Outside the Bubble – Chapter 40

January 30, 2023
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Israel Book Shop presents Chapter 40 of a new online serial novel, Outside the Bubble, by Esther Rapaport. Check back for a new chapter every week.  Click here for previous chapters.

Copyright © Israel Bookshop Publications. 

Hinda had spent more than half the morning finishing the kitchen plans for Leah Weitzen. Simi spent that entire time closed in her room. Her husband must have gone to learn in one of the shuls in the area; Hinda hadn’t seen him come or go.

At noon, Hinda collected her papers from the kitchen table, leaving Leah a voicemail message that she’d finished, baruch Hashem, and then she went to the door of Simi’s room. She listened for a moment, and when she heard the baby wailing and Simi cooing to him, she knocked gently. There was silence inside; only the baby was still whimpering.

Finally, Simi answered, “Yes?” She didn’t say, “Come in,” so Hinda remained outside.

“How are you doing, Simi?”

“Fine, baruch Hashem,” the other woman replied through the door.

“I wanted to know if there’s anything special you’d like me to make for you,” Hinda said pleasantly.

“No thanks, don’t put yourself out.”

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Outside the Bubble – Chapter 39

January 23, 2023
outside-the-bubble

Israel Book Shop presents Chapter 39 of a new online serial novel, Outside the Bubble, by Esther Rapaport. Check back for a new chapter every week.  Click here for previous chapters.

Copyright © Israel Bookshop Publications. 

Hinda didn’t know if “Chaya Cohen” was a real name or not. The young woman talked and talked, hardly giving Hinda a chance to respond. Hinda scrubbed the soup pot, every so often inserting an “Uh-huh” or “Really…” But suddenly, Chaya’s rush of words stopped.

Then, after a long moment of quiet, Chaya added, “A support group doesn’t work for me, because I’m not the type who can sit and talk about these things in front of a few women. But I do feel that I need to do something with myself, because I don’t want to reach the point where I’ll need to say, ‘It’s either me or them.’”

“You won’t need to, b’ezras Hashem,” Hinda replied. She was unable to understand why Rebbetzin Werner had given her phone number to this woman. Their lives were so different, no matter which angle you looked at it from. Which part of her life experience could help Chaya? Her challenges, it seemed, were of another nature entirely.

“Do you think so?” Chaya’s voice was laced with a sense of despair.

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Outside the Bubble – Chapter 38

January 16, 2023
outside-the-bubble

Israel Book Shop presents Chapter 38 of a new online serial novel, Outside the Bubble, by Esther Rapaport. Check back for a new chapter every week.  Click here for previous chapters.

Copyright © Israel Bookshop Publications. 

Simi’s manners were impeccable, to be sure. She offered her courteous thanks, like one thanks a waitress in a restaurant, adding a compliment about how tasty the food was, yet she collected her own dishes from the table. Even when Hinda objected, she insisted on doing so, but when it came to wiping down the tablecloth, she relented, smiled, and went with her husband to their room.

“The food really was excellent,” Dov said, as he wiped down the tablecloth himself. “Did you even eat, Hinda?”

“A little bit,” she replied. “I don’t have much of an appetite.”

“That’s not good,” he protested. “You need strength. Hosting these new mothers one after the other…it’s not so easy.” He squinted for a moment, and Hinda imagined that he was recalling the other times that his previous home had hosted his daughters after birth, and the other person who had been hovering and catering to them.

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Outside the Bubble – Chapter 37

January 9, 2023
outside-the-bubble

Israel Book Shop presents Chapter 37 of a new online serial novel, Outside the Bubble, by Esther Rapaport. Check back for a new chapter every week.  Click here for previous chapters.

Copyright © Israel Bookshop Publications. 

Yosef stayed in the supply room until three o’clock. When someone from the staff entered—and it happened a few times—he pretended to be looking for something in the drawers, making every effort to appear calm.

When he emerged, glancing furtively in all directions, Ra’ayah, one of the nurses, greeted him with an angry rebuke that Dr. Tennenbaum had been looking for him, and what was this all about, and how could he display such a lack of responsibility? He apologized politely, but she did not seem pacified by his apologies, and they certainly were not going to help the doctor whose shift had already ended. Oh, well. Dr. Tennenbaum was a nice guy who usually complimented him a lot; they got along really well. Now he probably wouldn’t want to be as complimentary.

But what could he do? There are emergency situations in life.

He boarded the bus and headed for home.

Ima did not come to the door when he knocked; Dov was the one who opened it for him after a few long moments. “Ah, Yosef!” He looked surprised. He stood for another moment in the doorway, and then moved aside. “How are you?” he asked. Then, turning to inside the house, he called out, “Hinda, Yosef is here!”

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Outside the Bubble – Chapter 36

January 2, 2023
outside-the-bubble

Israel Book Shop presents Chapter 36 of a new online serial novel, Outside the Bubble, by Esther Rapaport. Check back for a new chapter every week.  Click here for previous chapters.

Copyright © Israel Bookshop Publications. 

“Yosef? Yosef Schorr?” Dr. Tennenbaum scanned the area with his eyes, but the young man did not seem to be in the whole Emergency Room department. Dr. Tennenbaum shook his head and went back inside, to the nurses’ station. “Has anyone seen Yosef Schorr around?”

“I saw him fifteen minutes ago,” said one nurse. “He went to bring Mr. Zeivald back from radiology.”

“Zeivald is here already,” the orthopedist muttered, a bit impatiently. “And I told Schorr that I need his help!”

“It happens that someone goes out for a moment,” the nurse replied. “He’ll probably be back in a couple of minutes.”

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Outside the Bubble – Chapter 35

December 26, 2022
outside-the-bubble

Israel Book Shop presents Chapter 35 of a new online serial novel, Outside the Bubble, by Esther Rapaport. Check back for a new chapter every week.  Click here for previous chapters.

Copyright © Israel Bookshop Publications. 

Martin tried again to read the words in the handwritten letter, but he wasn’t able to understand the hasty writing. What was she writing here? He could barely figure out the “I don’t understand what happened to you,” and, “someone called and asked about Weisskopf.”

Oh, right, Weisskopf. What time was it in Boro Park now? Maybe it was a good idea to try calling there again.

He hadn’t yet had the time to calculate whether his call would be waking someone up when it was already answered. “Hello?”

“Hello, Shimon?”

“Yes. Who is this?”

“I’m a friend of Michoel Perl, from Eretz Yisrael.”

“Oh,” Weisskopf said tersely.

“Can I ask you a question?”

“You can always try.”

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Outside the Bubble – Chapter 34

December 19, 2022
outside-the-bubble

Israel Book Shop presents Chapter 34 of a new online serial novel, Outside the Bubble, by Esther Rapaport. Check back for a new chapter every week.  Click here for previous chapters.

Copyright © Israel Bookshop Publications. 

Would they not let him finish this book?! First the knocking and ringing at the door, now the phone… Martin set aside The Revelation with a sigh and picked up his phone. “Yes?”

“Hello, this is Yeruchem Goldberg, from the Kletzkin Yeshivah in Netivot. My talmid dropped by this week, and you gave him this number for me to call?”

“Oh, that’s right,” Martin said slowly. “Mr. Perl hasn’t been feeling so well lately, and I’m handling his affairs. How can I help you?”

“He hired a secretary?”

“Yes.” Martin kept it terse.

“Nice. It’s really about time. It sometimes seemed to me like it was all too much for him… Anyway, do you know about the connection that our yeshivah has with his organization?”

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Outside the Bubble – Chapter 33

December 12, 2022
outside-the-bubble

Israel Book Shop presents Chapter 33 of a new online serial novel, Outside the Bubble, by Esther Rapaport. Check back for a new chapter every week.  Click here for previous chapters.

Copyright © Israel Bookshop Publications. 

Monsenego called on Friday morning, a few minutes after Martin decided that he’d finished going through all the drawers in the computer desk, and that it was time to move on to the bookshelves. His attention was drawn to a light pink book with a fat spine, with the title The Revelation, by S. Sternfeld.

He opened it to the first page, and then the international call came in.

“Hello?” he answered the phone.

“Good morning—it’s morning there in Israel already, isn’t it?” The voice spoke fluent English.

“Oh.” Martin sat down on the swivel chair. “Is this Mr. Monsenego?”

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Outside the Bubble – Chapter 32

December 5, 2022
outside-the-bubble

Israel Book Shop presents Chapter 32 of a new online serial novel, Outside the Bubble, by Esther Rapaport. Check back for a new chapter every week.  Click here for previous chapters.

Copyright © Israel Bookshop Publications. 

Someone knocked at the door. Martin looked through the peephole and saw a frum bachur, wearing a black hat and jacket, standing there. The boy’s body language conveyed tension, or nervousness.

Martin went back to the computer. The boy began to ring the intercom, and the device hanging on the wall in the office room kicked in. Martin stared at it for a minute, biting his lip, and then pressed the red button, cutting off the recording a moment after Perl’s voice began its endless recitation of, “I’m sorry, I can’t speak to you right now…”

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Outside the Bubble – Chapter 31

November 28, 2022
outside-the-bubble

Israel Book Shop presents Chapter 31 of a new online serial novel, Outside the Bubble, by Esther Rapaport. Check back for a new chapter every week.  Click here for previous chapters.

Copyright © Israel Bookshop Publications. 

In one of the kitchen drawers he found an invitation to the wedding of Eliezer Monsenego and Rivka Lutati. It was printed in three languages: Hebrew, English, and Spanish, and the wedding had taken place in the Don Josef Plaza in Mexico City one month and one week earlier.

Martin turned the invitation over. There was a phone number for R.S.V.P. He glanced at it for a long moment, toying with his phone as he did. Let’s say he’d call; how would he introduce himself? Why should these people answer a stranger’s questions, especially questions as odd as whether or not someone named Michoel Perl had participated at their wedding, and if they knew of his plans for afterward?

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