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

Introducing: The Schottenstein Edition Mishnah Elucidated

Over the years, here at the ArtScroll office, we have learned a lot about Torah publishing. And a lot about people.

One of the truths we’ve learned is that different people have different needs, backgrounds and abilities. As part of our mission of bringing the eternal words of Torah to the English-speaking public, we realize the importance of providing Torah classics in various formats and levels, so that every individual can achieve the most when learning.  Thus, a quick glance at our catalog will show five different types of Siddurim, available in more than thirty different formats! That’s because we know that people have many needs – and we are determined to be there for everyone.

It is for this reason that we warmly welcome ArtScroll’s newest major project:

The Schottenstein Edition of the Mishnah Elucidated and its inaugural volume, containing mesechtos Taanis, Megillah, Beitzah,  Chagigah, Moed Katan, and Rosh Hashanah.

The Schottenstein Edition of The Mishnah Elucidated will do for the Mishnah what the universally acclaimed Schottenstein Edition of the Talmud does for the Gemara.

The new, elucidated Translation, based on the classic interpretation of Rabbeinu Ovadiah of Bertenoro (“the Rav”), adds words and phrases to make the Mishnah text read smoothly and clearly, without reference to the notes. This is ideal for those looking for a basic approach to the Mishnah – for example, people studying for a yahrtzeit or sheloshim and young people or adults who do not have extensive experience in Mishnah study. The Notes clarify the Mishnah further and draw, where necessary, on the Gemara or other classic Mishnah commentaries.

Just as people can choose which ArtScroll siddur best meets their needs, so too, now there is a choice in Mishnah study. The widely acclaimed 44-volume Mishnah Series with the Yad Avraham commentary, dedicated by Mr. and Mrs. Louis Glick, in memory of their son Avraham Yosef a”h is an encyclopedic, in-depth commentary that presents many explanations, explores nuances and complexities,  and cites a wide variety of works on the Mishnah, enabling students of Mishnah to  delve more deeply and explore a wider range of comments.

With the introduction of the Schottenstein Edition Elucidated Mishnayos and the recently completed Yad Avraham Mishnah Series, the Mishnah — the basis of Torah she’baal peh, the place where the Oral Law begins – is now accessible to everyone.

For concise Mishnah study, click here for exclusive online savings on the Schottenstein Edition of the Mishnah Elucidated.

For in-depth Mishnah study, click here for the entire Yad Avraham Mishna Series.

Motivating Force (Book Excerpt)

 In Living Life to its Fullest, Mr. Shulman, a popular speaker, author and life coach, offers us short, insightful and readable vignettes, each designed to provoke conversation and thought. Below is an excerpt about lessons in life’s motivations.

Motivating Force: 

Excerpted from Living Life to its Fullest by Avi Shulman

Ask a group of employers, “How do you motivate your employees?” and before you can finish your question you’ll hear almost all respond, “More money!”

Of course, if a family doesn’t have money to pay for essentials — food, rent, clothing, etc. — paying employees more money will surely motivate them in the short run.

But our question goes beyond the essentials. How do you keep an employee happy, working to his or her full capacity, and remaining in your company? And when we find the answer to this question, can we apply the same findings to motivating students and family members?

Every year a noted management-consulting firm conducts a survey of 200 companies on what motivates their staff. Managers and supervisors are given a list of 10 possible things that most motivated their employees. Here is the list in no particular order:

Job security; good wages; promotion opportunities; appreciation; good working conditions; loyalty from management; feeling “in” on things; understanding attitude; tactful discipline; interesting work.

In almost every response the supervisors thought that what matters most to the employees are the following, in order of importance:

  • Good wages
  • Job security
  • Promotion opportunities
  • Good working conditions
  • Interesting work
  • Loyalty from management
  • Tactful discipline
  • Appreciation
  • Understanding attitude
  • Feeling “in” on things

In almost every case, here is how the employees ranked what was really important to them:

  • Appreciation
  • Feeling “in” on things
  • Understanding attitude
  • Job security
  • Good wages
  • Interesting work
  • Promotion opportunities
  • Loyalty from management
  • Good work conditions
  • Tactful discipline

There are two interesting lessons to be learned from this study.

1. The three top motivators from the employee’s perspective — appreciation, feeling “in” on things, and understanding attitude — do not cost anything in terms of money, just a few moments of time, respect, and understanding.

2. Most of us see things only from our own perspective. You would think that supervisors and managers who work so closely with employees would know what motivates employees… but the truth is, they don’t know.

The lesson here is to realize that just because we know someone well or work with them does not mean we know what motivates them. Considerable thought, investigation, and discussion are necessary to learn what really motivates someone.

Click here for book details and exclusive online savings.

Click here for more books by Avi Shulman.

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NEW: The Wisdom in the Hebrew Months, Volume 2

“In The Wisdom in the Hebrew Months, Volume 2, R’ Zvi Ryzman takes sometimes esoteric and even mystical teachings and grounds them securely into our own lives.”

I am reading The Wisdom in the Hebrew Months, Volume 2, by R’ Zvi Ryzman, and I am deeply moved and profoundly impressed.

I chose, a bit childishly I admit, to begin with the month of Tammuz – my birthday month. And in these pages I discovered such a richness of Torah thought, so many unexpected connections, hints, and insights, it took my breath away.

Here I discovered the paradox of the month of Tammuz, and the essence of the month as reflected in the unique physical features of its constellation, the Crab. I learned how in Tammuz we journey from the perfection of Gan Eden to our own imperfect world, and back again.  Good and evil, failure and renewal, Jewish history and Jewish destiny – so many concepts and ideas, all brilliantly and lucidly explained.

R’ Zvi Ryzman, author of the highly-acclaimed The Wisdom in the Hebrew Months has followed up that brilliant work with this new, highly original volume. The author, like his books, is unique. He is a winner of the coveted Jerusalem Prize for his many volumes of the Hebrew Ratz K’tzvi , which the two volumes of  The Wisdom in the Hebrew Months are based upon. He is an authority on rarely explored halachic subjects, and his contagious love of learning sweeps up everyone with whom he comes in contact. He is also a well-known figure in business circles, and a supporter of many Torah institutions; the personification of the concept of “Torah v’gedulah,” Torah and business success.

In both his books, R’ Zvi draws upon a veritable constellation of sources: from Sefer Yetzirah (whose authorship is ascribed to Avrohom Avinu) and the Midrash to contemporary gedolim – and hundreds of sefarim in between. He explores the Hebrew months — and the constellations that both reflect and influence them — as well as the connection between the shevatim and the Jewish calendar.  And then he takes these sometimes esoteric and even mystical teachings and grounds them securely into our own lives and actions. Fascinating!

A  personal confession: What with the stifling heat of the Tammuz summer, the 17th of Tammuz that begins the Three Weeks, and the rather unpleasant connotations of crabs (!)  I never liked my birth month. But now, having seen it through the eyes of Chazal and Torah, through the eyes, yes, of emes, I will not only mark my birthday, but I will celebrate my birth month, with all its complexity and grandeur.

Click here for more details on the book, and a special online discount.

Kleinman Edition Mishkan in new Compact Size + Limited Time Special Price only $39.99!

“With all of the same text and 3D color illustrations as the original version, the smaller and lighter new compact edition of the Kleinman Edition Mishkan is a must have for any home or classroom!”

Five years ago, the Mishkan came alive, to tens of thousands of people with The Kleinman Edition Mishkan/Tabernacle DVD. It was nothing short of revolutionary: Highlighting the details discussed in the pesukim in 3D virtual reality, allowing us to view the keilim from all angles, giving us animations that brought each component to life, and even enabling us to take our own “self-guided tour.”  Rarely had Torah scholarship and technological artistry been melded so beautifully.

But that was just the beginning…

The DVD was followed by the stunning, bestselling book: The Kleinman Edition Mishkan/Tabernacle. A large, art-quality, full color 296-page book, it shows us the Mishkan, its vessels, and the bigdei kehunah in spectacular graphics and clear, understandable text. We learn how each vessel or piece of clothing was assembled and the manner of its use. It includes each of the Torah verses that initially describe the construction and assembly of the Mishkan, in both Hebrew and English. Also included is Rashi on those pesukim in the original Hebrew, accompanied by the Sapirstein Edition translation and elucidation.

The Kleinman Edition Mishkan/Tabernacle was hailed as a gorgeous game-changer that put the Mishkan right into our welcoming hands.

Now, at the urging of educators and readers, we welcome The Kleinman Edition Mishkan/Tabernacle in still another format: the convenient compact size edition.

This edition is printed on lighter paper and in a slightly smaller (though still generous) size, and it contains the exact same text and full color 3-d pictures as its larger counterpart, making it perfect for students and for those who didn’t have room for a coffee-table size edition. It’s lighter on the wallet too, particularly for the next few weeks, when ArtScroll is celebrating its launch with a special promotional price.

For full product details, click here. Special introductory price of $39.99 ends on 2/16/14.


Click to view a book trailer.

I Am Your Servant: A Talk with Author Rabbi Akiva Tendler

“A talk with the author of I am Your Servant, Rabbi Akiva Tendler, son of Rabbi Yosef Tendler.”

Your father was one of Rav Aharon Kotler’s first American-born talmidim, when there were only about 25 students in all of the yeshiva. What were some of the memories he shared with you of that special time?

He always felt Rav Aharon zt’l loved him and believed in him. Rav Aharon imbued in him a sense of mission to restore Torah to post-Holocaust Klal Yisrael. My father, although he was involved with so much public service, always made sure to have a sefer with him, living Rav Aharon’s mantra that Torah is the ikar. He kept a large picture of Rav Aharon at home and also opposite the desk in his office. He lived his life with his Rebbe before his eyes!

He loved to share how the Lakewood talmidim lived in poverty that cannot be comprehended by today’s standards. There were talmidim who could barely afford decent shoes or adequate food, but they endured this out of love for the goal of rebuilding Torah.

Much of I Am Your Servant is based on first-person accounts. Where did you get that material?

Some of the material was supplied by family and talmidim. My father was loved by so many and we received hundreds of letters from those who felt he was their ‘personal’ Rebbe. Most of the divrei Torah and mussar are from my father’s own handwritten notes or shmuessim. He left thousands of pages, as he loved to write as he learned. As I looked through them I was taken by the warmth, depth, and practicality of the teachings. They serve as the backbone of this work.

What was it like, growing up as the children of “the menahel”?

We never thought of him as a menahel! He was always home when we woke up and for family dinner and evenings. Shabbos meals were a highlight, when he would sing his favorite songs from his yeshiva days in Lakewood. A magnificent singer, he swept us along with these beautiful melodies. We used to laugh when we heard that talmidim were scared of him. I would think, “How can you be scared of someone who gives you donuts and Shabbos treats?”! He never treated us like anything other than beloved children, and we never realized we were sharing him with the yeshiva students.

If you could describe your father in just one sentence, what would you say?

I cannot possibly describe my father, even within the 460 pages of the book.

Click here to read more about Rabbi Yosef Tendler on The Yeshiva World.

Click here for book details and exclusive online savings. 

Kids Cooking Made Easy: A Conversation with Leah Schapira and Victoria Dwek

“When kids make things themselves, they get so excited and feel so confident, and naturally become open to trying new things”

Now it’s our children’s turn to enjoy Leah Schapira and Victoria Dwek’s “Made Easy” cookbook series, with Kids Cooking Made Easy. Here’s what these great cooks told us about this new, fabulously fun cookbook.

ArtScroll: Why kids? What’s so great about children in the kitchen?

Leah: Kids are always looking for something fun to do. They love to eat, and they get bored fast. For kids and parents, this book is Win-Win.

Victoria: Kids are always in the kitchen. They can either be having races, playing a game in the middle of the floor, shooting rubber bands at each other…or cooking. This lets them be productive. Teaching kids to cook is also the cure to picky eater syndrome. When kids make things themselves, they get so excited and feel so confident, and naturally become open to trying new things. And they’ll be eating healthier too.

Artscroll: You “triple-test” all your recipes, which is what makes them so foolproof. How did triple-testing work with younger food samplers?

Leah: We gave the kids the complete recipe and watched what they did without saying a word. Every so often if I saw them stuck during one of the steps, I took out my pen and added in a line to clarify the instructions. For example, when my daughter was making Penne Rose, I realized that if she pours the tomato sauce all in at once, it will splatter. So we added, “Slowly…pour in the sauce.” The details matter when kids are cooking.

Victoria: Since these are the recipes our kids love, they are way more than triple-tested. They are the real family-friendly dishes we’d be cooking even if there was no cookbook.

Artscroll: What do the kids love best?

Leah: They went a bit crazy for our Edible Sand Art, Hot Banana Peppers, Gummy Bear Rugelach and Honey BBQ Chicken Nuggets.

Victoria: Personally, I dream about Rice Krispies Ice Cream Sandwiches all day. My kids also adore Taco Night, Cauliflower Poppers, Candy Bar Cookies, and Pancake Sandwiches.

Artscroll: What’s the difference between developing recipes for children and adults?

Leah: For safety reasons we don’t include some things, like frying. We also were able to have a lot more fun and develop recipes like Spray Candy – kids’ favorite junk food (that’s a lot less junky when it’s homemade).

Victoria:  Developing recipes for kids lets us go back to the basics and enjoy the simple comforting foods we all love.

Click here for book details and exclusive online savings.

To See the Torah through the Eyes of Chazal: The Kleinman Edition Midrash Rabbah


I’m reading the first words of ArtScroll’s newly-released volume of the Kleinman Edition Midrash Rabbah —  Parashas Shemos through Parashas Beshalach — and I am puzzled. Why would Chazal start the narrative of Klal Yisrael’s agonizing galus in Egypt, and their wondrous salvation, with a discussion of how a person should discipline his child?

I read through the elucidated text, the notes, and the Insights section, and it’s like I’ve been bumping around in a dark room, banging into unknown barriers, and suddenly a light goes on and I can see what everything is, and where everything belongs.

That’s the brilliance of the Midrash. And that’s the wonder of this monumental translation and elucidation, which has enabled me to access that brilliance.

The Midrash is one of the most important sources we have to understand the spiritual essence of the Torah. It also adds detail and information to the Torah’s narrative, and helps us understand the ethical treasures hidden in the Torah’s words.  But the Midrash is often not easy to follow, and its messages are sometimes obscure.

If you’ll allow me another metaphor: The Midrash helps us to see the Torah through Chazal’s eyes – and the Kleinman Edition Midrash Rabbah gives us the “glasses” we need to perfect our vision.

The parshiyos in this volume take us through the era when Klal Yisrael became a nation, its identity forged both through suffering and miracles. The Midrash adds so much to our understanding. Why should Pharaoh have been punished, if Hashem hardened his heart? What kind of Torah observance did the Jews do before Har Sinai? Why did the future Sin of the Golden Calf actually hasten the redemption? We turn to the Midrash for the answers.

The Kleinman Edition Midrash follows ArtScroll/Mesorah’s acclaimed phrase-by-phrase translation and elucidation to make the words of Midrash more easily comprehensible.  Explanatory footnotes clarify difficult concepts and passages, and the “Insights” section allows us to see the Midrash through the eyes of major medieval and contemporary giants of Torah thought. It also includes the Hebrew text, newly typeset, and many classic Hebrew commentaries, including Rashi, Matnos Kehunah, Eitz Yosef, and Maharzu, plus the out-of-print classic Eshed HaNechalim.

Oh, and the question of why Shemos Rabbah begins with disciplining children? If you want to know the brilliant answer – just open the newest volume of The Kleinman Edition Midrash Rabbah.

Classic Krohn: The Maggid at the Podium

The phone rang. A famous voice was on the line. I was astonished when I heard what it had to say.

In close to three decades of working in Jewish publishing, I’ve been privileged to deal with many, many authors. I’ve found them to be intelligent and well-read, men and women of integrity and yiras Shamayim.

But only one – the one on the other end of the phone line – had ever taken the trouble of finding out who had written the copy that appeared on the cover of his newly-published book, and phoning that anonymous writer (me!) to say thank you.

That was my introduction to Rabbi Paysach Krohn, the man they call the American Maggid.

In that brief but unforgettable phone conversation I could identify all the traits that make Rabbi Krohn’s books unique, beloved bestsellers standing proudly on so many bookshelves: warmth, a finely-tuned sense of humor, and profound insight into how to touch the goodness inherent in all of us. In the space of a few minutes I could see that Rabbi Krohn is a master at showing how to make people — into better people.

He’s also incredibly entertaining.

The Maggid at the Podium is classic Krohn.  In addition to being a bestselling author, Rabbi Krohn is a globetrotting speaker who has touched and inspired tens of thousands with his insights, wisdom, and, of course, his stories. In The Maggid at the Podium, we can bring his messages to our homes, to read, reread and share with those we love.

And what are these messages? Advice on how to make ourselves “uppercase people in a lowercase world,”– changing “I want,” “I need,” “I deserve,” to “I care” and “I will help.” A simple thank-you note becomes “Exhibit A” in a lawsuit, and we get the message of this unusual story: show gratitude the next time someone does something nice for us. Rabbi Krohn shares with us messages on how to make our homes secure and comforting havens for our family in these puzzling times. 21st-century life got you tense? Rabbi Krohn offers strategies, advice and his trademark stories to help us deal with the stress and time management challenges that so many of us face. His topics are as contemporary as iPads and ICUs, while his wisdom is as timeless as the Talmud and Tanach.

Truly, the American Maggid has done it again.

Click here for book details and exclusive online savings.