Night Flower – Chapter 6

January 22, 2018

Israel Book Shop presents Chapter 6 of a new online serial novel, Night Flower, by Esther Rapaport. Check back for a new chapter every week.  Click here for previous chapters.

Copyright © Israel Bookshop Publications. 

“Chaiky? What?” Yoel gaped into the darkness of the room, trying to focus on what Chaiky was saying. “I can’t understand a word. Try to calm down. What happened?”

Shifra looked at her husband as he scratched his chin. What had happened to her sister-in-law? Chaiky knew that they went to bed early; Yoel had to get up very early for work. If she was calling now, it must be really urgent.

“Locked out? What?! You, too?” He was still a bit confused after having been woken up suddenly. “I don’t understand; where are you? Did you fly to Russia without telling us?” He pressed his hand to his forehead. “Oh, you’re at home?” Again he fell silent and listened, and Shifra finally saw him nod in understanding. “Oy, that doesn’t sound like fun,” he said sympathetically. “Poor you! So you finally called a neighbor and no one answered? Oy…” He fingered the phone wire. “Calm down, that’s first of all, and let’s think of a solution. Do you want us to call your brother-in-law? I’m sure that they won’t do any—are you sure?” He turned to his wife hesitantly. “And you say your in-laws are for sure sleeping already? Do…do you want us to come, Chaiky?”

“Come? To where?” Shifra asked, looking out the window at the sleepy street.

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Night Flower – Chapter 5

January 15, 2018

Israel Book Shop presents Chapter 5 of a new online serial novel, Night Flower, by Esther Rapaport. Check back for a new chapter every week.  Click here for previous chapters.

Copyright © Israel Bookshop Publications. 

She had just settled onto the couch, sefer in hand, when the phone rang yet again. How could she lower the volume of the ringer?

Elka. Oops, Shlomo’s fax really had banished the memory of her promised return call.

“Hi, Elka,” she said as she placed a slip of paper to hold her page.

“Chaiky, it’s not like you. I was waiting and waiting for you to call me back, and you didn’t.”

“Sorry, something came up here that made me forget.”

Elka was quiet for a minute. “Not that I see it as neglect, Chaiky, because I know you, and I know you’re very responsible and that you take your job seriously, but you should know that this kind of forgetfulness does not come from a good place.”

Sure, a fax from the prison in Russia couldn’t be classified as a good place.

“Right,” Chaiky said again, and without wanting to, she raised her voice. “It’s not alright that I forgot, but it was something important.” She’d better go out onto the porch or the children would wake up. On the porch, she’d also be forced to lower her voice, so that the neighbors above her didn’t hear. So it was a net gain. Even if Elka would irritate her now, she’d reply in a respectful, quiet tone.

“Well, fine. So what did we decide, Chaiky? When can you go with Noa?”

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Night Flower – Chapter 4

January 8, 2018

Israel Book Shop presents Chapter 4 of a new online serial novel, Night Flower, by Esther Rapaport. Check back for a new chapter every week.  Click here for previous chapters.

Copyright © Israel Bookshop Publications. 

In the end she said yes. She needed to make every effort to preserve the remnants of the regular, successful, vivacious Chaiky. She could not allow herself to become more of the confused, tense Chaiky who had a hard time noticing small details. When was the last time she’d stood before an audience and spoken? More than half a year ago, when they’d planned a Rosh Chodesh party at the community center and the guest speaker had cancelled at the last minute. Elka had given Chaiky the job of taking over.

“I know you can speak powerfully,” she’d said, not giving Chaiky an opportunity to decline. “So let’s go—we may as well enjoy your talents!”

And they’d enjoyed, baruch Hashem. Shlomo had prepared a nice idea about the parshah for her, and she’d connected it to something current that had happened that month. What month had it been? She couldn’t remember right now. It was hard to remember what she had even spoken about; it was hard to remember what the Chaiky of those days—whose life was flowing along so smoothly—had thought and felt. But she did remember that the speech had been a success.

And now she’d agreed to speak for an audience again. So what? When she would have some free time tomorrow or the next day, she’d open a Chumash with Ramban and look for a fitting concept that was easy to grasp, and that older women could also relate to and enjoy. Keep Reading…


Night Flower – Chapter 3

January 1, 2018

Israel Book Shop presents Chapter 3 of a new online serial novel, Night Flower, by Esther Rapaport. Check back for a new chapter every week.  Click here for previous chapters.

Copyright © Israel Bookshop Publications. 

“What? The food in the freezer…was from you?” Chaiky was stunned.

“Yes. Shifra cooked, baked, prepared, and packaged it, and you didn’t even notice that I stowed it all in your freezer. Well, was it at least good?”

“Delicious…” Chaiky went over to the freezer and looked inside, somewhat tensely, at the boxes and what was left inside them. She was so sure that Goldie had sent the food that she hadn’t even thought of Shifra and Yoel.

And unpalatable as the idea was, right now, she would have preferred to discover that the food had indeed come from Goldie. True, Yoel was her brother, but there was no getting around the fact that she just couldn’t be sure about the hechsherim he used at home. Of course, everything was kosher—but kosher at what level? She wasn’t sure that it was the level they had been raised with at home.

“It was delicious? Good, I’ll tell Shifra. It was a big deal for her to prepare and package it all.”

A moment’s silence. “Don’t tell her. I’ll call her later myself.”

“Even better. I think she’s actually waiting for it, you know, because she worked really hard. She even sent me to buy the chicken from the shechitah that Shlomo once told me about, and I looked for the fish with the best hechsher for you…”

“Then you also deserve a big thank you!”

So the chicken and the fish were fine—at least for that. But what about the spices? The vegetables? The other things?  Keep on reading…


Night Flower – Chapter 2

December 28, 2017

Israel Book Shop presents Chapter 2 of a new online serial novel, Night Flower, by Esther Rapaport. Check back for a new chapter every week.  Click here for previous chapters.

Copyright © Israel Bookshop Publications. 

Chaiky awoke in the middle of the night feeling tense. That wasn’t particularly surprising, because she spent a lot of nights tossing and turning sleeplessly. Still, the feeling that was disturbing her now was almost tangible. Something was choking her throat, her neck, her shoulders, and her head, and she knew that it was the thoughts.

She washed her hands and went to the kitchen, checking on the way that the door to the house was locked, the porch door was locked, and the shades in the dining room were drawn. Everything was in order. The house was so quiet she could hear the children’s even breathing all the way to the kitchen. It wasn’t the dishes piling up in the sinks for three days that was disturbing her sleep. This wasn’t the first or even the fifth time this had happened over the past few weeks. So what was it?

She walked over to the corner of the dining room, to the sofa, her regular perch of late. The bottle of mango juice was still on the table. Maybe she should put it in the fridge? Yes, that would be a good idea.

Still, Chaiky didn’t move. She stared at the bottle and the full cup standing there, as though her two guests had left the house just a moment before. That indiscernible feeling choked her throat once again.
Noa. That was what this feeling was about.  Keep on reading…


NEW SERIAL! Night Flower

December 27, 2017

Israel Book Shop presents Chapter 1 of a new online serial novel, Night Flower, by Esther Rapaport. Check back for a new chapter every week.  

Copyright © Israel Bookshop Publications. 

The house had once been nice, but it was now dusty and dirty, and there was no trace of the cleaning lady’s visit on Monday. Chaiky glanced at the front hallway—at least that looked decent. If a neighbor would knock now, she wouldn’t be mortally embarrassed.

She sat on the sofa, observing as Naomi and Dovi played in heavy silence, and mused lazily that it really was time for supper. There were a few shekels in the pocket of her robe.

“Naomi,” she said. “Go to the grocery and buy two rolls and two yogurts that you like, for you and Dovi.”

“Should I buy some for you, too, Ima?”

“No.” The last thing she needed right now was a roll and yogurt. If she wanted, she’d warm herself up some corn schnitzel that she had in the freezer and eat it with a slice of bread. But the children had eaten corn schnitzel for lunch the past two days, and she couldn’t give them bread without anything on it. They’d need at least a spread, some vegetables and maybe an egg. And she really had no energy for that. Rolls were better.

Naomi went to the grocery while Dovi remained playing with the Clics. Chaiky lowered her gaze to her son and watched him picking out all the black pieces. He fashioned a box about the size of two shoe boxes, closing it in on all sides. It was black. Very black.

No, she had no energy to ask him what he was building, because she was sure that she knew. He sat working busily, in silence, and only every so often did he glance at her surreptitiously before going back to his work, adding the last few Clics to finish it off. Keep on reading…


Dance of the Puppet – Chapter 40

April 3, 2014

purple bookIsrael Book Shop presents Chapter 40 of a new online serial novel, Dance of the Puppet, by Esther Rapaport. Check back for a new chapter every week. Click here for previous chapters. 

Copyright © Israel Bookshop Publications. 

Getting Dovi Brim into yeshivah again.

Working out the problem with the state tests.

Reconciling between the teams from the Chanukah chagigah.

Making sure the teachers were happy with their schedules.

Elchanan, on the small sofa, raised his head from the paper he was reading. “It’s impressive,” he said. “But this list is too short. I’m sure that if you think a bit more, there will be lots to add to this list, much more than the four lines you have here. What about teaching a few girls some valuable lessons? And some adults, too?”

“If I did that, it was really incidental,” Yaffa said with a smile as she took back her paper. “But it really makes no difference. I just wanted to write a few things down to convince myself that I did do something during this time; that I wasn’t just a puppet these past few months, like I was at the beginning.”

“If someone was a puppet here, it was me,” Elchanan returned, his tone indiscernible. “A straw-man, like Moishe Berman put it. And don’t ask me what else he said, because I’m too tired to talk about it right now.”

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