NEW RELEASE: The Ribnitzer Rebbe

September 26, 2019

The Ribnitzer Rebbe

Tammuz was a rainy, cloud-filled  month that year in Chicago. The Ribnitzer Rebbe, who had traveled to Chicago for a wedding, wanted to say Kiddush Levanah, but as the days passed, the sky remained cloudy, and the moon could not be seen. It was one of the last nights on which Kiddush Levanah could still be said for Tammuz. The Rebbe stood outside with a small group of men, trying to catch a glimpse of the moon—but it was simply not visible.

The Rebbe called over his gabbai. “Please take this towel and dip it into the mikveh,” he instructed.

When the gabbai returned with the wet towel, the Rebbe thanked him, took the towel, and flicked it several times toward the sky. Suddenly the clouds parted in the sky, and the moon appeared, shining brightly.

The Rebbe was able to recite Kiddush Levanah.

True story. I know, because that wedding in Chicago, for which the Ribnitzer Rebbe had traveled to the Windy (and cloudy) City, was that of my parents, and I’d heard this amazing story a few times from them.

Though you’d probably have believed the story even without this personal add-on—because, after all, we’re talking about the Ribnitzer Rebbe here, the tzaddik for whom mofsim and miracles were commonplace.

Now you can read an entire book about the Ribnitzer Rebbe’s greatness and the miracles he helped bring about! The Ribnitzer Rebbe was authored by a close chassid and confidant of the Rebbe, Rabbi Avraham (Romi) Cohn, who witnessed firsthand many of the eye-popping “miracle worker” stories that he relates.  In addition to the memories, anecdotes, and lessons written about in this book, it also  includes many photos, as well as a synopsis of the Rebbe’s early years in the USSR.

Prepare to be mesmerized by The Ribnitzer Rebbe. Prepare to be inspired.

Click here to purchase online.


NEW RELEASE: Supper 1,2,3

September 19, 2019

Supper 1,2,3

When I was growing up, “supper” meant a balanced meal of a protein, starch, and vegetable, sometimes with a soup, and sometimes even with a dessert, served at 6:00 p.m. in the dining room, with the entire family—my parents included—in attendance.

And really, I didn’t grow up that long ago! (My kids might disagree, but I’m not that old!)

Still, times change at a dizzying pace, especially with the explosion of technology that, instead of freeing up our schedules, actually makes our schedules even more frenetic. And as much as I would love to continue the tradition of a formal suppertime with my own children, I admit that the family-sitting-around-the-table-at-six-each-evening just doesn’t happen too often in my home.

But that’s no reason to give up on the balanced meal component, and so, on a typical weekday afternoon, when the kids come in “staaaarving!” I go racing around in the kitchen, frantically throwing frozen pizza (that counts for a protein and a starch, right?) into the toaster while cutting up veggies for a salad. (Come to think of it, maybe the tomato sauce could be considered a veggie, and then I could skip the salad?) And all the while I’m thinking, There’s gotta be a better way to do this…

Then I saw the new cookbook, Supper 1,2,3, and it was like a breath of fresh air. Wow, an ENTIRE cookbook dedicated to the proteins, starches, and vegetables of a good, balanced supper! When can I get my hands on this?!

No more wracking your brains, trying to think of different ideas for each day (assuming you don’t want to serve frozen pizza every day, that is). This cookbook has done all the work for you! It contains hundreds of recipes of delicious proteins, starches, and vegetables that you can serve for dinner each day, with the recipe pages actually cut into these 3 sections so you can easily flip back and forth and mix and match them up however you like. And the recipes are nearly all easy and quick, using common ingredients that you likely already have in your house—2 more  big pluses. All that’s left for you to do is the actual cooking! (Not that that’s easy, either, but still….)

I’m looking forward to upgrading my daily suppers with this cookbook—I really am!
How about you?

Click here to purchase online.

 

 


NEW RELEASE: Magnificent Messages

September 18, 2019

Magnificent Messages

Hashem, help me remember that nothing will happen to me today that You and I together can’t handle.

The quote is framed and hangs on a wall in my home, as it does in my parents’ home and many of my siblings’ and other relatives’ homes, as well. My parents had been visiting Eretz Yisrael when they came across this quote on a magnet in one of the many souvenir-type shops in Geulah. Thinking that my grandmother would like it, they bought the five-shekel magnet for her.

Well, she certainly did like the quote—enough to propel her to have the quote typed up on a beautiful background, make copies of it, frame each one, and finally distribute them all to her children and grandchildren. I guess that’s the power of a quote—if it speaks to you, it really speaks to you.

Magnificent Messages has this fantastic advantage too. Written by Rabbi Naftoli Hexter, a well-known principal in Baltimore, this gift-type book has a beautiful dvar Torah on each parshah, in addition to a true story that relates to the lesson being highlighted. But it’s the stunning, full-color, graphically designed quote on the facing page, one for each parshah, connecting to that parshah, which really sets this book apart.

It’s the kind of thing that you have to see for yourself to fully appreciate. Walk into a bookstore and pick up a copy of this book. Immediately your eyes will be drawn to these pithy yet poignant quotes; they jump out at you, strike a chord within you.

If you’re looking to buy a gift for a loved one, or for someone hosting you for Yom Tov, or for yourself—Magnificent Messages makes for a top-notch choice. In both its aesthetics and its contents, it’s a book that will be read, pondered over, and cherished for years.

 

 

 

 

Click here to purchase online.

 

 

 

 

 


The Cuckoo Clock – Chapter 24

September 16, 2019

Israel Book Shop presents Chapter 24 of a new online serial novel, The Cuckoo Clock, by Esther Rapaport. Check back for a new chapter every week.  Click here for previous chapters.

Copyright © Israel Bookshop Publications. 

Perhaps it is irritating to see a young woman who is still on cloud nine from her wedding, and forgets that somewhere there, down on earth, other people still exist. She talks only about herself, thinks only about herself, and is sure that aside for her and her new spouse, the world has stopped in its tracks. But it is far less pleasant to see that same woman shedding copious tears, blowing her nose over and over, and unable to utter a single word.

And to know that you’re to blame for it all.

With remarkable timing, Shmully woke up just then with a piercing wail, and Miri, who was so embarrassed she didn’t know where to put herself, forgot for a moment what to do with him. Pacifier? Bottle? Pick him up? She began to rock the carriage mechanically, peeking at Tzippy from the corner of her eye. Tzippy slid the album into a shiny bag that matched the leather cover. Her hands were shaking so violently that she could not grasp the zipper to close it.

What should Miri say now? “Tzippy, I want to invite you for Shabbos. Come, it will be nice; we’ll remember that we really are sisters who get along”? Tzippy would just glare at her with hard eyes. And besides, they were going to Yaakov’s parents this Shabbos. She couldn’t suddenly inform her mother-in-law that they were not coming.

Maybe, “Tzippy, I’m sorry…I didn’t mean to make you cry”? So what did you mean to do? Insult, scream, and say whatever you want to her, and then expect her to just keep on smiling?

Miri continued to rock the carriage vigorously, and soon the anger inside her—or perhaps it was the envy again—mounted and overpowered the resonant voice of her guilty conscience. Why should she have to pay rich Tzippy the measly one and a half shekels for a photo, when she lived in a hole in Pardes Katz, wracking her brains to figure out how to finish the month, while Tzippy—who had just been handed an above-standard wedding and all of sheva brachos on a silver platter—owned an amazing apartment in central Bnei Brak and was also receiving a monthly stipend, without her doing anything but sitting with her hands folded?! And all this simply because she happened to have been named Tziporah Genendel?!

Keep Reading…


The Cuckoo Clock – Chapter 23

September 16, 2019

Israel Book Shop presents Chapter 23 of a new online serial novel, The Cuckoo Clock, by Esther Rapaport. Check back for a new chapter every week.  Click here for previous chapters.

Copyright © Israel Bookshop Publications. 

 

The rain continued to fall outside, but that wasn’t why Gustav was trembling. He stood at the top of the stairs and stared at the knife peeling a long strip off the apple.

“I see that you’re dressed well.” The knife stopped. “The Jews are taking care of you, huh?”

Gustav nodded wordlessly as he scanned the last two stairs that remained and evaluated if he could break into a run, dash past Theodore, and continue outside.

“What’s his name? Walkin, huh? Where did he hide you when I came with the policeman?”

“You didn’t come there with a policeman,” Gustav whispered. “You didn’t come there at all.”

“I don’t know where they hid you that morning, but I came to the Jewish orphanage the morning after they abducted you. They didn’t tell you?”

“I’m not in a Jewish orphanage.” Gustav cautiously ascended one step.

“So where are you?”

“In a house.”

“With Edo?”

“Yes.”

“Emil kidnapped you, didn’t he? Is he a Jew?”

Gustav looked at the opening to the black void outside and remained silent.

Theodore assiduously chewed the piece of apple, swallowed it, and sliced off another piece. He offered it to Gustav. “Want?”

“No.”

“So what do you want?”

“To go.” The boy’s voice was low, but Theodore heard it.

“To go…” he repeated slowly. “You left here once already, right? I guess I only imagined that I once saved your life. But forget that; let’s not talk about it now. You left here already. So why did you come back?”

“I wanted to take something with me.”

“What?”

Keep Reading…


NEW RELEASE: The Light from America

September 10, 2019

The Light from America

I recently heard the most beautiful story on Torah Anytime, related by Rabbi Ephraim Shapiro shlit”a. It won’t do justice to the tears-springing-to-your-eyes story to just give you a brief summary here, but I guess that’s what I’ll have to do:

Some teenage boys weren’t holding in the greatest of places, and one day they decided to have some fun by making prank calls. One bachur, whom we’ll call Yaakov, decided that he would make a prank call on…none other than Reb Moshe Feinstein zt”l himself. At 11:00 p.m.

“I have an urgent halachic question that can’t wait until the morning,” Yaakov told the Rebbetzin, who had answered the call.

Reb Moshe, who had been sleeping, washed negel vasser and came to the phone. After hearing the phony question, he immediately understood what was going on here. “Tell me,” he said to the young prankster, “what is your name? Where do you learn?”

Yaakov was, understandably, reluctant to reveal his identity, but when the gadol hador assured him that he wouldn’t get him in trouble, he told Reb Moshe his name and the name of his yeshivah.

“And what masechta are you learning?” Reb Moshe questioned further.

Upon hearing the masechta and sugya being learned in the boy’s yeshivah, Reb Moshe proceeded to explain a very difficult kasha on that sugya to Yaakov. But since Yaakov had not been “into” his learning for quite some time now, he did not understand Reb Moshe’s kasha or teretz at all. And so Reb Moshe explained it to him again…and again…and then again. Finally, after an entire hour of this, the boy “got” it.

“Now I want you to tell your rebbi this kasha and teretz tomorrow in yeshivah,” Reb Moshe instructed him.

Yaakov did just that, and his rebbi was amazed. He praised the boy, and actually had the shiur focus on this kasha and teretz for that entire week. Yaakov, in turn, responded to this unexpected but huge compliment by buckling down and putting more effort into his learning.

Yaakov eventually grew to become a well-known marbitz Torah, and he credits all of his spiritual success to Reb Moshe Feinstein. “Reb Moshe believed in me,” he would say. “So how could I not believe in myself?!”

This story is so typical of Reb Moshe Feinstein. It really personifies who this gadol hador was and what he meant to every individual in Klal Yisrael.

If you, like me, were touched by this story, you will love the newest book in our gedolim series: The Light from America, which is about Reb Moshe Feinstein. Like the above account, each of the twenty-five true stories in this book highlights the Torah, middos, brilliance, and sensitivity of Reb Moshe Feintstein—who was, indeed, the “light from America.”

 

Click here to purchase online.

 

 


The Cuckoo Clock – Chapter 22

September 9, 2019

Israel Book Shop presents Chapter 22 of a new online serial novel, The Cuckoo Clock, by Esther Rapaport. Check back for a new chapter every week.  Click here for previous chapters.

Copyright © Israel Bookshop Publications. 

 

“Good morning, Saba.” Miri pushed the carriage into the small room and entered. The carpet swallowed her footsteps, but Saba raised his head at the sound of her voice and smiled.

“Oh, Miri, hi, good morning!” Tzippy chirped. “You haven’t seen my album yet. We just got it last night, and we took it over to show Ima. So, what do you say about the layout design?”

“Design?” Miri took a step closer, parking the carriage in the corner. Ohhh, it was a digitally enhanced album, not an album with clear pockets that you slide the pictures in one by one, like hers. The tome was elegantly bound, made of glossy, gold-edged pages, and each photo was cleverly designed with various techniques.

“Here, look, there you are.” Tzippy hastily turned back a few pages. “Here are all the family photos from the beginning. And look how cute Shmully came out. It’s a good thing you brought him for the pictures!”

“Right.” Miri couldn’t help but smile as she looked at her son’s large eyes sparkling at her from the pages of the album.

“What do you say, Saba? The photographer did a great job, didn’t he? Look, he took the curtain that was in the hall and turned it into a background on all these pages. Then, for the pictures at the seudah, he played the same game with the centerpieces. See how it looks like they’re actually behind the photos? And he also used this feature to make a shadow effect.”

Saba nodded solemnly.

“You think he’s really interested?” Miri muttered as she bent over from behind them to look at the album.

Keep Reading…