NEW RELEASE: Highways and Byways

July 2, 2019

Highways and Byways

 The phenomenon isn’t a new thing: an elderly person retires, and that’s when he starts to deteriorate. His health declines; he becomes withdrawn; his energy seems to wane… As much as waking up early and running to your job each day can be stressful and exhausting, it’s no secret that the sense of purpose and accomplishment that hard work perpetrates is what helps keep many people young and energetic.

But it’s not always the person who retires himself. So often it’s the employer or company who wants young blood, which ultimately results in the old zeidy finding himself summarily fired from the position he’d held for decades…

That’s what made me so overawed when I read the story “Bubby at Work,” in C. Rosenberg’s newest book, Highways and BywaysThis is a book of true short stories, so I knew that the account that I’d read really DID occur.

Yaakov was an administrator of a busy institution, whose elderly mother worked for him. As his mother entered her eighties, she developed dementia and began to make many mistakes at work, but Yaakov nevertheless kept her at her job, no matter what those mistakes cost him. And this setup continued for years. Yes, it entailed endless damage control on Yaakov’s part, but his sense of kibbud eim would not allow him to have it any other way.

In Yaakov’s own words (excerpted from the book):

 I cannot, and will not, hire someone to take over Ma’s duties. That will be a slap in her face. However delicately it is done, Ma will know that someone is stepping on her toes. Even I, who have taken to checking in on Ma’s work, run circles to make sure that she doesn’t catch on that I am looking over her shoulder. When she is at her desk, I go to the kitchen; when she is in the kitchen, I speak with vendors.

My workload has doubled—perhaps even tripled. I have my own work, Ma’s work, and damage control in areas where Ma’s dementia messes up… But there is no way to convince Ma to retire; she refuses to take even one day off.

So faithfully, I continue bringing Ma into work every day. Day in, day out. So that she can continue doing what she loves most—feeling useful.

Reading this story, all I could think was—Wow! What a kiddush Hashem. What a paradigm of how to show proper respect to one’s parents.

And then I turned the page and read the next story—“Stranded.” This one was about a chassan and kallah who couldn’t make it to their out-of-town Shabbos sheva brachos in time due to terrible traffic on the highway, and had to stop in a random city for Shabbos. The family they stayed at turned out a magnificent Shabbos sheva brachos for them, even on such short notice. The chassan and kallah were truly made to feel like the celebrities they were, even without having their parents, families, and friends in attendance there.

Another mi k’amcha Yisrael story!

The more stories I read in Highways and Byways, the more inspired I became. Again, because these are all true stories, some of them thought-provoking, some of them incredibly uplifting; but all of them good, high-quality reading.

If you’re looking for a good book to read during these long, lazy summer days, Highways and Byways is an excellent choice!

 

Click here to purchase online.

 


The Cuckoo Clock – Chapter 12

July 1, 2019

Israel Book Shop presents Chapter 12 of a new online serial novel, The Cuckoo Clock, by Esther Rapaport. Check back for a new chapter every week.  Click here for previous chapters.

Copyright © Israel Bookshop Publications. 

 

As Elisheva was cajoling Shuki Rosen to finish his bottle, Miri appeared at her side.

“Miri!” Elisheva exclaimed. “What a surprise! What are you doing here? Where is Shmuelly?”

“I left him with my neighbor for half an hour. I just needed to come and talk to you face to face.”

“What?” Elisheva looked piercingly at her daughter. “Why? Did something happen?”

“That’s what I came to ask you, Ima.” Her oldest smiled sheepishly as she sat down on a nearby chair. “Please, just tell me the truth, okay?”

“What truth?”

“Is everything okay at home?”

“At home?”

“You know, with Tzippy, with you, with Abba, with the rest of the kids…”

Baruch Hashem, everything is absolutely fine.” Elisheva put the now-empty bottle down on the table, picked up Shuki, and lay his head down on her shoulder. “Totally fine. And I have a few interesting things to tell you about, but I just haven’t gotten around to it yet.” She smiled again. “I saw that you tried reaching me yesterday, but we got home late and it was just so hectic. You know how the house looks in the evening, especially when I come home after being out for a few hours…”

“I know,” Miri replied quietly. After a pause she asked, “You…were you…offended by my gift to Tzippy or something? Was something not right about me calling her up and taking her out to a sale without asking you?”

“What? Of course not! Tzippy was so happy, and it was so very nice of you.” Elisheva stood up with Shuki in her arms. “The linen that you bought looks like it’s very good quality, and the towels are beautiful.”

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The Cuckoo Clock – Chapter 11

June 24, 2019

Israel Book Shop presents Chapter 11 of a new online serial novel, The Cuckoo Clock, by Esther Rapaport. Check back for a new chapter every week.  Click here for previous chapters.

Copyright © Israel Bookshop Publications. 

 

The young man who regularly came to care for the trees on Ourdwe Street, including the branches at number 8, caught the attention of the children in the orphanage. He was blond haired, with sparkling eyes and a ready grin. He sang while he worked, and most importantly, he would toss small lollipops at the children at a time when there wasn’t a candy to be found in the orphanage kitchen. Slowly the children began to approach him. “What’s your name?” one little boy dared ask.

“Emil.”

“Emil-Emil-Emil,” the children chanted as they sucked happily on their lollipops.

“What are you singing?” another boy tried.

“Nice songs,” the gardener replied. “And what’s your name?”

“Max.”

“Geza.”

“Gustav.”

“Molko.”

Some of the boys only nodded bashfully but didn’t say a word, especially the younger ones. The tree man would smile, wave at them, and move on to the next part of the street.

He continued coming at least twice a week, and in time Theodore noticed him and began observing him from the window of the office.

“I’m wondering about that man,” he said one day to Farash, who was seated behind him. “Since Lucio left, we have a problem with the evening hours. What do you say, should we try offering him a job?”

Farash raised his head from the daily paper. “You can try,” he murmured.

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NEW RELEASE: Mommy I’m Bored on Shabbos

June 20, 2019

“Mommy, I’m Bored” on Shabbos

 Are you an Uncle Izzy fan?

I guess you’d had to have read Rochel Scheller’s first book, Mommy, I’m Bored,” in order to know who he is… But my guess is that enough of you do own that popular book, so you’re already familiar with Uncle Izzy and his great ideas of activities for kids.

Well, guess what? Uncle Izzy is back, with another slew of ideas to keep kids as far from boredom as possible—on Shabbos!

If you’re at a loss as to how your kids can entertain themselves during these long Shabbos afternoons, you’ll want to invite Uncle Izzy back to your home, this time for a Shabbos visit. Listen to his boredom-bashing ideas, and pretty soon you’ll find that you won’t be hearing those dreaded words—“Mommy, I’m Bored”—on Shabbos anymore!

Click here to purchase online.


The Cuckoo Clock – Chapter 10

June 17, 2019

Israel Book Shop presents Chapter 10 of a new online serial novel, The Cuckoo Clock, by Esther Rapaport. Check back for a new chapter every week.  Click here for previous chapters.

Copyright © Israel Bookshop Publications. 

 

“I feel bad for Tzippy.”

Yaakov raised his head from the electric bill he was studying. “Huh?”

“I feel bad for Tzippy,” his wife repeated.

“Your sister?”

“Which other Tzippy would I be talking about?”

He folded the bill. “I guess it should be obvious that you mean your sister, but why do you feel bad for her? She’s a kallah, isn’t she?”

Miri tilted her chair back a bit, a habit she had not been able to kick since second grade. “Yes, she’s a kallah, and I think she’s very happy, baruch Hashem. But when I think about the financial situation in my parents’ house, which has gotten worse than it was before our wedding, I feel so torn for her. And that’s even with my mother’s new job. I’m not sure they will even be able to rent in Bnei Brak, and they’ll have to go live in some remote hole in the wall right after the wedding. And there’s no way to know when or how they will ever get an apartment of their own. I know my parents are very stressed out about the whole subject.” She fell silent for a minute and stared at the table.

“I’m not sure they even started doing any shopping, you know, kallah kind of shopping… I wish I could take her to Berman’s sale with about four thousand shekel in my wallet.”

Yaakov smiled. “Four thousand shekel? What will you buy with that? Towels with golden tassels?”

“Oh, Yaakov, you have no idea,” his wife said seriously. “Not golden tassels, but do you know how much a good set of linen costs? Our blue-green set cost about three hundred shekel, and it’s not even an expensive one. And you need quite a few towels, and that’s only one category. I haven’t even touched on sheva brachos outfits and some good weekday clothes, and pots and dishes for a starter kitchen, and a broom and dustpan and mop and pail and an ironing board. Oh, and what about appliances and furniture?”

“So four thousand shekel really isn’t enough for all that.”

Keep Reading…


The Cuckoo Clock – Chapter 9

June 11, 2019

Israel Book Shop presents Chapter 9 of a new online serial novel, The Cuckoo Clock, by Esther Rapaport. Check back for a new chapter every week.  Click here for previous chapters.

Copyright © Israel Bookshop Publications. 

 

“A wedding on Rosh Chodesh Teves. That is the only thing you have to do,” Rosenblit said as he took a binder out of his drawer that had apparently been waiting for this very moment. “He would also be happy to receive an invitation to the wedding, but it would be purely honorary. His health precludes him from traveling to Israel.” He pulled a page out of a sheet protector. “This is a copy of the contract,” he noted, and pushed it toward them.

“What about after the wedding? Is he going to have any other demands then?” Eliyahu examined the photocopied page. Elisheva also looked at it, but she couldn’t read anything. This was impossible. Actually, it was possible. It was a scam. It was real. Someone was deceiving them. This was the answer to her tefillos. It was too delusional to be real. It seemed reasonable and well founded. Rosenblit had even shown them copies of the Australian man’s ID documents.

“For example, will he want them to keep in touch with him?” Eliyahu, who was very grounded, and remained so now, was trying to choose his words carefully. “Even if he is Torah observant, as you say he is, I wouldn’t exactly want him to ‘adopt’ our couple. He won’t wake up one fine morning and demand that they fly out to Australia to him?”

“Nothing,” Rosenblit declared. “What’s important to him is the date of the wedding and the documents that affirm that. Everything is clearly stipulated here. If you ask me, it would be nice for the chassan and kallah to write him a nice thank you letter, but that’s a side point. He is not demanding it.”

“A thank you letter is the most basic decency. That’s not what we’re talking about. The question is if he is going to want to be involved in the young couple’s life or intervene about matters like buying the apartment, for example.”

 

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NEW RELEASE: WISEcracks

June 5, 2019

There’s a certain word used by lots of yeshivah kids—especially boys—these days: “Booshed.”

Ah, I see lots of you are smiling…guess you’ve heard it bandied around, too! Yeah, it’s one of those words that the kids come home from school with and you’re not sure whether to discourage its usage or just to laugh.

For the unaware, “booshed” basically means to be put in your place. As in: “All the guys wanted to win the Slurpee raffle, and Greenblatt (who loves Slurpees just like the next kid) kept saying he doesn’t care about winning, because he doesn’t like Slurpees anyway…and then he wins the raffle!! Boy, was he BOOSHED!”

Anyway, when I saw this new comics book, Wisecracks, and read what it’s about, I had to smile. Boy, are today’s kids gonna love this one… Here is an entire book of stories about gedolei Yisrael who used their Torah wisdom to put sonei Yisrael in their place! Indeed, “booshed” at its very best, and for the very greatest reason possible!

In this book you’ll read about Rav Shimon Sofer and how he outwitted the anti-Semite who disparaged the Jews to the king; about the wise rav who neatly got his congregation out of a dangerous blood libel; and about Rav Yonasan Eibshitz who outsmarted the priest at a debate he was forced to attend.

The stories are brilliant as they are witty, and they’ll keep you and your kids on your toes and seriously laughing out loud! Kosher humor, a terrific read, and a comics book, no less…what more could you ask for?!

Click here to purchase online.