kosher l’Pesach room and then discover that the pocket you’d put your emergency stash of pretzels in had a hole in it. This is the book you’ll want to buy for yourself after you get through that encounter. This is the book that will preserve your sanity even during the most hectic and nerve-wracking moments of Pesach cleaning-shopping-cooking-baking-nap-taking-and-other-preparations…simply by making sure you laugh…and laugh…and laugh some more!

To get more of an idea of what we mean, here is an excerpt from this book, from the chapter titled “Cleaning House.”

(Click here to purchase a copy.)

The Cleaning Process

            The basic idea in cleaning for Pesach is to turn everything upside down and shake it, and then to cover it in contact paper just in case.  The most practical method of doing this is to start at the far reaches of the house and slowly work your way toward the kitchen, so that you don’t stupidly paint yourself into a corner and end up eating all of your last-minute chametz meals in the guest closet.  Many women who would like to at least get some Pesach cooking done carefully leave one strange-but-not-totally-insane room to eat in, such as the basement or the garage, and then do most of their chametz cooking on one of those little travel burners that heat up when you plug them in, not unlike your laptop computer.  Keep Reading…

New Release! Kriyah Coach – The Alef-Beis Train

November 27, 2012

I remember a stint I once did as a kriyah tutor for young children. While it’s always incredibly gratifying to teach and reinforce to kids the all-important skills of learning to read Hebrew, and I have wonderful memories of that time, one aspect of that job that stands out most in my recollections is the sheer amount of time, energy, and creativity it took to come up with yet another game or fun exercise as a means to review the skills with the kids.

Should we play Alef-Beis Hopscotch today? Maybe a Match-It nekudos game? Or Pin-the-Nekudos-on-the-Letters? (For the uninitiated, I can explain the ins and outs of these games to you another time!) Cut-and-dry drilling and flashcards just would not do the trick…

If you have a child who’s learning to read Hebrew, especially if he’s the type that needs lots of fun and stimulation (think: fire engine sirens and flashing lights; the noisier and more colorful, the better!), you probably know exactly what I mean. Many times, the best way to teach and get through to a child is by way of excitement and games.

That’s why Kriyah Coach, an interactive DVD that teaches kids how to read Hebrew in a most fun and exciting way, has been making such waves among young children and their parents.

This incredibly multi-faceted DVD offers a brilliant combination of interactive games, high-quality animation, and an actual classroom setting featuring world-renowned kriayh specialist, Rabbi Henoch Potash. Your child will join in with Rabbi Potash’s class and will be calling out the answers to the rebbi’s drill questions along with all the other students. Additionally, his speed at reading Hebrew will increase dramatically as he whizzes through the fun games brought to him by “The Alef-Beis Train” on this DVD.

Your house may be filled with squeals of delight from Nashi, Rupert the Parrot, and all the rest of Kriyah Coach’s colorful characters (don’t say we didn’t warn you!)…but you can rest assured that your child will be having loads of fun, AND will learn to read Hebrew fluently at the  same time, too.

Click here to purchase online.

See trailer below:

JUST RELEASED! – Exploring the Wild World of Animals

November 23, 2012

            Okay, folks. It’s in. THE Chanukah gift of the season—for lucky recipients of all ages—has just hit the bookstores. But this is something that is bound to fly off the shelves within minutes of being placed on them, so we advise you to pick up your copy of this book real soon, before the stores run out…

What kind of book is this? you want to know. I’ll describe it to you, but knowing your curiosity, you’ll probably want to see this item for yourself to be sure that such an awesome book really exists…so refer back to the last sentence of paragraph one!

Exploring the Wild World of Animals is a magnificent, oversized book all about animals, written from a Torah perspective. Full-color photos of each animal nearly leap out of the pages at you, as you read about the feeding habits, physical characteristics, and lifespan in the wild of 35 different members of the animal kingdom, as well as lots of other information about them. Loaded with Fast Facts, Wacky Facts, Did You Know… tidbits, and of course the popular “Animal Cracker” jokes about each animal, you’ll find this incredible book to be entertaining as much as it is informative.

This book makes a fantastic Chanukah gift for readers of all ages. Your kids will be entranced by it—and I speak from experience here, as when I brought it home, my own kids could not be pried away from it, and I almost had to bribe them to put the book away and eat their supper! But let’s not fool ourselves; adults, including you, will be just as enthralled by this book, too!

So, what are you waiting for? A virtual safari is awaiting you, whether you’re an animal lover or someone who is simply interested in reading about the nifla’os ha’Borei so readily apparent in the animal kingdom. Turn the pages of Exploring the Wild World of Animals, and let the adventure begin…

Click here to purchase online.

Click on thumbnail for a preview of the leopard.

Book Excerpt – Power Points

February 8, 2012

It’s Shabbos morning. You’ve just finished davening at shul and wishing “mazel tov” at three kiddushim, and it’s already late. Your family and guests are waiting for you. They’re ready to begin the Shabbos meal—but you are not! You’re busy racking your brain, mentally thumbing through different divrei Torah, trying to find something…something…something to say on the parshah—and quick!

Does this scenario sound familiar? In today’s fast-paced world, with everyone trying to juggle a million different things while running on the treadmill of everyday life, it’s very understandable to find yourself short on time just when you need to come up with an appropriate vort for your Shabbos table.

That’s why Power Points, in the few short months since it’s been released, has become such a wonderful asset to so many people. Finally, here is a sefer in which you can find a host of vertlach on each parshah and for each Yom Tov…within minutes! To the point and with a point, the short stories and insights in Power Points will most certainly enhance your Shabbos and Yom Tov table, with only minimal time and effort on your part. And to make it even more convenient for you, the vertlach are divided according to the three Shabbos meals, so no matter at which point of Shabbos you open the book, you are sure to find something that fits the bill for exactly what you need.

Why not see for yourself? You will be amazed at the beauty Power Points can lend to your Shabbos and Yom Tov table.

Click here to purchase online.

Enjoy these excerpts l’kavod Parshas Yisro:  Keep Reading…

Riding the Waves

February 6, 2012

“Mazel tov! My cousin is engaged!”

“Wow! Mazel tov! To who?”

“To my neighbor’s son’s classmate. And you’ll never guess how the shidduch happened…”

Shidduch stories” have an intrigue all to themselves. While some are lucky enough to find their bashert in a relatively easy way (“The shadchan just happens to know my mother and his father, and one day he just happened to think of the two of us!”), others have long sagas of how their miracle happened. Whatever the case, the common factor among any and all shidduchim is the Hand of Hashem so clearly apparent throughout. And that is why the “shidduch stories” in Riding the Waves are such an inspiration for those still “in the parshah.” They convey the unshakeable truth that being “in the parshah,” looking for one’s bashert, is no different than any other nisayon, and that emunah and bitachon in our loving Father are the keys with which doors can open for everyone—including the door to the wedding hall…

But besides for providing chizuk (and no small amount of entertainment!), Riding the Waves is also an incredibly practical guide for singles and their families. It explores important topics such as initiating better communication while dating, medical issues in shidduchim, how to cope as a newlywed with single friends left behind, and much more. It also includes selected essays of inspiration from renowned speakers/authors such as Rav Mendel Weinbach, Rabbi Yissocher Frand, Rabbi Paysach Krohn, Rabbi Dovid Kaplan, Rebbetzin Sarah Meisels, Lori Palatnik, Chana Levitan, and others.

So if you are an eligible young lady or man, in addition to looking your best and using only your best manners (no ordering spaghetti while on a date!), pick up a copy of Riding the Waves and let the inspiration wash over you… And may we hear good news from you soon, too!

Click here to purchase online.

Enjoy one of the many inspiring stories in this book:

The Sister Project Keep Reading…

New Release! A Treasure of Letters

December 14, 2011

I don’t know about you, but for me, gift-giving is hardest when it comes to the men-folk. Girls are easy: some trinkets, jewelry, or the latest novel, and they’re set. But gifts for boys… What do you get for that yeshiva bachur who, baruch Hashem, happily spends his days shteiging away (short of a few hundred batches of homemade cookies, which he’ll go through in just a few days anyway)?

You’ll be relieved to hear, then, that Israel Bookshop has solved your men-folk-gift-giving dilemma—at least for this year’s Chanukah! A Treasure of Letters is the book to get for your husband/son/brother/father (or better yet, all of the above!). This truly one-of-a-kind book is a compilation of letters written by a yeshiva bachur to his parents in the early 1950’s. In the letters, he describes the world of Torah and Chassidus in Eretz Yisrael as he saw it. If a picture is worth a thousand words, then these original letters are worth hundreds of pages of description, as they give a fascinatingly authentic snapshot of Eretz Yisrael in the aftermath of the Holocaust and the gedolei roshei yeshivah and admorim of that era.

If you are looking for a gift that your yeshivah bachur or “yeshivah bachur at heart” will really treasure, your search is over; A Treasure of Letters is all you need to say when you walk into your local bookstore…

Click here to purchase online.

Enjoy these sample letters…

4 September 1953

…Yesterday I went to see the Tchebiner Rav [R’ Dov Berish Weidenfeld] shlit”a. He asked me where I came from and my name. When I said Manchester and Reich he immediately asked me if my name was Elozor! It is either ruach hakodesh or another possibility I can think of. I asked him a few she’eilos, all of which he answered immediately. He then asked me if I knew a few of his talmidim, e.g. R’ Avrohom Rand [my rebbi in Staines Yeshivah], and abruptly wished me kesivah v’chasimah tovah, which doubtlessly meant that the interview was at an end.

The yeshivah here has an exceptionally large library which is only open a few hours a day and quite a few people come in to use it. Amongst them is one regular whom if I had not seen and heard myself I could never have believed. He is not a big lamdan but is reputed to be the biggest baki in all of Eretz Yisrael, in fact in the world. Without the slightest trace of guzma, I have seen it myself. You can ask him how many machlokes R’ Yochanan and Resh Lakish there are in Yerushalmi Maasros and he will give you the answer without the slightest hesitation. The same applies to all Bavli and Yerushalmi, all the Rishonim and all the popular Acharonim such as the Nosei Keilim of the Shulchan Aruch and the Nesivos, Ketzos, Tumim, Minchas Chinuch, Or Someiach etc. For fun I asked him to tell me all the machlokes of the Teshuvos Chemdas Shlomo and R’ Akiva Eiger. I had to listen for a quarter of an hour whilst he reckoned them out. This is not an exaggeration; it is unbelievable until one sees it. As he does nothing but learn and has no official position, he is a pauper. Such Yidden one meets in Yerushalayim! Keep Reading…

Just Released! The Best of Mexican Kosher Cooking

November 24, 2011

Okay, all of you creative cooks out there! Bored of chicken and potatoes and spaghetti and meatballs for supper? Itching for some kind of change…something new and trendy…something with some kick, to really spice up your meals? Well, tie your apron strings tight and whip those pots out of the cabinet, because here is a cookbook that is as different from the rest as egg kichel is from crème brulee! This is the cookbook of our times—The Best of Mexican Kosher Cooking.

So, you’re thinking to yourself, what exactly is in this Mexican kosher cookbook? Only practically any and every Mexican food you can think of, in its kosher version, of course, tweaked to perfection by veteran cookbook authors Shifrah Devorah Witt and Zipporah Malka Heller. From Nacho Cheese Dip and Homemade Taco and Tostada Shells to Chicken Chimichangas, Steak and Chicken Fajitas, and Mexican Rice, from REALLY hot and spicy dishes to those on the more mellow side, you’ll find them all in this beautiful, hard-cover cookbook with full-color photos for each recipe.

Oh, and don’t forget dessert! With delicacies such as Flan, Mexican Wedding Cookies, Sangria, and Margaritas on the menu, not to mention the heavenly Mexican Iced Coffee, you will soon begin to wonder why you ever thought that all Mexico had to boast of was a sunny climate and sombreros!

Click here for a couple of sample recipes.

Click here to order online.

In stores now! This Side Up!

October 12, 2011

Mordechai Schmutter is a freelance writer, which means that he’s available for weddings, bar mitzvahs, and any event where you want your guests to sit around and watch someone write.  He can also write speeches for said events, as well as various other copies for businesses, entertainment purposes, and personal use.    He spends a lot of his time standing in front of a classroom and trying to convince high school students to let him teach them to write.  Mordechai is also the author of the books, Don’t Yell “Challah!” in a Crowded Matzah Bakery,  A Clever Title Goes Here, and a brand new release, This Side Up! which can be purchased online by clicking here.

Here’s an excerpt to enhance your simachas Yom Tov:

Sukkos Gelt

 We are lucky to live in an age (29, if anyone asks) where we have tons of inventions to make Jewish life easier, such as shtenders and Havdalah candles and seedless watermelon.  We also have gefilte fish, which was created so that people could avoid picking out bones on Shabbos.  I think that’s amazing.  I mean, people didn’t like picking seeds out of the watermelons either, but no one decided to take them apart, pull out the seeds, grind up the rest and serve them in loaves with a piece of carrot on top.

Sukkos, in particular, has a lot of inventions associated with it, and they come out with ten new ones every year, kind of like they do on Pesach with Haggados.  Also chumros.

Take s’chach mats, for example.  This was something we didn’t even know we needed.  For years, everyone used bamboo for their sukkos, and everything was fine, except for the occasional pole coming through a window.  You bought the poles at a sukkah outlet, and you tied them to the roof of your car and drove home very carefully, with one hand on the roof, just in case.[1]  But poles were versatile, and it was easy to hang decorations from them, like fake fruit and bee traps.  (Bees love honey, so bee traps are another great invention, although they’re a lot more effective if you put them OUTSIDE your sukkah.  The same goes for bear traps.)  But then someone came up with the idea of s’chach mats, where you stand at one end of the sukkah and just roll the whole thing out like a tablecloth, and voila – it sags all over the place.  Especially when you try to hang heavy things, such as bee traps.  Also, if you don’t tie the mat down, it catches the wind like a sail and blows off down the street.    Keep Reading…