RECENT RELEASE: You’ll Be A Survivor

January 1, 2019

Random question: If you were able to somehow return to your high school days, would you?
I didn’t think so.

And, by the way, it’s not like I had a miserable high school experience. Baruch Hashem I was a good student, and I had my circle of friends. Yes, I admit to being studious and letting the heavy homework load and test schedule drive me just a little bit batty—but I don’t think that’s why I wouldn’t want to go back to being a high school student.

It’s the politics that come along with high school. The intensity of it all. The fear of being seen walking to the drinking fountain alone (Will people think I don’t have friends?); the hyperventilating if you find yourself wearing the wrong kind of ensemble for School Shabbos; the self-consciousness of eating a piece of cake in public, because what if people think I don’t care about my weight? And on and on… It’s enough to drive a mature adult really batty!

So yeah, I’m glad those high school years are over and done with, and we’re on to bigger and better things in life.

But sometimes, it’s good to be reminded of what exactly high school life is all about, even if only to be grateful that you’re no longer in that era. And if you are a high school girl still in the thick of those years, it’s incredibly validating to read an outsider’s perspective of it.

That’s why I think You’ll Be a Survivor is such a phenomenal book. In this novel, where the main characters are a tenth grader and a twelfth grader, the author really gets it. She gets the whole peer pressure syndrome, the need for friends’ validation…everything that goes into being a modern-day high school girl. And she takes that knowledge and creates an emotional  and suspenseful storyline around it. The book is incredibly relatable, and pulses with real-life drama in a way that truly touches the reader, no matter what stage of life she may be at.

Take my word for it: if you’re a teenager, or the mother of one, or even if you’re neither—you’ll love You’ll Be a Survivor.

Click here to purchase online


RECENT RELEASE: When I Am an Abba

December 26, 2018

When I Am an Abba

Do you have a kid (or two, or three…) who is a black and white thinker?
You know the type. You tell him he needs to share his toys with his friends, and the next thing you know, he’s giving away all of his stuff to them. But then when you tell him, “You can’t give away that game that Bubby gave you!” he looks at you with big, innocent eyes and says, “But you told me that I need to share!”

Yeah, kind of like Amelia Bedelia, only without the idioms.

If you’re nodding along with this and thinking, Yup, that’s my child, then you—and your child—will love When I Am an Abba.

This book is a great way to teach kids why they need to follow rules. Parents don’t tell their children to wear a coat when going outside in the cold, or that they must clean up their toys, for no reason, or simply because they like bossing their children around. Believe it or not, kids, there is a lot of seichel behind the rules your parents make for you!

Yet for all of those literal, black-and-white-thinking kind of kids, whose thought process goes, If it’s so important to wear a coat now, then I must need to wear a coat always, always, this book allows for the child’s common sense to kick in and save the situation—all in a light and fun way. Yes, it’s important to wear a coat when it’s zero degrees outside, but bundling up on a hot summer day? Not such a good idea…

Let your kids enjoy some good, old-fashioned fun and giggles with this delightful  book, by popular children’s author Dishy Shiffman!

Click here to purchase online


RECENT RELEASE: Tech Talk

December 20, 2018

Here is an experiment you can try at home.

Keep your cell phone on hand—in your pocketbook, on the counter near you, wherever you want—but don’t look at it for a complete hour. Not even a peek. Not even if it rings and buzzes and pings away. Let all those calls go to voice mail, let all those texts go unread, until the hour is up.

Could you do that?

Not so easy, right?

The crazy thing is that many people are not even aware of how technology dictates their choices; how it rules their lives in so many ways.

And that is why Tech Talk, by Aliza Feder, is such a must-read.

Whether we like it or not, technology is here to stay. But that doesn’t mean our free choice is gone and that we must go with the flow of the technology-obsessed world around us. We can take a stand, have a long, hard look at technology and at what it does to us, and then decide for ourselves whether or not we will submit to the lure of the Smartphone and all that comes along with it.

In this book, that’s exactly what Malka, Sarit, Mina, Zahava, Rochel, and Mordechai did. These six brave souls kept a running journal of their use of technology and their thoughts and feelings about it, over the course of a year-and were astounded at their discoveries through their journeys. No, they weren’t throwing out their phones or cutting themselves off from society at the end of the “experiment,” yet each of them, being honest, thinking individuals, found tremendous room for growth as they explored their inner world via these journals.

You, too, can gain much inspiration and food for thought from their candidness. Written by a beloved high school teacher and magazine columnist, Tech Talk is the book of choice for all those seeking an honest take on the affect of technology in our lives.

Click here to purchase online


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.