Upwards: Learning Appreciation

If you’re looking for reading material for Pesach, look no further than Upwards,  by Shami Reinman - the personal account of a woman’s battle with Parkinson’s that will give you a whole new level of appreciate for everything you have in life.

You would think that reading the personal account of a woman in her 50′s struggle with Parkinson’s disease would be down, depressing, sad. You might be right in most cases, but not so with Upwards.

Upwards is the first-person account of Shami Reinman, a vibrant and energetic woman in her 50′s – a bubby, teacher, wife and mother. She’s fun, funny and full of life – just the kind of person everyone wants as a friend. Then the unthinkable happens, and Mrs. Reinman’s world is turned upside down.  As the author takes us through her journey from Diagnosis, to acceptance, to struggling with her own body - the overwhelming feeling is appreciation.

Yes. Appreciation.

When did I last appreciate my ability to wake up in the morning and get dressed – by myself? When was the last time that I stopped and thought about the gift of being able to speak loudly and clearly, and be understood by those around me? How often to I think about the blessing of being able to drive a car, climb a flight of stairs? Did I ever feel appreciation for my ability to chew, swallow and eat? Who really takes the time to appreciate that their body is not their own worst enemy?

Reading about Shami Reinman and her struggles, reading about how she faces her challenges with optimism, it carries through to the reader. In her words:

“I accept whatever Hashem sends me, and I am grateful for every day that I have. I’ll take each day as it comes.”

-Shami Reinman, Upwards (page 276)

Click here for book details and exclusive online savings. 

ArtScroll Haggadah Giveaway!

Giveaway Now Over!

The winner is… Miriam! She chose: The Answer is…

ArtScroll released two amazing new Haggadah’s this year. Now, we’re giving one of our blog readers a chance to choose which Haggadah they would like to win!

Haggadah-giveaway

Click here to learn more about The Rav Chaim Kanievsky Haggadah.

Click here to learn more about The Haggadah Shel Pesach: The Answer Is (Plus, download a free sample chapter here.)

To enter the giveaway:

Comment on this post telling us which of these two Haggadahs you want to win! That’s it!

You can increase your chances of winning by entering our Instagram (@ArtScroll) and Facebook giveaways as well!

**Giveaway ends on Sunday, April 6th 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. 

Weekly Learning Download: Haggadah And The Answer Is

The Question: How Do You Make Your Seder Dynamic, Lively, and Spirited? The Answer Is… The Pesach Haggadah: The Answer Is…

Haih-download

Interactive: To have participants ask good questions. And get great answers.

This Pesach, we’ve got more than 300 questions – and over 1,000 answers! – for Seder night, guaranteed to make your Seder table a particularly lively and dynamic place. They’re all here, in The Pesach Haggadah: The Answer Is…

The Pesach Haggadah: The Answer Is… was a major bestseller in its original Hebrew, and for good reason. This engrossing and unusual Haggadah takes us through every facet of the Seder and the Pesach story by asking questions and offering answers from more than two hundred commentators

For our weekly learning download, we are sharing a sample chapter from this popular new Haggadah.

Click here to view and download a sample chapter from The Pesach Haggadah: The Answer is.

Click here to purchase this Haggadah with an exclusive online discount.

Free Passover Recipe Cards Download!

recipe-card-download

If you’ve started to think about your menu for Passover, we’re here to help! ArtScroll’s three hit Pesach cookbooks all contain a wide variety of mouthwatering recipes that will enhance your pesach meals.

To give you a “taste” of our recipes, we’re sharing free recipe cards that you can download and print. (Scroll down for a high resolution PDF.)

Pesach Recipe Cards2 Pesach Recipe Cards3 Pesach Recipe Cards4 Pesach Recipe Cards

 

You can also download the files here:

—-> Click here to download the recipe cards for easy printing: Pesach Recipe Cards

—-> Click here to download the recipe cards in a convenient recipe box size: Pesach Recipe Cards 3×5

About the books:

tpeh2

 

A Taste of Pesach is the newest cookbook in our Passover selection. Featuring over 160 tried and true recipes, this book has a recipe for every palate and every occasion! Click here to purchase A Taste of Pesach.

 

 

pmep

 

Passover Made Easy puts the “wow” factor in Pesach food, presenting innovative and exciting recipes that you won’t believe are Kosher for Passover! Click here to purchase Passover Made Easy.

 

 

pbdh

 

Passover by Design by best-selling author Susie Fishbein combines previous Kosher By Design favorites that have been tweaked for Passover with a selection of brand-new recipes to make your Pesach cooking elegantly simple. Click here to purchase Passover By Design.

 

Readers Write: My Father, My Mother and Me + Giveaway!

Readers from all over the world have been raving about our new book, My Father, My Mother and MeBelow are some of their comments. If you would like to share your thoughts on this book, or any ArtScroll title that has made an impression on you, email blog@artscroll.com and it might be featured on The Official ArtScroll Blog!

Scroll to the end of the post for a giveaway!

Giveaway is over! The winner is: Sarah W!

my father my mother

 

A reader from Israel shares:

“I would like to describe my experience with My Father, My Mother and Me. because I want more people to buy it. I did not buy this book to improve my relationship with my mother or with my mother in law. In fact, I didn’t buy it at all. Someone bought it for me, because she knew I was having real serious issues with my in-laws. You know—things that typically just go on without resolution.

Amazingly, as I read, something shifted in my attitude. It wasn’t because a particular story inspired me. It was just the whole idea of this book. l these years, I was looking at how I was right and how my in-laws were wrong. Even though I saw certain areas where I realized they were right and I was wrong, I had a hard time acting respectfully about them.

So what happened?

After reading the book, I realized that even if they are wrong and I am right, I should be focusing on my responsibilities, on how I could become better. I realized that I should daven more to be able to honor my in-laws, my parents, and to respect them and their needs.

My mindset changed a lot, in a lot of ways. I realized that because of my new attitude, I am talking to my in-laws—and talking to my husband about them—in a different way. I thought, “Wow! What a little book can do!”

I wanted to share this because I feel that everyone should read My Father, My Mother and Me. “

Gitty writes about how much she enjoyed this book:

“I highly recommend the book My Father, My Mother and Me. It has opened up my eyes (pokeach ivrim) to the halachos of Kibud Av V’Eim. It gave me a whole new perspective on the way that I view my relationship with my parents. Baruch Hashem, I have already been able to put the halachas I’ve learned from this book into practice. Aside from being inspirational and educational, this is a highly entertaining book that I had fun reading – I don’t know any time that I ever said that about a halacha sefer.

Yasher Koach!”

Reader Chani writes about how this book impacted her life:

“I picked up a copy of My Father, My Mother and Me over shabbos, and I spent some time reading it. I found it to be life changing.

My father has never forgiven me for becoming a Baalas Teshuva. Every time that I see him he makes fun of my “lifestyle” and puts down Kollel. He makes sure to let me know that if I didn’t have the extra expenses of being a frum Jew, I could live the “good” life (cruises, restaurants, etc).

After spending a few hours with him, the only thing I usually want to do is run out the door. This week, as I was visiting him, I started thinking about the stories that I had read in the book. I took a look around me and realized that his apartment was in terrible shape. The mitzvah of Kibbud Av includes cleaning and feeding my father, not just visiting him. Despite my tremendous desire to leave, I spent a long time cleaning his bathroom and kitchen and taking out numerous bags of garbage. Because of the many stories that I read about ways of taking care of parents, I realized that this is something that I should want to do, not look for excuses to get out of it.

The most remarkable thing is not that I did it, but how I felt about doing it. In the past when I helped him I was full of resentment for the way that he treats me. This time I left feeling good and empowered.  This was not about helping my father; it was about doing what Hashem wants.

Click here to purchase the book with exclusive online savings

GIVEAWAY!

 For your chance to win a copy of My Father, My Mother and Me  just comment below and tell us which ArtScroll titles have greatly impacted your life. (You can also email your thoughts to blog@artscroll.com and it may be featured here. All entries must be via comment on this post.)

**Giveaway ends on Thursday, March 27th 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. 

New Releases from ArtScroll

Here at ArtScroll we have a whole bunch of new titles that have recently been released, or are coming in shortly. Here’s a sampling of some of our newest titles:

New from ArtScroll

 

Rav Chaim Kanievsky Haggadah: Though obviously we cannot attend his Seder, we can share Rav Chaim’s thoughts and wisdom on the Haggadah and discover some of the practices he follows. In a sense, we can participate in Rav Chaim’s seder – as we avidly read through the Rav Chaim Kanievsky Haggadah.

Touched by Their Faith: In this remarkable collection, Rabbi Spero focuses on faith, the belief in Hashem and His Torah that has accompanied the Jewish People on our unbelievable journey through time – and also the belief in each other, and in ourselves, that is so necessary today.

Upwards: This is the story of a woman who, with pure emunah and bitachon, accepts her fate even as she struggles against it. She rebuilds her life by seeking out the islands of joy in the sea of her suffering and living on those islands to the fullest. And she feels blessed.

The Protocols: is a riveting combination of fact and fiction that will keep you at the edge of your seat from the first page to the last. It’s also a heartwarming tale about remaining staunch in the face of adversity and appreciating the mysterious workings of Divine Providence.

My Father, My Mother and Me: Do we know how the Torah expects us, grownup children, to treat our parents? What about stepparents or in-laws? This book is a must-read book for everyone. Because everyone is someone’s child

Kol Dodi on Haftaros: In this masterpiece, the Rosh Yeshivah introduces each Haftarah, explains its historical context where necessary, shows its relationship to the Parashah, and offers an enlightening commentary in his own unique, original manner.

We’re planning our next giveaway here on The Official ArtScroll blog – which of these titles would you like us to give away next? Comment and let us know!

Making Hashem Proud: Author Interview + GIVEAWAY!

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!

GIVEAWAY!

 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.  

Weekly Learning Download: Kol Dodi on the Haftaros

Every week, the Official ArtScroll Blog features a free learning download to enhance your shabbos and your learning. This week: Parashas Shekalim.

This shabbos we read Parashas Shekalim, the first of the four special Torah readings between now and Pesach. For our weekly learning download, we’ve chosen to present the Haftara for Parashas Shekalim, excerpted from a brand new title, Kol Dodi on the Haftaros, by Rabbi Dovid Feinstein

In this masterpiece, the Rosh Yeshivah introduces each Haftarah, explains its historical context where necessary, shows its relationship to the Parashah, and offers an enlightening commentary in his own unique, original manner. The reader marvels at the clarity and the depth of the insights. At the same time, the content is easily accessible to everyone, regardless of background. This volume will be welcomed wherever there is a thirst for knowledge. It adds an important new dimension to the Shabbos and Yom Tov Torah readings. And it is an unusual opportunity to be welcomed into the mind of one of the great men of our time and “join him” as he explores the teachings of the Nevi’im in the light of Chazal

Click here to view, download or print: Weekly Torah Download – Parashas Shekalim

Click here for book details and exclusive online savings

Click here for all titles by Rabbi David Feinstein

 

ArtScroll’s “French Revolution” continues! The Edmond J. Safra French Edition Talmud

The Schottenstein Edition Talmud Bavli sparked an ongoing revolution in the Jewish world, opening the Talmud’s vast wisdom to hundreds of thousands. The Schottenstein Edition Hebrew Talmud continued bringing ArtScroll’s innovative features to tens of thousands more.

And then, about a decade ago, it was the turn for French speakers to rejoice, as the first volume of the Edmond J. Safra French Edition Talmud was published. In France, Switzerland, Belgium, Israel, and Canada, French speakers could now enjoy the many features of the Schottenstein Edition, beautifully adapted into French by a team of scholars, translators, and editors.

Just released is the 19th volume of the series, Maseches Chagigah, dedicated by Mrs. Safra in memory of her son, daughter-in-law, and grandson. Maseches Sukkah, volume 2, will be released soon after Pesach, and more volumes are in the works.

Can you “parlez-vous francais?” Then you, too, can discover the wisdom of the Talmud.

Click here for the entire series (to date) of the Edmund J. Safra Edition French Talmud.

Click here for all French titles from ArtScroll.

Humble Beginnings and Lofty Legacies: A Talk with Rabbi Paysach Krohn

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.”

Click here for exclusive online savings on Rabbi Krohn’s latest release: The Maggid at the Podium 

Click here for all titles by Rabbi Paysach Krohn