Night Flower – Chapter 17

April 16, 2018

Israel Book Shop presents Chapter 17 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. 

“Miri, do you have paper clips?” Elka was in a big hurry. “No, not those small colorful ones—the big metal ones. Do you have any?”

Miri opened another drawer, her lips pursed. “No,” she said a moment later. “This is all I have.”

“Are you angry at me, Miri?”

Miri looked up in surprise. “I…” she stammered. “No. I mean… Maybe Chaiky has what to be angry about. I was always just a secretary.”

“You were never ‘just’ a secretary,” Elka vouched warmly. “You are a very special and dedicated worker, Miri, and I’ve told you that more than once. And Chaiky? Chaiky has no reason to be angry at me.”

“She doesn’t?”

“There’s no reason. I’m assuming this would be because of Noa coming to work here, right? Well, Noa is a very special girl, and I don’t know how much you appreciate her sacrifices and the steps she has taken, and that she is still taking…” She hesitated for a moment. “And without speaking lashon hara, Chaiky is not functioning at her full capacity right now, so it’s very convenient for me that Noa is around.” She looked toward Chaiky’s small office. Today it was locked. Chaiky wasn’t in there and neither was Noa, whom Elka often asked to “take care of a few things in the system” and “to make a few phone calls that Miri doesn’t have time for.”

“And you should know that Noa is actually very considerate.” Elka didn’t look directly at Miri, but rather at a small flowering plant on her desk. “For example, I never thought that maybe it bothers Chaiky that when she’s not around people go into the room that ostensibly belongs to her. But this morning Noa told me that she prefers not to do it anymore, because it might cause tension between her and Chaiky. She has the new computer in the library now anyway, so she can work on that from now on.”

Miri nodded noncommittally. She didn’t know why, but Noa’s “kind consideration” didn’t quite impress her. Keep Reading…


Night Flower – Chapter 16

April 9, 2018

Israel Book Shop presents Chapter 16 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. 

The children fidgeted excitedly near the counter. It was no wonder; when was the last time they had seen their mother take out the mixer? Eight eggs, separated. One and a half cups of sugar into the beaten egg whites. A cup of orange juice. A cup of oi—no oil.

Oy.” Chaiky closed the cabinet. “We’re out of oil. Umm…what should we do?” This never used to happen to her. She couldn’t remember herself ever taking out the mixer before making sure she had all the ingredients she needed. But for this cake she had just mentally reviewed the recipe in her mind and decided that there was nothing she should be out of. Apparently, though, there was no more oil in the house.

“So I won’t have a cake for my siyum?” Naomi’s face fell.

“There will be a cake, b’ezras Hashem, don’t worry. Dovi, go down to the Pessermans and ask them for a cup of oil.” She lowered the speed of the mixer. One of her aunts had once taught her that beating the eggs at the lowest speed was the same as folding them with a spatula.

He returned after a few minutes. “They don’t have any,” he said.

Chaiky glanced at Naomi’s face and then at the foamy eggs that wouldn’t stay stiff much longer. She switched off the mixer and quickly untied her apron. “Wait here nicely, kids, and don’t touch anything. I’m running to the corner grocery to buy oil, and I’ll be right back. Naomi! If you lick too much of the batter, the sefer cake is going to be very low.” Keep Reading…


Night Flower – Chapter 15

March 26, 2018

Israel Book Shop presents Chapter 15 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. 

The newspaper editor subtly fixed his gaze on a detailed work of art that depicted Napoleon’s final battle in Russia. But when the silence grew prolonged, he turned to look at the master of the household, who continued to sit with a small smile playing on his lips.

“Mr. Rosenberg?” Vasiliy, the reporter, asked, a trace of impudence lacing his words. “Did you hear the conversation?”

The man looked at the reporter as though he were a pesky mosquito that had suddenly appeared in the hall. “Where do you have this recording from?” he asked curiously, and cast a fleeing glance behind him, to his bodyguards. They were silent.

“The wiretap was not on your line; it was on his line,” Antonovich said, mildly apologetic.

“Why?”

“Someone apparently had an interest in this person.”

“Apparently,” Nikolai said, and then he finally gave a full smile. “And so, what do you want from me?” He reached for the box that was placed at that moment on the table, and took out a fat cigar, wrapped in thin green paper. With a fluid move, he pushed the box gently toward Sergevsky, the editor.

“If we could get a reasonable explanation for this conversation, we’d be most pleased,” the editor said, not touching the box. “Just to remind you, our newspaper apologized and issued a correction that you have no connection to Judaism, and now it looks like that apology was unnecessary.” Keep Reading…


NEW RELEASE! The Secret Clubhouse Kids

March 25, 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 14

March 19, 2018

Israel Book Shop presents Chapter 14 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. 

The watchtower that soared to the fifth floor of Nikolai Rosenberg’s estate was designed to elegantly blend into the scene. It looked like another architectural adornment on the sprawling luxury estate. But once inside, it became apparent that it was a full-blown watchtower, with all the accoutrements: two massive screens, one transmitting images of what was happening below in real time, and one serving as a huge database of images, names, and addresses. The walls were forty centimeters thick, the windows were barred and bulletproof, and five firing loopholes were situated opposite the weak points in the wall that surrounded the house. Nikolai Rosenberg was very good at protecting his possessions and his life.

The two armed guards who regularly sat in the tower had already chased away unwelcome guests, but they greeted the blue Volga now slowing down in front of the estate with folded arms.

“It’s them,” one of the guards said, studying the screen on the wall to his right. The images of the car projected on the database screen were identical to the one now driving below. Beside the image of the vehicle were three headshots: the editor of the Segodniya newspaper, writer Vasiliy Antonovitch, and the editor’s chauffer.

“Send their pictures downstairs,” the guard on the right said. “They should check them close up. I can’t see the faces well enough from here…” He turned to the screen next to him and tried to maximize the images to the largest size possible, but the faces of the passengers were still too blurry. “It looks like them,” he finally said. “But I wouldn’t bet my life on it.” Keep Reading…


Night Flower – Chapter 13

March 12, 2018

Israel Book Shop presents Chapter 13 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. 

“You didn’t finish your compote, Rachel,” Elsie said.

Rachel wrinkled her nose. “Compote is such a hospital word,” she said. “In the dorm we don’t usually have dessert at the Friday evening meal. Anyone who wants can take cookies from the tea room, but they are the exact same cookies that we have on Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wedne—”

“I got it, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday,” Elsie said patiently. “It’s really a shame that you have that all week. It’s just not healthy. So you don’t want to eat your compote?”

“No,” Rachel said. “If it would be the apples that you cook, that would be one thing, but this is just plain pineapples from a can.”

“If I would have known you were coming, I would have prepared apple compote for you, but I didn’t know you’d be here.”

“Don’t tell me the dorm mother didn’t call you.” Read the rest of this entry »


Night Flower – Chapter 12

March 5, 2018

Israel Book Shop presents Chapter 12 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’s father-in-law finished singing Shalom Aleichem, made Kiddush, and poured wine into the small cups.

Nu, uh!” her mother-in-law said as she passed the cups.

“Yisrael and Yaakov!” she scolded, after drinking her wine. “Can you stop being so wild? You’re supposed to set a good example for Dovi and Naomi, not the opposite!”

“But we’re so happy that they finally, finally came to us!” Yisrael said as soon as he’d swallowed his wine, and tickled Dovi in the ribs. Dovi giggled and stuck his hand out to get his little goblet.

“Well, that’s children for you…” Shlomo’s mother sighed as she smiled at Chaiky, who smiled in return. The happiness and energy that enveloped the children here served her quite well. It somewhat blurred her discomfort and the long silences, although she did have to make sure that her kids’ unruly behavior did not become all-out chaos.

As soon as she’d entered the somber-toned, closed-in dining room, she’d felt that familiar sensation of being stifled. She had never liked the heavy velvet curtains, tied with gold ropes; the elegantly carved bookcase that gleamed to perfection; or the two black velvet chairs in the corner of the room. When she’d first come to her in-laws’ home as a kallah, she’d mused that she and her mother-in-law just didn’t share the same taste at all, but as long as Shlomo had been at her side, it hadn’t bothered her so much. Keep Reading…