Outside the Bubble – Chapter 14

July 18, 2022
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Israel Book Shop presents Chapter 14 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. 

He had no idea when the bus from Modiin left to Yerushalayim, but Martin didn’t ask. He still wasn’t sure he wanted to go back. The bus had dropped him off near the right building and then drove off, and Martin looked up at the structure towering above him. “Sixteenth floor,” Rudy had told him the last time they’d met. Then he’d laughed. “But check first if I’m home.”

Well, Martin hadn’t checked, and he had no idea if Rudy was home. But if he wouldn’t be there, Martin wouldn’t wait; he would go straight to Efrat. Let the Israelis try to find him. As if the security forces were bored. Amidst all the super-important stuff they had to do in order to restore tranquility to this land, they had extra time to look for information about an innocent youth, whose only crime was that he was a bit too patriotic for them? Fools.

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Outside the Bubble – Chapter 13

July 11, 2022
outside-the-bubble

Israel Book Shop presents Chapter 13 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? This is Rabbi Eisenthal. How are you?”

Martin’s muscles tensed. This was the first time he was being called out of a lesson for a phone call from Canada; no one had ever called him until now. He had been the one to make the calls, a handful of times.

“I’m fine,” he said blandly.

“Enjoying?”

“…You could say so.”

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Outside the Bubble – Chapter 12

July 4, 2022

outside-the-bubble

Israel Book Shop presents Chapter 12 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. 

Mali hadn’t been to visit Uncle Michoel in a long time. In fact, in recent years she’d hardly come at all. That’s how it was; her uncle didn’t even try to conceal the fact that he was on her mother’s side, or he at least tried to be objective. “Your mother is my only niece, and she is a very clever, warm woman. I think that you are mistaken,” he once said to her indifferently, the last time she’d tried to complain that he wouldn’t even hear her out about her difficulties.

“Difficulties? Go to your mother. I’m sure she can help you solve them in the best way possible.”

The dentist she’d been using for the past two years was a three-minute walk from her uncle’s house, but except for one time when she’d dropped in to visit, she never went there. Once upon a time ago, when she’d first moved to the dorm, Ima had suggested that she visit Uncle Michel every so often, to see if he needed anything and if he was doing alright. But she’d never actually gone.

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Outside the Bubble – Chapter 11

June 27, 2022

outside-the-bubble

Israel Book Shop presents Chapter 11 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. 

“And in your view, I should just sit here quietly and listen to insults from a stranger?” Martin stood up.

“Yes, I guess I am a stranger to you.” The anonymous driver smiled. “So it really isn’t so nice of me to say these things. But take into account that by you hearing what I have to say, even without knowing me, you won’t lose out. And if you don’t hear me out, and decide to leave now, well, then, you will learn exactly who I am, and you’ll lose out in a big way. You realize that there are worse things in life than hearing the exact definition of who you are, to your face.”

“The exact definition of who I am?!” Martin wanted to add a few angry words, but when he saw the other man smiling, he took a step back. “Who are you?” he asked, after a moment.

“My specific job description and title are not particularly of interest. Let’s just say I’m a type of detective who got orders to find you, and the minute that I do get to you—or even better, to your friends—then I am supposed to order our patrol car.”

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Outside the Bubble – Chapter 10

June 20, 2022

outside-the-bubble

Israel Book Shop presents Chapter 10 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.

Hinda placed the sketch of the Eisen family’s children’s room on the kitchen table, and went over to the third doorway in the hallway. She waited a moment, just to be sure, and when the screaming didn’t stop, she knocked lightly. “Penina?” she whispered.

The door opened a crack. Penina was holding her screaming baby, as she tried to smile, while wiping her shoulder from some spit-up.

“Do you want to give her to me so you can sleep a bit?” Hinda spoke in a low tone.

“I feel bad.” Penina glanced behind her. “I don’t want you to have to stay up because of her.”

“I’m not sleeping now—it’s alright. I’m still working.”

“Working?” Penina glanced at the clock on the hallway wall. The small hand was on the two.

“Yes, these are my hours,” Hinda said ruefully. “Just give me the things I’ll need for the next two hours, and go to sleep.”

“Maybe she’s hungry.” Penina sniffed.

“If she convinces me that she’s hungry, I’ll bring her right back to you. But I’m not sure she wants to eat so much, all day and night.”

Penina suppressed a smile. “Neither am I.”

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Outside the Bubble – Chapter 9

June 13, 2022

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Israel Book Shop presents Chapter 9 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.

He had spent his first night outside at the age of eleven.

That morning, he had bid goodbye to his grandmother, taken his backpack, and gotten into the car of Johann Croates, who worked for the Association for Child Welfare in Canada. Johann murmured something to his grandmother—it sounded like, “The boy will be in good hands”—and he waved goodbye from the window of the car until his hand hurt, and until Johann said, “You can’t see her anymore; you can stop waving.”

Johann turned on loud music, and they both began to sing along. It was the thing that managed to connect the two of them on their first encounter, proving common ground between the fifty-four-year-old welfare official and the young orphan.

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Outside the Bubble – Chapter 8

May 30, 2022

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Israel Book Shop presents Chapter 8 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.

“If you don’t fix this command line, the computer will go into a loop mode and will repeat the function over and over. In essence, it will do it tens of thousands of times. But—” Mr. Kingston, the computer teacher, stopped when he heard rapid footsteps behind his back. He turned around to find Joe Diamond striding directly to Martin, who was staring at the screen, red-eyed.

“Martin!” Joe whispered, ignoring the presence of the teacher and the other students. “Martin, come here a minute!”

Martin’s red eyes stared at him. “What?”

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Outside the Bubble – Chapter 7

May 23, 2022

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Israel Book Shop presents Chapter 7 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. 

It was a pastoral scene by any measure: a couple and their son walking peacefully at a late evening hour on Geulah Street in Haifa. Hinda nodded in greeting to an acquaintance who studied her for a moment longer than was appropriate, and continued walking. Out of the corner of her eye, she observed Dov explaining to Yosef how a diesel engine works. Yosef listened, asked something, and Dov answered.

She tuned in to their conversation.

“How do you know all this?” Yosef asked.

“Oh,” Dov chuckled, “I got a whole lecture yesterday from the worker at the gas station near the entrance to Haifa. Yosef, do you drive?”

“No. Why?”

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Outside the Bubble – Chapter 6

May 16, 2022

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Israel Book Shop presents Chapter 6 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. 

“How are you, Hinda?” Chana, standing beside her in the narrow aisle of the bus traveling to the Denia neighborhood, had a sorrowful tone when she spoke to her. Hinda didn’t know if she spoke this way to everyone she met, or only when she spoke to her. “I haven’t seen you since I heard you got married. I was so happy to hear. Baruch Hashem, baruch Hashem…”

“Thank you.” Hinda smiled pleasantly, but didn’t take the seat near the window. If Chana would stand here for two more seconds, it would be expected of her, and she’d have to do it, but there was a chance that Chana would advance further into the bus and wouldn’t sit down next to her, and Hinda preferred it that way. When she had to get to the Shmueli, Oren, Tawil, and Danziger families, she liked to use the time she had on the way to daven that her mission should go well. Sometimes it went well with these people; other times, less so.

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Outside the Bubble – Chapter 5

May 9, 2022

outside-the-bubble

Israel Book Shop presents Chapter 5 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. 

“Immmaaaaaa! The tzedakah lady is here!”

Hinda leaned against the wall in the stairwell and waited. The little Ben-Baruch boy was raised well; he came back after twenty seconds with a ten-shekel coin in his hand. Hinda wrote a receipt, tore it off the pad, and handed it to him. “Thank you, and tizku l’mitzvos. Give this to Ima.”

At the door across the hall, she hesitated before knocking, but then decided to go ahead with it. A light knock, and then another one. As usual, they didn’t open for her. She went up another floor, skipping the door of the Russians and knocking at the Lanzitzkys.

“Ah…Mrs…Hinda!” Chaya Lanzitzky blushed and smiled. They’d always called their neighbor in shul “Mrs. Schorr.” That was what her chair in the ladies’ section said, too. What was her name now that she’d remarried? It was a good thing she remembered her first name. “Welcome! How are you? We haven’t seen you in a long time!”

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