“When I first became religious,” the young man told me, “the English Kitzur that I received for my bar mitzvah taught me everything. It became my ‘rav.’”
No sefer can ever really replace a flesh and blood rabbi, of course, but if there is one halachah work that can give every Jew, scholar and layman alike, a concise and understandable explanation of halachah, it is the Kitzur Shulchan Aruch.
Now, with the publication of the fifth volume of The Kleinman Edition Kitzur Shulchan Aruch, the set is complete.
Written in 1864, reprinted more than twenty times in the lifetime of its author, Rabbi Shlomo Ganzfried, and hundreds of times since, the Kitzur Shulchan Aruch is one of the most widely disseminated halachah sefarim of all time. It is a masterpiece of clarity, the classic guide to the laws of daily living for Ashkkenazic Torah-observant Jewry – as usable and relevant today as it was 125 years ago.
Dedicated with great vision by Elly and Brochie Kleinman, The Kleinman Edition Kitzur Shulchan Aruch has made the timeless words of the Kitzur widely available to the English-speaking public, making this classic work useful in an unprecedented way. Using the integrated style of ArtScroll’s Schottenstein Edition of the Talmud, the Kleinman Edition of the Kitzur Shulchan Aruch offers readers a fully vowelized Hebrew text, followed by a phrase by phrase translation and elucidation, as well as introductions to explain unfamiliar concepts. To make the Kitzur even more useful as a contemporary halachic reference, the footnotes include rulings from the Chofetz Chaim’s halachic classic, Mishneh Berurah, and from Rav Moshe Feinstein’s Igros Moshe, whenever their rulings differed from those of Rav Ganzfried.
The newly-released fifth, final volume in the set covers the gamut of the Jewish life cycle, including the laws of marriage, chupah and sheva berachos and an extraordinarily comprehensive yet concise section on hilchos nidah; the halachos of bris milah and chinuch banim, bikur cholim and aveilus. Also included is a section on the halachos of business law, loans and interest, damages and beis din.
The Kitzur is, in a sense, the “rav” of the Jewish people. And now, with the completion of The Kleinman Edition Kitzur Shulchan Aruch, we can all learn from this beloved “rav.”
“When I first became religious,” the young man told me, “the English Kitzur that I received for my bar mitzvah taught me everything. It became my ‘rav.’”
We were all at Sinai together — and now some of us cannot even read the alef-beis.
Think about it. More than 80% of American Jews, it is estimated, cannot read Hebrew. If Torah is what defines us, what sets us apart, how can we expect someone who has never heard of Avraham Avinu to become aware of the rich heritage and literature of Judaism?
For fifteen years ArtScroll’s Stone Edition Tanach, with its Hebrew text and English translation, has brought the wisdom and beauty of the Torah to the English-speaking world. Hundreds of thousands have studied its illuminating translation and through it have developed a better understanding of the words of Torah.
There are so many Jews, though, who might feel uncomfortable using a Bible that includes the original Hebrew, a language they do not understand. It is for these millions of Jews that ArtScroll has published the ArtScroll English Tanach: The Jewish Bible with insights from classic rabbinic thought.
The English Tanach is drawn from the Stone Edition Tanach, both in the English translation and in much of the commentary, but there is no Hebrew text at all, making it appropriate for Jews who have no Hebrew skills. In addition, there are many enhancements and modifications that make it suitable for the novice. The English Tanach includes biblical reference maps, timelines, and lists of genealogies, as well as a unique “Tanach at a Glance” section to help the beginner. A “Suggested Guide for Further Jewish Study” helps curious Jews learn more about their heritage.
Without true Torah knowledge, Jews are particularly vulnerable to the dangers of assimilation. Moreover, missionaries have budgets of hundreds of millions of dollars – and “bibles” that are designed to push their own agendas. An authentic Bible based on the rabbinical commentaries of two millennia will become an important weapon in the battle against Jewish ignorance and illiteracy.
For those of us blessed with Torah education and knowledge, The English Tanach is a meaningful and effective way for us to gently help our less educated brethren. Whether it is a Jewish co-worker who has shown curiosity about the Torah or relatives who think that bar or bat mitzvahs mark the end of all things Jewish in their lives, The English Tanach can be a life-transforming gift and a non-threatening way to begin our efforts at kiruv.
It’s an emotional moment as ArtScroll gears up to mark its “Siyum Mishnayos.” There are many feeling being shared in the office at the completion of this monumental 31-year project: feelings of satisfaction and pride, feelings of great joy and gratitude – to the dedicators who made this monumental project possible, to the writers and editors who have produced this unparalleled piece of work, and to the hundreds of thousands of readers who have made the Yad Avraham Mishnah Series the most highly acclaimed translation and commentary of its kind.
The Yad Avraham Mishnah Series was introduced more than three decades ago with its inaugural volume, Volume 4 of Seder Moed, which includes Masechtos Taanis, Megillah, Moed Katan, and Chagigah. The “ArtScroll Revolution,” which would transform the English-speaking Torah world, was in its infancy; ArtScroll had published its first groundbreaking book, Megillas Esther, less than four years earlier. The ArtScroll Siddur, the Stone Chumash, the Schottenstein Talmud – all household words today – were still just dreams and hopes.
It was an exciting, ambitious idea: a new, clear translation of Mishnah, with a commentary that would cover the range of all major, and many secondary, commentaries. In-depth introductions would precede each tractate, and new concepts would be introduced and explained. Illustrative diagrams would be included to explain concepts difficult to grasp without the help of graphics.
The first volume – and the ones that followed – were hailed by readers, talmidei chachamim and laymen alike. Over the years, hundreds of thousands of people have enriched their lives and their Torah studies with the Yad Avraham Mishnah. With the release of the personal-size Yad Avraham Mishnah, commuters and students found it even more convenient to make the study of Mishnah an integral part of their day.
Now, with the publication of the 44th volume, Masechtos Tvul Yom/Yadayim/Uktzin in Seder Tohoros, the Yad Avraham Mishnah is complete.
To mark this very special moment, ArtScroll is offering a 35% discount off the list price on all volumes of the Yad Avraham Mishnah Series. This is the perfect opportunity to fill in any missing volumes or to buy full size or personal size sets, both for yourself and for gifts.
Chanukah is coming to an end. The sufganiyot and latkes and elegant cheese dishes will soon be just a memory (and maybe a few added inches around the waist…). The dancing glow of the menorah’s lights reflected in children’s eyes, the parties and get-togethers and games of dreidel, the holiday’s eternal message of faith and miracles – all these beloved traditions of Chanukah are over.
But even though Chanukah is gone, ArtScroll’s annual Chanukah sale is still going strong, something to warm us in the upcoming cold winter days. Until December 20th, you can save 20% on every single ArtScroll book.
In this leap year, with its two Adars, you’re going to need some serious inspiration to get through the extra long winter. Treat yourself to Malky Feig’s latest bestseller, Mountain Climbers 2 and meet a varied assortment of amazing people who have faced their challenges with grace and courage.
If you’re one of the few people who didn’t give, or get, Susie Fishbein’s incredible new cookbook, Kosher by Design Teens and Twenty-somethings, for Chanukah, grab it now. You can taste those Mexican Pizza Empanadas that everyone’s been talking about, defy the winter with Frozen Banana Pops, or get cozy with Mexican Hot Chocolate with Cinnamon Stick garnish. It’s yum – and it’s 20% off!
Winter and summer, holidays and everyday – a Jew learns. During this incredible sale you’ll save 20% on every volume of the Schottenstein Edition of the Talmud. Now would be the perfect time to add the inaugural volume of ArtScroll/Mesorah’s monumental new project, Midrash Rabbah, or the newly-released 7-volume, slip-cased Popular Size Ramban, to your library.
As our weekly Torah reading approaches Sefer Shemos, with its detailed descriptions of the Mishkan, take a unique interactive tour of the Mishkan and its vessels, in The Kleinman Edition Mishkan DVD. Or think ahead: you can get Hagaddahs, Megillos, Selichos – all at (you guessed it) 20% off the retail price.
Whether you choose brand new, engrossing novels like Yael Mermelstein’s Second Chances or serious, classic works like the Sapirstein Rashi; whether you want to enjoy Shmuel Blitz’s beloved children’s books or the acclaimed new Expanded Wasserman Edition ArtScroll Siddur – whatever your needs, whatever your taste, now is the time to treat yourself or a loved one to a surprise post-Chanukah gift – an ArtScroll/Mesorah book, at 20% off!
Excitement in the ArtScroll office is running high with the publication of the inaugural volume of a major new Torah project: the translation and elucidation of Midrash Rabbah.
The Kleinman Edition Midrash Rabbah is a 16-volume project covering all of Midrash Rabbah, on the entire Chumash and the Five Megillos. The inaugural volume (volume 2 of the entire series) covers Sefer Bereishis/Genesis, from Parashas Lech Lecha through Parashas Toldos.
Midrash Rabbah is the best known and most widely studied of all the Midrashic works. Rabbi Nosson Scherman, General Editor of ArtScroll/Mesorah, explains in his introduction: “Midrash Rabbah is our richest lode of Aggadic comment and exposition on the Torah and the Five Megillos. The Talmud and the Midrash are both parts of the Oral Law. The primary emphasis of the Talmud is to expound upon and define the legal parameters of the Torah and the mitzvos. The Midrash delves into the spiritual essence of the revealed Torah, adds detail and information to the Torah’s narrative, and provides the ethical tradition that was passed down orally from generation to generation until it was committed to writing. Midrash Rabbah is one of the primary sources of ethical discourse, Chassidic and mussar teaching, and homiletic literature.”
The Kleinman Edition Midrash Rabbah features the Hebrew text, newly typeset, on pages facing the English translation and commentary. It includes many classic Hebrew commentaries, including Rashi, Matnos Kehunah, Eitz Yosef, and Maharzu, plus the out-of-print classic Eshed HaNechalim.
The English translation and commentary, created by an international team of Torah scholars, follows ArtScroll/Mesorah’s acclaimed phrase-by-phrase translation and elucidation of the Midrash text, for optimum understanding of the Midrash. Explanatory footnotes help clarify difficult concepts and passages.
A special feature is the “Insights” section, which complements and broadens the words of Midrash. As a primary source of Jewish ethical and spiritual teachings since Talmudic times, the Midrash has been mined for its treasures particularly by the masters of Mussar and Chassidic thought. In “Insights” we see the Midrash through the eyes of major medieval and contemporary giants of Torah thought, from Ramban and Rabbeinu Bachya to Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch, Sefas Emes, and Rabbi Eliyahu Dessler, and scores of others.
The Kleinman Edition Medrash Rabbah is certain to take its proud place on every Jewish bookshelf, as it brings new clarity to the words of the Midrash to Jewish hearts and minds.
“Kosher By Design: Teens and 20-Somethings” is coming on Oct. 27! We’re offering our blog readers a special deal – preorder today and receive free shipping (continental U.S.) on your entire order from ArtScroll.com. Just enter the code “KBDBLOG” at checkout.
Since her first cookbook bearing the Kosher by Design moniker appeared in 2003, self-taught chef Susie Fishbein has become the culinary liberator of borscht-bored kosher cooks throughout North America. So influential is the home-based wife and mother of four that in May 2010 Fishbein was invited to the White House in recognition of Jewish American Heritage Month.
Popularly known as the Kosher Diva, Fishbein is releasing her seventh cookbook, Kosher by Design Teens & 20-Somethings: cooking for the next generation, aimed at the young and digital-savvy fast food generation and those who cook for them. Commenting on how her family life has influenced her career as a cookbook author, Fishbein notes, “When my kids were younger, I published Kosher by Design Kids in the Kitchen. They learned to cook amazing recipes with me. I have a couple of teens now and their appetites have changed. And they are my proof-positive! This new cookbook equips young adults with knowledge and skills to create their own amazing foods, from a quick and delicious snack to a whole party.”
While unapologetically a Jewish mother, Fishbein’s recipes are light–years beyond traditional chicken soup, gefilte fish, and kasha varnishkes. In fact, among the 100 new recipes, little is discernibly Jewish (OK — the Hot Pretzel Challah, perhaps — and there is a good recipe for Chicken Soup). Teens & 20-Somethings serves up tantalizing American-style dishes such as Turkey Sliders, Peanut Butter and Banana French Toast, Tater Tot Casserole, and Tie-Dye Cookies.
But the international influences are abundant. Imagine coming home to a dinner made by your college student, featuring Mexican Pizza Empanadas, Creamy Gnocchi Pesto Salad, Thai Chicken Burgers, Hoisin Vegetables, and finishing with a Chocolate Tart in Pretzel Crust. There are dozens of suggestions here to “eat your way around the world.”
Award-winning food photographer John Uher, whose client list includes Godiva Chocolates and Bacardi Rum, has worked with Susie since the original Kosher by Design was released in 2003. Uher’s 100+ images in Teens & 20-Somethings are vivid and motivating.
Fishbein provides clear and simple guidance throughout the cookbook to help young cooks develop confidence in preparing dishes that appeal equally to the eye and palette. She offers important tips for healthy eating, safety in the kitchen, essential utensils, and menu planning.
Anyone with food sensitivities will appreciate the convenient sidebar symbols that indicate gluten-free, fat-free, dairy-free, and vegetarian recipes. In accordance with kosher cooking requirements, each recipe is clearly marked as meat, dairy, or parve (neither meat nor dairy).
She also encourages her culinary protégés to go beyond personal or family cooking; she offers four lively party templates, including a baseball theme and a board game night.
Susie’s sold-out coast-to-coast cooking demos, along with her appearances on national television and radio, have elevated kosher cuisine to a more sophisticated level in public perception. Book critic Benyamin Cohen, former editor of youth-oriented Jewsweek.com and American Jewish Life, says of Susie Fishbein, “She’s a phenom — singlehandedly redefining kosher cooking.”
But bottom line: What can the average digital-centric teen or 20-something expect to find in this curiously different cookbook? Susie quips, “Delicious fun — LOL!”
“Have you got the canvas unrolled?” “Sure.”
“Did you find the hammer and the screws?” “Yup.”
“Are the lanterns and posters ready to be hung up?” “Absolutely.”
“Did you get the esrog you were hoping for?” “Baruch Hashem.”
“Have you thought at all about the meaning of Succos?” “Uhh…”
Yes, it’s the busiest time of year, with succah preparations, purchase of the most mehudar esrog we can afford, and all that holiday cooking. As we come into the Succos and Shemini Atzeres holidays, though, let us ensure that we have also prepared ourselves for “the time of our joy” – through the many ArtScroll books that open the beauty and significance of the yom tov to us. Here’s a sampling:
Succos machzor: On Rosh Hashanah our prayers were passionate and heartfelt; on Yom Kippur they were deep with our tears. Now, on Succos, it’s harder to achieve those transcendent spiritual moments. The ArtScroll Succos machzor, with its readable translation, illuminating commentary, attractive design and clear halachos and instructions helps bring put the fervor back into our prayers.
The Lulav and Esrog Handbook: A clear presentation of the laws of the Four Species, with full color photos and diagrams, as well as fascinating divrei Torah. A must for anyone who is choosing his own esrog and lulav!
Succos: Its Significance, Laws, and Prayers: Of all the holy days in the Jewish calendar, only Succos is called “the time of our joy.” Why is this week marked by an explosion of jubilation? What is the significance of the humble, fragile succah-booth? What is the lesson of the Four Species? This volume contains a rich treasury of observances, laws, insights, and prayers.
Simchas Torah/Shemini Atzeres: Its Significance, Laws, and Prayers: Another in the acclaimed ArtScroll Holiday Series, this book captures the mood, the traditions, the laws, the significance, the history, the beauty of Shemini Atzeres/Simchas Torah.
And for the children…
Succos with Bina, Benny, and Chaggai HaYonah: Join Bina, Benny and their winged friend, Chaggai the holiday dove, in these fun-filled, fact-filled adventures by beloved children’s author Yaffa Ganz.
My First Book of Jewish Holidays: The story of every Jewish holiday, and the laws that even youngsters can understand, are explained and beautifully illustrated. Bring a sparkle to your children’s yom tov with this bestseller from master storyteller Shmuel Blitz.
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