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.

NEW RELEASE! The Shabbos Kugel Turnaround

August 1, 2018

Ask any new mother, and they will agree: One of the really nice “fringe benefits” of having a baby is…receiving meals from friends and family for a few days (or, if you have really amazing friends and family, weeks) afterward.

Yes, you could cook up the same pot of spaghetti and meatballs or chicken and rice as your sister-in-law or across-the-street neighbor, but isn’t it always nicer to eat food that you didn’t have to cook? And let’s not forget, of course, that when you make spaghetti and meatballs for your own family, you don’t usually include a soup and a salad and a container of cubed fruit and a plate of cookies to go along with it, do you? But your sis-in-law or neighbor oftentimes will—not when they make it for their own families (hey, they’re not any better mothers than you are!), but when they send it to you, the new kimpeturin.

It’s one of the beautiful things about Klal Yisrael—we’re always doing chessed, and that’s especially so when the chessed involves making sure everyone has what to eat. And although a peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwich does technically constitute “what to eat,” no self-respecting Yiddeshe Mama would ever want a new mother and her family to subsist on that while the mother recovers and gets back her strength.

Maybe that’s why The Shabbos Kugel Turnaround makes such a pleasurable read—because it highlights the chessed that goes on within our communities. In this fun children’s book, a mommy who’s not feeling well receives not one or two or three kugels for Shabbos, but many, many more than that! And that’s just the beginning of the chessed train that follows…

The book brings out another very important lesson, too: emunah in Hashem; realizing that whatever happens is His doing, and He knows what’s best for all of us.

Now tell me: with such integral lessons a part of this book, and with such a delicious storyline (you’ll have to take my word for this, but I’m sure you’d agree)—could you be blamed for wanting to buy this book for your kids??

Click here to purchase online.

NEW RELEASE! My Family Is Moving

July 31, 2018

I was recently going through a box of memorabilia from my childhood (all those cute coloring pages and old report cards…ahh, nothing like nostalgia!), and I came across an interesting letter that I’d written as a kid.

Dear Zeesy,

Even though I’m moving to a new house, we’ll still stay friends, okay?

The letter was both amusing and eye-opening for me. For years I had lived on the same street as my childhood friend Zeesy, and then, at some point, my family had moved to a different neighborhood, about a ten-minute drive away. When I wrote that note, I knew that nothing else would be changing—Zeesy and I would still be in the same class at school, would spend most of our day together, and would see each other on many occasions after school (as most of the shopping and “places to go” were back in my old neighborhood)—yet clearly I was still worried. Would my family’s move negatively affect my friendship with Zeesy?

Reading the letter now, as an adult, gave me a glimpse into my mindset as a child. Change isn’t easy for anyone—but it’s exponentially harder for a kid.

But what can you do? Families do need to move, sometimes more often than we’d like! How can parents ensure that their children have a smooth transition when they are in the process of moving?

Well, folks, being that this is not exactly a psychology or parenting article, we won’t be getting into the particulars of that answer right here and now. But one thing I can tell you is that there is an excellent book out on this very topic, and it can do absolute wonders for a child whose family is moving.

In My Family Is Moving, the fears children have of the changes brought on by a move are expressed and validated—and then reassuringly soothed. The book has a charming storyline, told in rhymes, and the cutest illustrations ever. If your family is planning a move, this is a book you’ll want to keep by your kids’ side in the car (along with the cardboard boxes and anything else you managed to squeeze in there!)!

Click here to order online.

NEW RELEASE: Torah Tavlin on Tishah B’Av

July 18, 2018

Brand new for the Bein Hametzarim!

Torah Tavlin needs no introduction—it’s got something for everyone, from satisfying divrei Torah and savory stories of our gedolim, to the “spicy” quotes of famous Chassidishe masters, and everything in between. A delectable dish is comprised of a vast assortment of ingredients, and in much the same way, the secret to Torah Tavlin’s popularity seems to lie in its diverse variety of stories, parables, and divrei Torah. Now, for the Three Weeks and Tishah B’Av, we present Torah Tavlin on Tishah B’Av—a special volume with stories, sayings, wit, and wisdom on the Three Weeks, Megillas Eichah, and Kinos. The book also includes the full text of Eichah and select kinos, with explanations from Hagaon Rav Chaim Belsky zt”l.

Make the most of this special time period. Sad and heavy as they may feel, these weeks hold the potential for so much uplift and blessing, too—if we choose to use the days properly. With Torah Tavlin on Tishah B’Av providing a steady stream of inspiration, you will find yourself emerging from the Three Weeks feeling encouraged, stirred, and closer to Hashem.

And isn’t that something every Jew wants for himself?

Click here to order online.

NEW RELEASE: Building Tomorrow

July 18, 2018

It’s the Nine Days. It’s hot and sticky, and there’s no swimming or trips or barbecues…and the kids are fighting. What else is new?

“Kids,” you say, for the umpteenth time that day, “don’t you know this is the time of year when we’re supposed to be extra nice to each other? Do you know the Beis Hamikdash was destroyed because of sinas chinam, because Jews did not get along with each other? The way to rebuild the Beis Hamikdash is by working on our ahavas Yisrael—like by being mevater to your little brother…”

By now you’re a pro at giving this little speech; after all, you do it practically on the hour when the kids are home. But the truth is, it’s not just our children that need to hear this mussar—we adults need to take our own words to heart.

Adults are not immune to feeling resentment and animosity toward one another. Of course we tell ourselves that we’re not fighting over petty things like little kids—oh, no! We’re only standing up for our principles, for making sure justice has been meted out!

Well, we can call it what we want—but one thing is for certain: ahavas Yisrael it is not.

That is why Rabbi Y.Y. Rubinstein’s newest book, Building Tomorrowis such an important work. In this book, the much-beloved author offers practical advice on how to combat the presence of sinas chinam in our communities. It provides an eye-opening analysis of how sinas chinam starts and how we can stop it for good. Of course, as per Rabbi Rubinstein’s inimitable style, stories are related by the dozens, and with the humor threaded through each chapter, you’ll find this book entertaining and engaging, besides for practical and educational.

Best of all, by reading this book, you’ll be taking positive steps toward putting an end to sinas chinam—and to our bitter galus.

May we merit to see the rebuilding of the Beis Hamikdash, speedily and in our days!

Click here to purchase online.

NEW RELEASE! Out of the Box

April 24, 2018

Imagine that you meet someone who has never seen an apple before. Maybe an alien who finally proved conspiracy theorists right and landed from some faraway planet. Now this newcomer asks you to describe an apple to him, and since you are a nice, friendly person, you are happy to oblige.

Since this alien has no idea what an apple looks like, you will need to give vivid descriptions so that he can visualize the apple and understand what you are describing.

“An apple is round and often red,” you might explain. “It is about the size of a tennis ball. Its skin is smooth and shiny and the flesh is white and crispy, with a sweet, juicy taste.”

If you think about it, the above explanation is little more than a list of “stereotypes” that will allow your student to recognize an apple. In the same way, the Enneagram personality system, a fascinating method that allows you to understand the various types of personalities that exist in our world, begins by listing descriptions about each type. This stereotyping is necessary to allow you to recognize the behaviors and motivations of each number in the system.

But learning about the Enneagram does not simply put people in boxes.

Say you want to reward your student for his attentiveness during the apple lesson. He has listened closely to all your descriptions and can now perfectly describe an apple to you. You invite him to your home and serve him a slice of freshly-baked apple pie. With a glass of ice-cold apple juice, of course!

“Delicious!” he exclaims.

“I’m glad you enjoyed my apple pie,” you say. “In fact, that drink is made of apples too!”

“That’s ridiculous!” the alien exclaims. “How can this be apple pie? It’s doesn’t look or taste anything like that crispy red apple that you described. And apple juice? That’s preposterous! Since when are apples liquid!?”

So you patiently explain: “The apple that I described is the fruit in its simplest form. However, that apple can be developed into many interesting and tasty dishes. We can take the apple and cut it, grate it or squeeze it. We can add different ingredients to enhance the taste. Once you will understand the essence of the apple—you will become familiar with its unique taste—you will be able to recognize it even when it appears in different forms. You will know you are eating an apple even if it’s in the form of a baked apple, an apple pie, or even apple juice!”

Indeed, the same is true with Enneagram types. Though the stereotypes are necessary to learn about the different personalities, they are in no way meant to limit you. You can choose to read the Enneagram type descriptions and simply enjoy the thrill of recognizing yourself. However, a true student of the Enneagram understands that this system is meant to provide you with the awareness you need to grow out of the box that limits you. The Enneagram is a wonderful tool for guiding you in the areas you need to develop so that you can become a healthier, more balanced person.

As you grow and add different “ingredients” to your personality—you integrate traits that bring balance to the rigid stereotype—you will turn into apple pie, applesauce, or some other enhanced form of the original “apple.” True, you will retain the basic characteristics of your number, but you will behave very differently from those of the same type who have achieved little growth.

(Adapted from Chapter One of Out of the Box)

This, folks, is why the book Out of the Box is not merely a fascinating read (though it is that, too!), but a positively life-transformational tool for the thinking person. Not only will this book teach you who you are, but also who you can be—how you can use your own individuality and personality to be the best friend/spouse/parent/employee/etc. possible.

Click here to purchase online.

NEW RELEASE! The Tzaddik’s Blessing

March 28, 2018

There’s nothing a kid likes better than an exciting miracle story that “really, really happened!”

And when that story also teaches yiras Shamayim, emunas chachamim, and ahavas haTorah –well, there’s nothing a parent likes better than that!

The Tzaddik’s Blessing, a book containing 25 amazing stories about Baba Sali, has both ma’alos—and that’s why both kids and their parents will love it!

Read about the miraculous spring of water that Hashem created just for Baba Sali…about the gang of thieves that couldn’t find the door after attempting a robbery at Baba Sali’s house…about the injured soldier who, after promising Baba Sali that he would keep Torah and mitzvos, was suddenly able to walk again…and many other exciting, inspiring, and, of course, true stories in this book!

Click here to purchase online.