NEW RELEASE: MiddosMan 5

December 6, 2018

What do you get when you combine a super-speedy underground train (complete with a manhole in the sidewalk to get into it, of course!), with a sneaky Mr. Yetzer Horah, and an anger emergency involving a brother and sister one Chanukah evening?

You get MiddosMan Volume 5: Learning to Calm Down, of course!

If your kids are like the thousands of MiddosMan fans out there, waiting on tenterhooks for each new MiddosMan volume to be released, then you need not look any further for a gift to brighten up their Chanukah—or any time!

Complete with music, songs, exciting sound effects, and a wonderful storyline that teaches important lessons, MiddosMan Volume 5: Learning to Calm Down is a book and sing-along CD that your kids will be reading and listening to, over and over and over again.

I speak from experience.

Can’t you hear the strains of I run, I run, as fast as I can… playing in the background here??

Click here to purchase online


NEW RELEASE: Dovid and Golias

December 3, 2018

Parenting boys is NOT for the faint of heart! I can attest to that.

As the lucky mom of several boys bli ayin hara, I’ve had my share of “WHAT IS GOING ON HERE?!” moments.

Between digging up the lawn in search of worms and frogs, and actually attempting to bring said creatures into the house; tackling each other to the ground with war cries and homemade “swords” until I’m afraid of what I’ll find on the “battleground”; and hurtling each other down the stairs like sacks of potatoes because that’s the game they made up (“Don’t worry, Ma—it doesn’t hurt!”)—my boys certainly keep me on my toes.

Nevertheless, even very, shall we say, boyish Jewish boys need to be nurtured with Torah from when they’re young—and that includes regaling them with stories from Tanach that they can relate to and enjoy.

Which is why I was so thrilled to discover Zev Wahl’s latest book in The Illustrated Tanach Series, called Dovid and GoliasHere is a book based completely on the events from Sefer Shmuel, related in an exciting way that boys adore! I mean, check out those illustrations of the Jewish and Plishti armies, and the battleground scenes! My boys were poring over those pages for a good long time.

So take my word for it, fellow parents of boys (and girls, too! There’s nothing in this book that a girl won’t enjoy either!): when it comes to children’s books, Dovid and Golias combines the best of both worlds. It’s got the tochen you want your kids to be reading, and it’s got the excitement and thrill that they want to read too!

Click here to purchase online.


Recent Release: Rav Zvi Kushelevsky on the Torah

November 28, 2018

Somehow, it’s hard to come up with good gift ideas for men. I mean, with little boys it’s so much easier. Kids love toys and books. And of course, candy. Buy your little guy any of the above, and he’s thrilled.

But what do you get for your yeshivah bachur son, or your husband? A new tie? A wallet? So ho-hum…

Or, you can get him a brand new sefer, of course!

Now that’s easier said than done. What kind of sefer would he like? Whose chiddushei Torah would he appreciate?

Chances are, you can’t go wrong with buying him a copy of Rav Zvi Kushelevsky on the Torah. In fact, you will most likely score many points with the beneficiary of such a gift!

Rav Zvi Kushelevsky is the esteemed rosh yeshivah of the well-known Yeshivas Heichal HaTorah in Yerushalayim. In the world of yeshivos, it’s common knowledge what a tremendous talmid chacham Rav Zvi is. His chiddushim are the results of his endless toil to plumb the depths of the sugya at hand, combining profundity, rigorous analysis, and precision, often by way of sifting through various commentaries and sources. Additionally he has the know-how to highlight within his divrei Torah the tools necessary for a person to grow and succeed in life.

All of this becomes apparent while reading this beautiful sefer, which is a compilation of Rav Zvi’s divrei Torah on the weekly parshah.

Light up the Chanukah of all those who have an appreciation for Torah literature, with the gift of this book. It’s a sefer they will always treasure.

Click here to purchase.


NEW RELEASE! Hachi Garsinan

November 12, 2018

At a recent kiddush for a baby girl, who had been named Liba, I overheard an interesting conversation.

A middle-aged man turned to someone and said, “Liba. Doesn’t that mean heart? As in, v’sein b’libeinu binah…?”

When the other fellow nodded, the man shook his head ruefully and said, “You know, as a newcomer to Judaism, I can’t take my understanding of any Hebrew or Aramaic word for granted. Just to know what I’m saying when I daven, I need to spend hours reviewing the basic words that make up the prayers in the siddur.”

Well, I had a whole new appreciation for ba’alei teshuvah after that! Imagine plugging away for hours, reviewing root words, prefixes, and suffixes, just to be able to daven properly! The fact that I, an FFB, can understand, more or less, the tefillos that I say, without having to spend hours studying and reviewing them,  is something that I shouldn’t take for granted!

But the truth is, it’s not just BTs who may have trouble understanding the language of the siddur and of the Gemara. Not everyone is a “language person,” and especially when it comes to learning, trying to understand a difficult concept while simultaneously trying to understand the language in which the concept is written, can be very, very challenging.

The book Hachi Garsinan was written for this reason.

Hachi Garsinanwhich literally means “This is how we say it,” is a one-of-a-kind work which aims to assist those who are learning Gemara but aren’t necessarily familiar with Aramaic, the language of the Gemara. The book explains the origin and meaning of many of the Aramaic words commonly used in the Gemara. In a nutshell, it teaches the non-Aramaic speaker how to understand the Talmud.

Even seasoned Gemara learners, who are fine with Aramaic, have reported being helped by Hachi Garsinan, as the book sheds light on so many nuances of each word.

As the esteemed author of this book writes: “Learning Hachi Garsinan from beginning to end will make you intimately familiar with the Aramaic language, so that when attempting to master a sugya, you will find yourself in ‘familiar territory.’”

There you have it—your “cheat sheet” to help you learn the daf properly.

So whether you’re a BT or an FFB, if you are attempting to understand “Gemara language,” or to delve deeper into your learning, Hachi Garsinan is there for you, ready to empower you on your journey through the Gemara.

Click here to purchase online.


NEW RELEASE! More Power Points

September 23, 2018

Another book on the parshah?”

If that was your thought upon seeing More Power Points, then think again! Because this book is unlike the many other parshah books that are out there.

More Power Points will provide you with beautiful insights to say over at the Shabbos table each week and on each Yom Tov—with minimal time and effort. The beauty of each piece is in its brevity yet clarity.

Take a look at the excerpts below from Parshas Bereishis, and you’ll see exactly what I mean.

Hashem created man in His image… (Bereishis 1:27)

            Whenever Rav Aharon Kotler was driven on the turnpike, he insisted on passing through the manual toll booth and not the automatic ones. He explained that every human being was created in Hashem’s image, and to bypass a human being in order to use a machine shows a lack of appreciation for the value of a person.

Rav Moshe Feinstein was once told that a taxicab was waiting for him. Rav Moshe bemoaned the fact that in earlier times, a person was told that a driver was waiting for him; now it is the taxi that is waiting. The person used to be the focus of conversation, whereas now it is the car that is the focus. Unfortunately we have become so dehumanized, that machines have become more important than people.

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And Hashem saw all that He had made and behold it was very good… (Bereishis 1:31)

            The Midrash says that the term “good” refers to the Good Inclination, the yetzer hatov, while “very good” refers to the Evil Inclination, the yetzer hara.

Rav Moshe of Pshevorsk explains that it is sometimes difficult to determine whether one’s inclination stems from good or bad. He suggests that the way one can tell is by seeing how persistent the feeling is. The yetzer hatov makes a suggestion, and then leaves it to the person to decide whether or not he will follow his advice. The yetzer hara, however, nags and doesn’t let up until he has the person in his clutches. When one feels a desire to do something, and he finds himself obsessing over it, chances are that it comes from the yetzer hara. That is why the yetzer hara is referred to as “very good,” since it is very persistent in its approach.

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…“It is not good for man to be by himself; I will make him a helpmate opposite him.” (Bereishis 2:18)

A young woman complained to Rebbetzin Tzipporah Heller that she was offended because the Torah seems to view the woman’s role as nothing more than a helper to her husband.

Rebbetzin Heller responded, “You have a misunderstanding of what is meant by ‘help.’ You are assuming that the Torah is talking about hired help, where indeed the image comes to mind of an uneducated woman who is paid fifteen dollars an hour to wash floors. But imagine a person who is dealing with serious problems who says, ‘I need some help.’ The image of that type of help is a therapist who may be paid hundreds of dollars an hour. A woman can define her role either way. With the proper attitude, she can exert tremendous influence and accomplish great things for her family and for society. With the wrong attitude, she will feel under-appreciated and unfulfilled.”

Powerful? Check.

Short and to the point? Check.

There you have it, then. More Power Points—everything you could wish for in a parshah book!

Click here to purchase online.


NEW RELEASE! Making a Difference

September 21, 2018

I think the story that first did it in for me was the one where Rabbi Winiarz publicly praised the customer service representative he was speaking with on the phone, as described in the excerpt below.

When we call customer service, do we ever think about the fact that there is an actual human being on the other end? Abba did. Before getting down to business, Abba would establish a personal connection with the representative. The conversation would usually begin like this:

Representative: Hello, you’ve reached Chase Bank. This is Jamal speaking, how may I help you?

Abba: Hi, Jamal, how are you today?

Representative: I’m doing well, sir.

Abba: That’s great. Do you think you can help me regarding… 

Only after establishing that connection would Abba work out his business. At the end of the conversation Abba would thank the representative profusely for being so helpful (if he was indeed helpful). One of Abba’s classic conversation endings went like this:

Abba: Jamal, is this conversation being recorded for quality assurance?

Representative: Yes, sir.

Abba: Well, I just want everyone to know that Jamal is doing a really great job!

Try to imagine being a customer service representative. People call them all day and complain. They get yelled at most of the time, and even if everything goes right – nobody says more than a “thank you.” Abba’s validating and appreciative remarks would brighten up the work days of the hundreds of reps he would deal with every year…

I mean, who does this kind of thing?

Then I read on, more and more stories about this incredible person—and I realized that although most people do not march up to the elderly war veterans they see on the street and shake their hands and say, “Thank you for your service,” or walk into yeshivah kitchens to thank the staff working there, Reb Dovid Winiarz was NOT like most people. As a community askan, one-man kiruv machine, husband and father, radio show host, and above all, ben Torah, Rabbi Winiarz was one of the most unique and dynamic people out there, and in the course of his short life, he changed the lives of thousands.

Making a Difference relates the amazing story of this ordinary man who accomplished extraordinary things. It’s a book unlike one you’ve ever read before—because Reb Dovid Winiarz was a man unlike anyone you’d ever met before.

If you’ll be reading one non-fiction, inspiring book over Sukkos, make this the one. You’ll be exceedingly grateful for it!

Click here to purchase online.


Great Sukkos reading for tweens! Among the Stars

September 20, 2018

The great outer space… Millions of luminous galaxies orbiting in the vast blackness of the atmosphere… Newly inhabited planets… It’s the stuff kids (and adults?) can fantasize about endlessly. And now they can do so while reading a great science fiction book geared just for their age!

Among the Stars is a thrilling, suspense-laden story of a frum family about to colonize a brand new planet…if they can get there in one piece. Danger lurks in every corner, and with a certain curious child who can’t seem to quell his adventure-seeking spirit, it isn’t long before the whole spaceship faces trouble…

Read all about it in this exciting book for tweens!

Click here to purchase online.