Baruch and the Disappearing Yarmulke: Author Interview + Giveaway!

bdyhIf you have little boys in your life – whether it’s a son, grandson, nephew, or anyone else – you’re probably very familiar with the concept of the disappearing yarmulka. Rivke Gerstenblit, seasoned writer and mother-of-boys decided to do something about the problem. Her new children’s book, Baruch and His Disappearing Yarmulka, tackles this challenge and teaches an easy solution in a fun way.

Rivke sat down with The Official ArtScroll blog to discuss her new book. Scroll passed the interview for your chance to win a free copy!

What made you think of the idea for Baruch and His Disappearing Yarmulke?

My three-year-old kept losing his yarmulke. I just put myself into his head; with and without yarmulke. After I wrote the book, I had two more boys and they also constantly lost their yarmulkes. It seems to be a universal problem.

How long did it take you to write this book?

Writing the initial book took very little time. Probably less than an hour. The best material I have written comes to me quickly. If I have to work on the initial draft too long, then the final work is just not as good. Perfecting the rhythm and obsessing over word choices took years. Not continuously, but I would go back to it and make small changes. I was quite busy with other things — like raising the children —  and had no sense of urgency. There were years that I didn’t even look at it.

What made you decide to finally submit  your manuscript?

My family, especially my parents, would always ask me when I was going to do something with my yarmulke book. And I always answered with some variation of “One day….”  I don’t really know what I was waiting for. Then someone asked me about it in front of my ten year old daughter and she asked, “what book?!”  So I read it to her and she started asking me (quite often) to submit it to a publisher. She was pretty persistent. I finally bit the bullet.

When and how did you get started as a writer?

When I was about five my older sister was putting me to bed and I suddenly recited the following rhyme, “I wash the windows, I wash the floors, and on the way I shut the doors.” That was my first piece. I passed my friend so many humorous (or so I thought) poems during class in that after graduation she gave me a booklet she had made of them. I started writing for a local magazine about six years ago, and shortly after that I started writing for Binah magazine. Between my cleaning poem and my professional writing career, I’ve been writing my entire life.

Why is the name of the main character Baruch?

My three-year-old son Baruch inspired this book. This just happened to be fourteen years ago. Baruch is currently seventeen,kein ayin hara.

Have you gotten any feedback on your book from readers?

My family and friends are always sending me pictures of their children reading the book. I love getting those pictures. I love when people tell me they go through the same thing with their sons and they needed a book just like this, and I love getting excited calls and texts from people I know. The support is amazing. I didn’t expect it. I didn’t think it would be a big deal for anyone other than myself, but I see that it is. I feel so touched hearing how much people enjoy my book.

What’s next? Any new books on the horizon?

My second children’s book about bedtime is scheduled for an upcoming release by ArtScroll – stay tuned for details and the release date!

To enter the giveaway for a copy of Baruch and His Disappearing Yarmulke:

Leave a comment on this post letting us know that you would like to win!

**Giveaway ends on Monday, February 9th at 11:59 pm eastern time. Winner will receive one copy of Baruch and His Disappearing Yarmulke. Prize can be shipped within the USA. Winner will be chosen randomly and notified via email. Valid email address must be provided to claim prize. Limit one entry per person. 

 

Free Download: The Aura of Shabbos

Weekly-Download---The-Aura-of-Shabbos---imageIt’s the last few days of our Big Halachah Sale, but there’s still time to save on over 50 titles on Jewish Law, including the Laws of Shabbos series by Rabbi Simcha Bunim Cohen. The newest volume in the series is The Aura of Shabbos.

Examining the contemporary halachos/laws that relate to erev shabbos, shabbos preparation and more, The Aura of Shabbos provides an in-depth understanding of issues such as website maintenance on Shabbos, hotel stays on Shabbos, and more. This week’s free download offers you the chance to learn the chapter about Challah – the laws and obligations behind this special mitzvah.

Click here to view, print or download the chapter on Hafroshas Challah from The Aura of Shabbos

Click here to purchase The Aura of Shabbos

Click here to purchase The Laws of Shabbos series

Click here to shop our 30% off Halachah Sale through February 3rd, 2015

 

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Free Download: A Prayer for Parnassah (Livelihood) – To Recite Today

When our ancestors were in the Wilderness, a month after the Exodus from Egypt, they faced atomorrow with no food. Justifiably, they asked Moshe if he had taken them into the desert to starve to death. Hashem responded that in the morning they would see that He had not forsaken them.

In the morning – and every morning for the next 40 years – there was manna waiting for them. By evening there was nothing left, and the next morning, it was there again. Can you imagine how we would feel if we went to sleep every night with empty refrigerators? There in the Wilderness, Hashem showed our ancestors that ultimately, parnassah is in His hands.

We pray for it every day – to provide for our families, to assist worthy causes, to build sturdy foundations for the future.

The Torah reading of this coming Shabbos — Parashas Beshalach — includes the chapter telling how the Jewish People in the Wilderness received manna. Many people recite the chapter daily, as a special prayer for parnassah. There is also a widespread custom to recite this chapter on the Tuesdayof the week of Beshalach, which this year is today, January 27th.

As a public service, we offer the text and interlinear translation of the chapter, from the Schottenstein Edition Interlinear Siddur. Please feel free to download it.

Click here to view, print or download the prayer for parnassah.

Click here for all posts in our free download series.

Weekly Free Download: The Kosher Kitchen

In honor of our Big Halachah Sale (announced earlier this week), we’re offering a free download from one of our most popular and practical halachah titles: The Kosher Kitchen – Feuereisen Edition.

In this classic best-seller, Rabbi Binyomin Forst provides a clear and detailed overview of the laws of Kashrus, an explanation of common kashrus problems and tips on how to avoid them, plus an guide to kitchen tools and appliances and their halachic considerations.

Don’t forget this this book, as well as all Halachah/Jewish Law titles are on  a big sale through February 3rd. And make sure to click the link below to download a sample chapter from The Kosher Kitchen.

Click here to view, print and download a sample chapter from The Kosher Kitchen

Click here to purchase a copy of The Kosher Kitchen – now 30% off!

Click here to shop ArtScroll’s Halachah Sale

 

If you enjoyed this download, your friends will too. Please share the link via email, or using any of the social sharing options below.

Ten Days Only: Big Halachah Sale!

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 Announcing…our big Halachah sale! From now through February 3rd, take 30% off list price on any title from ArtScroll’s Halachah/Jewish Law series.

With over 50 titles in our Halachah category, there are plenty of savings to be had. Don’t forget – you get free shipping on all US orders over $49 from ArtScroll.com! No coupon code needed – prices reflected on website.

The Laws of Shabbos

Laws of Yom Tov and Festivals

Laws of Proper Speech

Laws of Business/Finance

Laws of Kashrus

Laws for Women

Laws of Daily Living

Laws for Children and Parents

Medical Law

Life Cycle

Click here to shop all sale titles.

*HALACHAH SALE discount off list price. Prices online reflect discount. Valid through midnight Tuesday February 3rd, 2015. 

Weekly Free Download: Gateway to Judaism

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Last week, we introduced our new Spotlight on ArtScroll Treasures feature, where we shine the spotlight on some of the excellent classics that we’ve published in our almost forty year history. One of those treasures is an ArtScroll best-seller, Gateway to Judaism.

Gateway to Judaism is unique. It offers a distinctive blend of Jewish philosophy, Jewish law, and practical application illustrated through the experiences of “the Levy’s”, a fictional family that guides us through traditional Jewish customs, holidays, and lifecycle events.

The book addresses many fascinating and essential aspects of traditional faith and practice, including:

What are the major milestones of Jewish life? | How do we pray? | Why do we keep kosher? | Why do we put mezuzahs on doorposts? | What are the thirteen fundamentals of Jewish thought? | What is the rationale for observing the commandments of the Torah (mitzvot)? | Why is Torah study central to Jewish communal life? | How can we know the Torah is a divine document? | Why are justice, charity, kindness, and ethics such important issues amongst Jews? | Why do we have so many holidays and what do they signify? | Why do we say so many blessings (brachot)? |

This week, we’re offering the chapter about Shabbos for our free download. Save it, print it, read it, and make sure to share it with anyone who would benefit from it.

Click here to view, print or download a chapter from Gateway to Judaism

Click here to purchase a copy of Gateway to Judaism

Click here to purchase the digital version of Gateway to Judaism

Click here for all Spotlight on ArtScroll Treasures books available at a limited time discount

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Weekly Free Download: Torah Treasury – Parashas Shemos

We just announced a spotlight on some of the classic treasures from ArtScroll’s library – with exclusive online savings – and we’re adding to the spotlight with a free download from one of the books on our spotlight list: Torah Treasury – Deluxe Gift Edition.

Edited under the direction of Rabbi Nosson Scherman, Rabbi Moshe Lieber does for the Chumash what he has done so successfully for the Pirkei Avos. This large, beautiful, coffee-table volume is arranged according to the weekly parashah, allowing you to read the commentaries of scores of scholars, along with anecdotes and thought provoking comments. Filled with both brief and loner explanations, this makes for a lively shabbos table discussion or an intensive study.

As with the other spotlight collection books, don’t forget that for the next two weeks, you’ll save an additional 15% off list price, and get free shipping when you order this book. 

Click here to view, print or download Parahshas Shemos from Torah Treasury

Click here for all titles by Rabbi Moshe Lieber

Click here for all titles on Sefer Shemos

Click here for the Spotlight on ArtScroll Treasures Collection, now 15% off!

Don’t forget to subscribe to the ArtScroll blog (use the link in the sidebar) to make sure you don’t miss any of our free downloads!

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Spotlight on ArtScroll Treasures + Exclusive Promo Code

ArtScroll is shining the spotlight on some classic treasures from the archives, and offering special discounts on this collection.

Take 15% off list price and get FREE SHIPPING on all orders of these books – with no minimum!

Use promotional code SPOTLIGHT to get these special savings! Offer valid through Tuesday, 1/20.

Some of the selected spotlights…

Gateway to Judaism

 

The Maggid Speaks 

(download a free sample here)

Rabbi Samson Rephael Hirsch

Living the Parashah – Volume 2: Shemos

 

Tales for the Soul

 

The Search for the Stones

…and lots more!

Click here for the full list of spotlights available at a discount.

Weekly Free Download: The Maggid Speaks

Everyone nowadays has heard Rabbi Paysach Krohn speak. They’ve read his books and been inspired by his stories.

It’s been more than 25 years since Rabbi Paysach Krohn published his first book of short stories, The Maggid SpeaksIn that time, Rabbi Krohn has become one of the most sought after and beloved speakers, storytellers and writers of our generation. In an exclusive interview with The Official ArtScroll Blog, Rabbi Krohn recounted the story of how he wrote that first book – and how he never dreamed he would write so many more. (Read the full interview here.)

While it’s been over 25 years since the book has been published, The Maggid Speaks and the timeless stories and lessons within it continue to inspire and educate readers all over the world. This week’s free download will give our blog readers a chance to read a selection of Rabbi Krohn’s stories in The Maggid Speaks

Click here to view, print or download a free sampler of The Maggid Speaks

Click here to purchase The Maggid Speaks

Click here for all books by Rabbi Paysach Krohn

**Don’t forget! All ArtScroll books qualify for a 10% off web discount, and all orders over $49 ship free within the US!

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