There’s something so special about a true story. The best true stories touch us and teach us; the very best will change the way we look at the world.
Two new books from ArtScroll are very different from each other, but they share one very important quality: as we read them we are entertained, we are inspired and, yes, we are changed.
It Could Have Been You, by master storyteller Nachman Seltzer, takes us on a breathtaking journey to many different worlds. These never before published true stories are set in places as varied as Holocaust-era France and modern-day Jerusalem. They take place in a luxurious Swiss villa, an abandoned Ukrainian factory, a department store in Long Island. Wherever they are, they are unforgettable.
“When I started writing, I wrote the kind of stories that I felt I’d like to read,” Rabbi Seltzer says. “I saw that people really connected with them so I looked for more, and before I knew it there was a genre called ‘the Nachman Seltzer story’.”
So what makes a “Nachman Seltzer story” so good, so unusual, so memorable — and so beloved by thousands of readers? It’s a mixture of Rabbi Seltzer’s fresh, vibrant writing – and stories with endings that surprise and astonish us. “Every single person has at least one amazing story that happened to them,” Rabbi Seltzer says. “The trick is being able to listen.”
Hidden Gems: Our Special Children by Ruchi Eisenbach is a collection of true stories about raising special children. We hear the voices of parents,
siblings, grandparents, and teachers, sharing the triumphs and the disappointments, the day-to-day challenges and the lifelong lessons. The word “inspiration” has become a cliché, but in this book the inspiration is truly there: in the story of the family that adopted five (!) children with Down’s syndrome; in the honest words of the mother who speaks about the difficult choice of putting her daughter into an institution. A blind woman tells how one woman’s kindness changed her life, and a disabled student walks a few steps and teaches his class an unforgettable lesson.
The author, herself the mother of a special needs child, remembers: “I started writing about three years ago. B’chasdei Hashem I found that when I wrote from my heart, the words just came. I thought it would strengthen others… but it truly strengthened me.”
A Vital New Book by Rabbi Abraham J. Twerski M.D. and leah Shifrin Averick, LCSW: In-Laws: It’s All Relative
Mazel tov! The happy chosson beams, the kallah glows – a new Jewish home is being created.
Also being created are: a new son-in-law, daughter-in-law, mother-in-law, father-in-law and two sets of mechatunim.
Wow. New home. New relationships. And a whole set of new challenges.
Leah Shifrin Averick knows all about those challenges. The Chicago-based social worker remembers, “When I became a mother-in-law I got interested in the dynamics of in-law relationships. I researched the topic by interviewing more than two hundred people from various backgrounds.” The research eventually turned into a successful book on in-law relations.
Mrs. Averick approached Rabbi Dr. Abraham Twerski, the famed psychiatrist and author, for a blurb for that book, which he gave. Some years later, they decided to collaborate on a book on in-law relationships for the Jewish world. The result: the acclaimed new book, In-Laws: It’s All Relative.
Rabbi Dr. Twerski explains the importance of such a book. “I have seen many cases of marriages that were seriously affected by in-law problems,” he says. “I came up with the RESPECT formula. If we exercise Restraint, Effort, Sensitivity, Patience, Empathy, Consideration and Tolerance, many in-law problems can be prevented or resolved.”
In-Laws: It’s All Relative is a fascinating compendium of Rabbi Dr. Twerski’s trademark combination of psychiatric insight and Torah wisdom, together with Mrs. Averick’s clinical experience and understanding of the many issues that in-laws – both married children and their parents – must deal with. We learn how unconscious processes might be affecting our in-law relationships and how following the wisdom of Torah teachings can smooth out the rocky paths in front of us. We get practical guidelines in the day-to-day interactions that mark the in-law relationship, and answers to many common questions: What should I call my new mother-in-law? How often should I visit my newly-married son and his wife? How do I deal with mechatunim who have very different ideas of how lavish a wedding our children should have? And, of course, we enjoy the many stories of in-law interactions, both failed and successful, that two top therapists have encountered in their decades of experience.
Excellent in-law relationships, maintain the authors, are possible, and vital. “King David is the great-great grandson of Ruth, the woman who was good to her mother-in-law,” Mrs. Averick reminds us. “From this woman shall come Mashiach ben David. Out of that seed of kindness and understanding shall come forth peace.”
To mark the 34th anniversary of the founding of ArtScroll/Mesorah Publications, we are presenting our devoted readers with a very special anniversary gift: 34% off our Talmud and Mishnah volumes – plus free shipping on all Talmud Bavli sets! Here’s a closer look at the books included in this limited time sale:
The Schottenstein Edition Talmud Bavli: It’s been twenty years since the first volume of the Schottenstein Edition Talmud Bavli was published. It was a landmark in the history of Torah learning, the beginning of perhaps the greatest achievement in the history of English-language Judaica. With its flowing, elucidated translation, explanatory notes, exceptional clarity and accuracy, introductions to the tractates and individual topics, vowelized texts, and diagrams and tables, the Schottenstein Edition of the Talmud has gained world-wide praise and acceptance. It is transforming the lives of tens of thousands of people who use it to make Talmud study a vital part of their day.
The Schottenstein English Edition Talmud, in the full-size and daf yomi size editions, are available at 34% off the list price. And here’s a once-in-a-lifetime offer: Get the complete full-size 73-volume set for $1,980 – a savings of over $1,000 off the list price. The more compact 73-volume daf yomi set is available for $1,485, a savings of over $750. As an added bonus, shipping on these 73-volume sets is absolutely free anywhere in the USA!
Schottenstein Hebrew Talmud Bavli: Save 34% off these popular volumes, designed for those who want the standard of excellence of the Schottenstein Edition Talmud, but prefer to study in Hebrew.
Schottenstein Talmud Yerushalmi (English and Hebrew): For over 1600 years, the Talmud Yerushalmi was the province of great scholars and gedolim, but a closed book for every one else. Now this extraordinary translation and elucidation has brought the wisdom of the Yerushalmi to thousands who have begun its study. This groundbreaking work is available in both Hebrew and English versions, at a sale price of 34% off the list price.
ArtScroll Mishnah with the Yad Avraham Commentary: A major series that includes clear translation, diagrams and illustrations, and the phenomenal Yad Avraham commentary, this deserves an important place in every Torah library. Now available at – you guessed it – 34% off the list price.
The ArtScroll 34th anniversary sale is the perfect opportunity to purchase volumes of the Talmud and Mishnah – or, even better, the entire set! — for yourself, your synagogue, or as an unforgettable gift. Now through 02/25/2010.
Nachum interviewed Michael Rothschild, Founder of the Chofetz Chaim Heritage Foundation about the Foundation and his new book “The Family Lesson a Day.” The CCHF started two decades ago and has been a major influence on the way countless Jews approach their speech and each other. Like the stunningly successful A Lesson A Day, which helped bring the importance of shemiras halashon to the general public, The Family Lesson a Day adapts the teachings of the Sefer Chofetz Chaim, based on the daily learning schedule created by the legendary Manchester Rosh Yeshiva, Rabbi Yehuda Zev Segal zt’l. Specifically crafted for family use, each daily lesson includes true stories and delightful parables that bring the laws of proper speech to life. Each day’s lesson also contains an inspiring one sentence excerpt from the Chofetz Chaim’s Sefer Shemiras HaLashon that conveys the beauty and importance of proper speech. The Family Lesson a Day is down-to-earth, informative, and inspiring. It will be appreciated by young and old, parent and child. It can be read and discussed at home, at the dinner table, or in the classroom. Click here to listen.
The shemiras halashon revolution began in the town of Radin, with the writings of Rav Yisrael Meir Kagan, zt’l: Sefer Chofetz Chaim and Sefer Shemiras HaLashon. Decades later, the Manchester Rosh Yeshiva, Rav Yehuda Zev Segal zt’l, suggested that his talmidim study the laws of shemiras halashon, of guarding one’s tongue from forbidden speech, on a daily basis, following a set calendar. This daily cycle of study – which Rav Segal called “my passport to olam haba” – became accepted throughout many yeshivas.
Then, in 1989, with the inspiration and active participation of Rav Segal, the Chofetz Chaim Heritage Foundation was founded. Working together with ArtScroll/Mesorah Publications, they launched the daily study of these laws in hundreds of thousands of homes through the bestselling books, A Lesson a Day and Chofetz Chaim: A Daily Companion.
And now – just in time for the new cycle of shemiras halashon study, which begins on Rosh Chodesh Shevat (January 16), comes the next step in the revolution: The Family Lesson a Day.
Rabbi Shimon Finkelman, coauthor (with Rabbi Yitzchak Berkowitz) of A Lesson a Day, speaks of his newest book, The Family Lesson a Day: “The past few summers in Camp Agudah I delivered a daily fifteen minute shiur in Sefer Chofetz Chaim for senior campers and staff. I endeavored to spice each lesson with stories and parables that bring the laws to life and show their relevance today. I thought a book of this style would be appreciated by all ages, and I embarked on the project. The book follows Rav Segal’s calendar. Each lesson is based on Sefer Chofetz Chaim, with a sidebar that has an inspirational excerpt from Sefer Shemiras HaLashon.”
A CCHF staffer explains the goals of this newest work. “We wanted a book that would appeal to youngsters, to teens, and to the oldest members of the family. One with stories to inspire, explain, and enlighten, so that a parent could easily read it together with the children at a supper table. What Daf Yomi study is for men – shemiras halashon study is for families. This is the easiest way to bring the blessing of shemiras halashon to the family.”
Tens of thousands have already felt those blessings – in improved relationships, greater shalom bayis, and in the abundant berachos promised to those who are careful in their speech. Now the entire family can together bring these blessings into the home, with The Family Lesson a Day.