What are you thankful for? When was the last time you really though about gratitude? In this new release from ArtScroll, Let There Be Rain, popular teacher and lecturer Rabbi Zechariah Wallerstein teamed up with best-selling author Rabbi Shimon Finkelman … Continue reading
We’ve got a very special download for you this week: an entire chapter of our upcoming book by best-selling author and noted lecturer, Rabbi Yissochar Frand. Tens of thousands of people around the world have been inspired by Rabbi Frand’s … Continue reading
There’s something special about shabbos in the summer. The long afternoons afford us all time to nap, socialize, and we still have time to learn. Custom has us learning a chapter of Pirkei Avos, Ethics of our Fathers, every week. Over the course of our many years of publishing, ArtScroll has put forth a large number of seforim on Pirkei Avos.
Pirkei Avos: Teachings for Our Time by Rabbi Berel Wein is a masterpiece. Its large size makes it an excellent and impressive gift, but it’s the masterful content that really makes this book stand out. With a focus on the text of Pirkei Avos (which is printed on the top of each page for your learning convenience), noted lecturer and author Rabbi Berel Wein provides a unique learning experience through innovative commentary and insightful stories. This week’s chapter is Perek Vav, chapter 6, and we’re giving you a chance to experience this sefer with our free weekly download.
Rabbi Abraham J. Twerski is back with another insightful and inspirational book: Effective Living. Culled from his decades of experience as a renowned rabbi, a noted psychiatrist, and a best-selling author, Rabbi Twerski is here to teach us two very important facts: Change is hard. And change is possible.
This book will show you how it’s done. Learn to be more effective in your life, your relationships, and your Judaism.
For this week’s weekly Torah download, we are offering two sample chapters from Effective Living on the subject of Prayer. Download it, read it, be inspired, share it.
If you enjoy this series, please spread the word! Let your friends know that each week we offer a download on the Parashah and other relevant Torah topics on The Official ArtScroll Blog!
Please note: To serve you better, the ArtScroll.com website will be temporarily closed for system upgrade from Thursday July 3rd at 5:00 pm through Monday July 7th at 11:00 am. We regret any inconvenience this may cause. Orders can be faxed to 718-680-1875.
Tzirel Rus Berger, author of our best-selling Mountain Family will be continuing her speaking tour over the next couple of weeks. You don’t want to miss her captivating and inspirational talk! Scroll down for a full list of her local appearances.
Brooklyn: June 15 – 38th Annual Tea Party to benefit Amshinover Yeshiva Shem Olem, Bayit Vegan, Jerusalem
Where: Cong Bais Yisroel of Sadowne, 1424 51st Street, Brooklyn, NY 11219
When: Tzirel Rus Berger – 2:00 PM
Baltimore - June 17 – Etz Chaim Center for Jewish Living and Learning
Where: 3702 Fords Lane, Baltimore, MD 21215
When: 8:00 PM
For details: http://www.etzchaimusa.org/
Hollywood/Ft. Lauderdale Fl: June 18 – Young Israel
Where: 3291 Stirling Rd, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33312, United States
When: 8:00 PM
For details: (954) 966-7877
Toronto: June 24 – Aish Thornhill Community Shul
Where: 949 Clark Avenue W, Thornhill, ON
When: 8:00 PM
For details: http://www.thornhillshul.com/ or
Call: 905.764.1891 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
**Don’t forget to enter our giveaway for a chance to choose your own prize!**
After speaking all over Israel and inspiring hundreds of people, Tzirel Rus Berger will be embarking on a North American speaking tour! The author of ArtScroll’s best-selling Mountain Family will be in America delivering her inspiring talk to audiences across the country!
Here in the ArtScroll offices, we are so excited about our newest cookbook release, Dairy Made Easy! For weeks now, we’ve been drooling over the mouthwatering images in the book, and discussing which recipes we’re craving for supper. Now that the book has finally been released, we are excited to share it with all of our readers!
We took a few minutes to sit down with the authors to discuss their newest book.
Scroll past the interview for your chance to win a copy! Winner has been announced!
Interview with Leah Schapira and Victoria Dwek:
Q: What is your favorite recipe in Dairy Made Easy?
Leah: My favorite definitely needs to be the Sweet Chili Fries and the pizza. Oh, I also love the Arancini and the Grilled Avocado Sandwich. Did you say one favorite?
Victoria: I have to pick a dessert. The Strawberry Cheesecake Ice Cream gets served the most often at my table because it works well as either dairy or parve. But my personal favorite? The Tres Leches Cake. I can usually resist cake. Not that one.
Q: Can you tell us any funny or interesting stories that happened while you were working on Dairy Made Easy?
Victoria: My brother and sister-in-law told me that they used to go to a restaurant in Brooklyn NY, just to order the ziti, which they said was the best ziti ever. I was so curious. What could be so special about ziti? Since the restaurant closed down awhile ago, I had to network to find out who had owned it. Then, network some more to get his phone number, along with the former chef’s phone number. I called Chef John constantly. He’d usually ignore my call and send it to voicemail. When he finally picked up and I asked if he could share his ziti recipe, he said, “What? Something so simple? How about a nice fish?” No!! I wanted that ziti. When he finally shared it (after I called him a few dozen more times), and I made it, I wasn’t in love. And my brother and I figured out that it must have been his secret sauce that made it so good.
Q: Can you tell us more about the process of testing/developing the recipes?
Leah: We tend to forget those exhausting days of our lives! Otherwise we wouldn’t write more books. Kidding aside, we live in fear that the recipes aren’t foolproof enough, so we re-test and retest until we can make each recipe in our sleep and until our families don’t want to eat it even one more time (that’s what neighbors are for).
Q: What made you decide to write a book of dairy recipes?
Leah: When we asked random friends and woman what they cook for dairy dinners, they all said the same thing: baked ziti. We realized we all (us included) wanted more options.
There are so many times during the year that we are stumped for new dairy recipe ideas … daily breakfast and lunch, luncheons and brunches, dairy dinners, Shavuos, the Nine Days, shalosh seudos, and Motza’ei Shabbos.
Q: Were there any recipes that were left out of the book? Why?
Leah: Painfully, we had to cut out lots of desserts. After all, it’s a diary book and not a dessert book. When we realized that to balance out the book we couldn’t include more than a dozen sweet things, we almost convinced ourselves that cheese buns are a breakfast item so that we would be able to include more desserts in the book (alas, the cheese buns are back in the dairy book’s dessert section).
Victoria: I still miss those vanilla molten cakes. I’m a vanilla fan and Leah is a chocolate fan, so I couldn’t win that battle. I would only let Leah cut them if she promised me we’d include them in another book.
Q: Last question: what’s next?
Leah: Our next book is almost ready and we’re in love with it: Secret Restaurant Recipes. We gathered a collection of recipes from kosher restaurants all over the world. Name your favorite restaurant and we’ve got a secret restaurant recipe from them.
Victoria: It’s so fascinating to learn what techniques and ingredients chefs use to prepare their most popular dishes. The recipes are very different than what we’d ever think of…and so awesome!
Leah: As for our next after that, we’re open to ideas. Suggest our next cookbook topic and it may just be the one we write!
Congrats to Shaindy on winning Dairy Made Easy!
To enter the giveaway: Comment on this post telling us: what is your favorite dairy dish? OR Tell us what topic you’d like the next made easy cookbook to be on! **Giveaway ends on Thursday, May 8th at 11:59 pm eastern time. Prize can be shipped within the USA. Winner will be notified via email. Valid email address must be provided to claim prize. Limit one entry per person.
Pesach always comes along with a lot of family time. This year, prepare for this time and make the most of it! Join Rebbetzin Yehudis Samet, author of My Father, My Mother and Me, for a free teleconference on the topic of Kibud Av Ve’eim!
Please spread the word about this valuable resource so your friends and family can join too!
When: Wednesday, April 9th from 10:00 – 10:30 am eastern time.
Call 857-232-0158 and use conference code 515148.
Click here for all books by Rebbetzin Yehudis Samet
Giveaway is over!
Congratulations to our winner – Gila! Stay tuned for our next giveaway coming up soon!
ArtScroll’s new children’s release, Making Hashem Proud features stories that teach children about the importance of behaving properly and making a Kiddush Hashem.
ArtScroll talked with the author, Mrs. Chaviva Pfeiffer, about this exciting new book.
Scroll down past the interview for a chance to WIN a copy of this book!
ArtScroll: Can you tell us how you got started writing?
Chaviva Pfeiffer: The Maggid Series, written by my father, Rabbi Paysach Krohn, is extremely popular. Adults would read the stories and often repeat them to their children. However, the children needed the stories explained. The idea was born to have the stories written especially for children.
Back then, my husband was a 6th grade Rebbe, and each week he would give his students a story that related to the weekly Parshah. The stories were taken from my father’s Maggid books, and I would rewrite them to make them easier for the boys to read. My father liked the way I wrote them, and told me about his idea to write a children’s book featuring his stories. We approached ArtScroll with the idea, and they liked it. Since then, I’ve published three books of Maggid Stories for Children.
ArtScroll: Your latest book, Making Hashem Proud, just came out, is different. Can you tell us more about it?
Chaviva Pfeiffer: Unlike my previous books, where I wrote over the Maggid stories in a kid-friendly manner, Making Hashem Proud contains stories that I researched for my topic, Kiddush Hashem.
ArtScroll: How did you choose this topic?
CP: I was approached by Rabbi Shragie Freedman, who has dedicated his life to researching and teaching about Kiddush Hashem. He asked me to write a book of stories on a children’s level. He started me off with some stories, and then I began to look for more stories on my own.
ArtScroll: Was it hard to find the stories?
Chaviva Pfeiffer: You would be surprised by how many people were involved in or witnessed a story about Kiddush Hashem. Once I put the word out that I was looking for stories on this topic, they started to come in.
The hard part is actually verifying the stories! My father is always very careful to meticulously research the origins of a story, and talk to the people involved to make sure it’s completely true. That’s what I did with these stories as well; it’s the Krohn way.
I feel that if a story isn’t true, the inspirational lesson you might learn from it just isn’t that strong. One of the stories in the book involves a class of 2nd graders who acted in a manner that was so impressive, a business owner decided to close on Shabbos because of them! It’s a beautiful story, and one to aspire to, because it’s true. If it weren’t true, would you feel as inspired?
ArtScroll: Your book features illustrations along with the stories. Can you tell us more about that?
Chaviva Pfeiffer: The illustrations are done by Chani Stern. At first, she showed us some basic sketches in pencil only. I came into the ArtScroll office and sat with Reb Avrohom Biderman to decide if the sketches fit the story. Once we approved them, they were finished and created in color.
There’s a lot that goes into choosing illustrations. For example, we like to show emotion in the characters. While a picture might look better from the back, I prefer to show the person’s face so you can see how he feels. You also have to make sure a picture doesn’t give away too much. Originally, one of the stories in Making Hashem Proud had a picture right in the beginning which gave away the end of the story, so we moved the illustration to the end instead.
ArtScroll: Who is this book intended for?
Chaviva Pfeiffer: The book is geared to children about 7-10 years old to read on their own, but you can read it to children as young as 3-4. My goal is to teach children that they have the ability to make a Kiddush Hashem, whether public or private, no matter how old they are!
For your chance to win a copy of Making Hashem Proud just comment below and tell us which child(ren) you would like to give or read this book to! (Your own count too!)
**Giveaway ends on Thursday, March 13th at 11:59 eastern time. Prize can be shipped within the USA. Winner will be notified via email. Valid email address must be provided to claim prize. Limit one entry per person.
ArtScroll talks with internationally acclaimed speaker and best-selling author, Rabbi Paysach Krohn about the start of his illustrious career, the legacy he carries, and the family traditions he’s passing on.
They say that behind every great man is a woman, and that adage is true in the case of Rabbi Paysach Krohn – his illustrious writing career started with his mother. “My mother was a marvelous writer. As I was growing up we used to sit together and read well-written newspaper articles, editorials, and op-ed pieces, all so I would learn to express myself with concise clarity.”
And thus began Rabbi Krohn’s lifetime of writing.
Before he was a bestselling author of the popular Maggid Series of books, Rabbi Krohn wrote for periodicals such as The Jewish Observer and Olomeinu. “In 1976, ArtScroll published its first book and I was so impressed with the quality of the work and the writing. I decided that I wanted to write for ArtScroll.”
“I called Rabbi Meir Zlotowitz and asked about publishing with ArtScroll. At first, we discussed a book on Mishlei, but I realized that would be a major undertaking.” Shortly thereafter, ArtScroll began to publish books on various topics, in addition to Tanach commentaries, so Rabbi Krohn’s next idea seemed obvious. “As a mohel I knew exactly what would be needed in a book on Milah.”
Rabbi Krohn tells of the favorable impression ArtScroll made on him. “Rabbi Nosson Scherman took his little phone book out from his inner jacket pocket and wrote my name and phone number in it. He pocketed the book, saying, ‘Now you’re one of us.’ I’ll never forget that.”
After Rabbi Krohn submittedwrote some sample chapters, ArtScroll accepted the concept and a contract was signed. But instead of a deadline, Rabbi Krohn was given a goal. “They told me, ‘Write a book on bris milah that is so thorough and so good, nobody will even consider writing another one for at least ten years.’” Thirty months later, Rabbi Krohn felt he had achieved that goal, and Bris Milah/Circumcision, was published.
Ready for his next writing challenge, Rabbi Krohn was inspired by short stories. His personal connection with Rav Sholom Schwadron, the Maggid of Yerushalayim, gave him the idea for his second book. Rabbi Krohn approached Rav Sholom and asked for permission to trasncribe his stories in a book accessible to the English reader.
“I wrote up the stories, and my cousin translated them for Rav Sholom. Then the most amazing thing happened: Rav Sholom called me and said that he liked what I had done with the stories, but that in many of them I had gleaned a different lesson from the story than he had.
“That is why The Maggid Speaks uses a different typeface for the introduction and epilogue than it does for the story itself. The stories belong to Rav Sholom, but the lessons and introductions are mine. This format worked so well that I continued to use it for all of my subsequent books. A story is like manna; just as everyone tasted the manna according to what they enjoyed, everyone can read a story and enjoy it, but they can each learn different lessons from it.”
After The Maggid Speaks, Rabbi Krohn believed he had finished writing short stories, but Rabbi Scherman had other plans. “Rabbi Scherman said that he had just come from South Africa where he saw a rebbi teaching his class from my book. He told me, ‘If rebbeim are teaching from your book, you need to write more.’”
Just as Rabbi Krohn worried that he didn’t have enough material for another book of stories, another amazing thing happened. “Rabbi Boruch Grossman called and asked me to speak at the graduation of his high school for Russian boys. That was my first public-speaking engagement. Following that, Mrs. Shanni Perr asked me to come to Camp Bnos to speak on Shabbos.” After those events, Rabbi Krohn received calls from other camps, and it wasn’t long before he had speaking engagements every Shabbos. Next, Rabbi Hillel David’s rebbitzen invited him to speak to a ladies’ group, and things snowballed from there.
Along with the speaking invitations came another benefit. “People began to realize that if I was writing stories, I probably wanted to hear stories as well. Acquaintances and strangers approached me to tell their stories – on a plane, while crossing the street, anywhere. And they still do.” Rabbi Krohn collected stories for his next book, Around the Maggid’s Table. “It was called Around the Maggid’s Table, because that’s how stories are gathered. Rav Sholom would tell some stories, and others around his table would tell others.
The third book no longer contained stories from Rav Sholom, but rather – stories that Rabbi Krohn himself had collected and compiled. The book is therefore called In the Footsteps of The Maggid.
The format of Rabbi Krohn’s latest release differs from that of his previous books. “When Zman magazine originally began publishing, the editor-in-chief, Rabbi Yaakov Astor, asked if I would be willing to have my speeches transcribed to create articles for the magazine. I agreed, and ever since the first issue, one of my speeches has been the leading article.” After 25-30 issues had been published, Rabbi Gedaliah Zlotowitz thought of publishing these articles in book form. They worked it out with Zman, and published Perspectives of the Maggid.
His latest book, The Maggid at the Podium, is the second compilation of his speeches. “I knew that books of stories sell well, but I was amazed by the reception to this book.” Rabbi Krohn commented. The Maggid at the Podium sold over 5000 copies in its first couple of weeks, and “The feedback from readers has been wonderful, Boruch Hashem. People enjoy stories, but with this book, they get the lecture structure as well. There’s a buildup, development of the theme and a whole chapter for each topic.”
When asked if he prefers writing or speaking, Rabbi Krohn insists that he loves both, as each is uniquely rewarding. “But Bris Milah will always be first for me. It’s my main parnassah and a family tradition.” Both Rabbi Krohn’s father and grandfather were mohelim, and his son and son-in-law now continue the tradition.
Rabbi Krohn proudly recounts that his children are also continuing other family traditions. “My daughter Chaviva continued the writing tradition, first with stories from the Maggid books that she adapted for children.” Her newest children’s book, Making Hashem Proud is due out soon from ArtScroll. Rabbi Krohn’s daughter-in-law Genendel is achildren’s book author as well.” Speaking has also become a family tradition; Rabbi Krohn’s son Eliezer is a seminary teacher and popular speaker.
So much harbotzas Torah, such lofty legacies and traditions, one could wonder where they all comes from. But Rabbi Krohn sums it up simply. “Being a mohel is from my father, the writing is from my mother, and the speaking is from Rav Sholom Schwadron.”