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Biographies & Memoirs

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  1. Miracles, Extraordinary Life of Frieda Bassman, 1 woman's inspiring account of courage, faith, & hope

    Miracles, Extraordinary Life of Frieda Bassman, 1 woman's inspiring account of courage, faith, & hope

    $23.75

    Frieda Bassman was a survivor of both the terrible Churban and a difficult life. Brought up in pre-war Europe in a small town high in the Carpathian Mountains, she skillfully wove the lessons that she had learned into her daily life and interactions with others. She didn't preach these lessons - she lived them. And if she felt a need to share the messages, she did so with a story, a wink, and a cup of coffee (with a slice of chocolate cake).

    Her Mameh's potatoes were a lesson in giving - and living to give. The "Dayan'ke" was also a lesson in giving - and receiving so much more. The lumpen glaizlach were her lesson in doing the right thing when it should be done; and Urtze's shidduch story was her favorite expression of hashgachah pratis. Her stories attracted people like a magnet, and as she told them, her fascinated listeners discovered that she was her story. Now the captivating account of her extraordinary life can continue to inspire many generations to come. Learn More

  2. A Star from Sanz, Rebuilding From the Ashes, The Story of Rav Yitzchok Sternhell

    A Star from Sanz, Rebuilding From the Ashes, The Story of Rav Yitzchok Sternhell

    $23.75

    Rabbi Yechiel Spero brings all his acclaimed storytelling talent to the inspiring life of Rav Yitzchok Sternhell, one of the unsung heroes of the resurgence of Torah in postwar America. In these pages, we meet the luminaries of "Itche Sanzer's" past - his ancestors, Rav Shmelke of Nikolsburg and Rav Mendel of Rimanov; the Divrei Chaim of Sanz, whose teachings molded him; and the Minchas Elazar of Munkatch, his beloved rebbi. We also encounter many gedolim, both pre and postwar Europe. And, of course, we meet - and learn to love and respect - Rav Yitzchok himself.

    When the Holocaust came to an end, Rav Yitzchok Sternhell had almost nothing. No, that's not accurate: Though most of his family had perished, though he had no belongings or money, he possessed a wealth of Torah learning, a treasure of faith and trust in Hashem. Still more assets: He had with him his illustrious ancestry, his matchless teachers, and his uncompromising determination to rebuild Torah life as he'd experienced it in Europe.

    And rebuild he did - first, immediately after the war, in Salzburg, Austria, and then, in what was the fledgling Torah community, in Baltimore, Maryland.

    For decades, Rav Sternhell was the rav of a Baltimore kehillah initially composed mainly of survivors. He founded Shearis Hapleita, a boys' school that aimed to replicate the chadarim of prewar Europe. He brought the first chalav Yisrael milk to Baltimore, and was instrumental in raising the standards of kashrus in the city. He was a man of contrasts: fearless and outspoken and uncompromising when it came to issues of Torah, sensitive and loving and warm to every Jew. Be prepared to be amazed and inspired by the story of this unassuming, modest man, a world class talmid chacham, a revered leader, and, always, a builder of Torah. Learn More

  3. The Rabbi from the Lower East Side

    The Rabbi from the Lower East Side

    $23.75

    RABBI YAAKOV YITZCHAK SPIEGEL’S STORY - AN INSPIRING NARRATIVE OF A HISTORIC NEIGHBORHOOD

    HE GREW UP in Brownsville in the 1940s, a tumultuous time for American religious Jewry. Named after his saintly ancestor, the Chozeh of Lublin, and born into a distinguished rabbinical family, Rabbi Yaakov Yitzchak Spiegel forged his own greatness as a Torah leader. After studying under Rav Aharon Kotler and Rav Moshe Feinstein, his esteemed rabbinical positions culminated in his appointment as the Rabbi of the famed Romanisher shul, which flourished under his leadership.

    Whether it was financial assistance, spiritual guidance, or just someone down on his luck who needed a smile, Rabbi Spiegel was always there for anyone in need. With over sixty inspiring short stories, ¬the Rabbi from the Lower East Side provides a glimpse into the life of an incredible man. Included is the fascinating history of the Jewish Lower East Side of Manhattan, the neighborhood where Rabbi Spiegel served as Rav: the first Sephardic settlers in 1654, escaping the Inquisition in Brazil; Chaim Solomon and the Revolutionary War; the hope and despair of Rabbi Yaakov Yosef, the first Chief Rabbi; the pushcart, the melting pot, and much more.

    Unique, engrossing, and uplifting, and enhanced with a special picture section, here is a book to enjoy until the very last page. Learn More

  4. Rav Yaakov Galinsky, The Legendary Maggid with the Fiery Spirit of Novardik

    Rav Yaakov Galinsky, The Legendary Maggid with the Fiery Spirit of Novardik

    $23.75

    From his earliest years to his final days, Rav Yaakov Galinsky zt”l lived a life of rock-solid faith and complete trust in HaShem.

    From his childhood in Krinik to yeshivah in Novardok, from exile in Siberia to starvation in Kazakhstan, from torture in prison to the German DP camps, and finally to Eretz Yisroel where he established yeshivos and kollelim, inspiring thousands along the way – here is the fascinating and powerful story of this legendary Maggid.

    Told as only a devoted daughter can, Rebbetzin G. Lehrer lovingly recounts the story of her illustrious father – his mesiras nefesh for Torah, mitzvos, and fellow Jews. Filled with wit, wisdom, and over 130 photographs, this unforgettable biography shines with warmth and inspiration on each and every page. Learn More

  5. Nezirah, The Story of Queen Helene of Adiabene

    Nezirah, The Story of Queen Helene of Adiabene

    $23.95

    She left her family, her people, her country. And she never looked back.

    Nezirah: The Story of Queen Helene of Adiabene is an exquisite portrayal of the little known personality of Queen Helene, a righteous convert who left the pagan country in which she had reigned, to settle in the Holy Land during the tumultuous days before the destruction of the second Beis Hamikdash.

    The compelling, true story of Queen Helene's life is skillfully woven together with vivid descriptions of life in Eretz Yisrael under Roman rule, creating a historical masterpiece that will leave its readers enlightened, inspired, and uplifted. Learn More

  6. The Gadol Hador, An Inside Glimpse of Maran HaGaon HaRav Yosef Shalom Elyashiv, zt"l

    The Gadol Hador, An Inside Glimpse of Maran HaGaon HaRav Yosef Shalom Elyashiv, zt"l

    $23.75

    Inspiring stories and hanhagos told firsthand by an American-born ben bayis!

    Rav Yosef Shalom Elyashiv, zt"l, was a man whose incredible dedication to Torah study established him as a leader of Klak Yisrael and one of the most revered poskim living in our times. Yet, only those privileged to see him up close could experience the full range of his spiritual greatness.

    The Gadol Hador is a compilation of true stories about Rav Elyashiv's life, written by Binyomin Kirschner, an American bachur who came to learn in yeshivah in Eretz Yisrael and ended up becoming a ben bayis in Rav Elyashiv's home. With the encouragement of many prominent rabbanim, the author records what he and others close to the rav saw and heard, weaving together an accurate, intimate look into the life of Rav Elyashiv - his daily routine, how he related to others, and the discipline and principles that guided his life. Filled with hundreds of personal full-color photographs, this book highlights not only the Rav's passion for Torah, but also his sterling middos. Here is an inside glimpse of Rav Elyashiv's humility, warmth, pleasantness, and love for every Jew. Learn More

  7. A Gadol in Our Midst

    A Gadol in Our Midst

    $23.75

    Anecdotes, Advice, and Piskei Halachah of Harav Chaim Pinchas Scheinberg, zt"l

    The life of the legendary gaon Rav Chaim Pinchas Scheinberg, zt”l, spanned much more than just a century of time. Every moment of his life was utilized toward learning and teaching Torah, observing each and every mitzvah in the best way possible, developing his own sterling character, and assisting others with their difficulties. He was -- and remains -- an extraordinary personage and a symbol of our own potential to achieve greatness.

    Our generation was blessed with the opportunity to behold one of the greatest American Torah figures in history, Rav Chaim Pinchas Scheinberg, zt”l.

    Transforming himself from a baseballplaying New York youth to a revered rosh yeshivah among the elite heads of Torah Jewry, he demonstrated by personal example what a person can become when he dedicates himself to pure Torah learning.

    Yet, with all of his greatness, he didn’t become aloof; he was always available -- with his trademark smile -- for every Jew who sought his p’sak, advice or encouragement.

    Thanks to his close talmid, Rabbi Shmuel Assayag, Rav Scheinberg’s precious legacy has been preserved with this collection of enriching anecdotes, advice and piskei halachah. Covering a wide range of topics from guidance on proper conduct in yeshivah, interpersonal relationships and raising children, to practical rulings on common halachic queries, A Gadol in Our Midst will treat readers to a glimpse into the great personality of this gadol and his balanced approach to halachah and life.

    About the author:

    Rabbi Shmuel Assayag was born and raised in Toronto, Canada. He attended the Yesodei Hatorah cheder and then, for high school, learned in Yeshivas Nachalas Tzvi. Afterwards, when he traveled to Eretz Yisrael, he learned in Yeshivas Shaarei Chaim, located in the Torah Ore building, and a few years later joined Yeshivas Torah Ore, where he currently learns in kollel. He lives with his family in the Mattersdorf section of Yerushalayim. Learn More

  8. And From Jerusalem, His Word

    And From Jerusalem, His Word

    $23.75

    And From Jerusalem, His Word

    The most celebrated biography of the beloved gadol ha-dor, Rabbi Shlomo Zalman Auerbach zt"l. Not always are biographers of rabbinic luminaries disciples and noted authors. Fortunate are we, that Rabbi Hanoch Teller marshals every aspect of his writing genius to portray a lucid and ever-inspiring tribute to his Rebbe, the contemporary Torah Giant whose vast Torah knowledge, humility, and love of chessed, inspired and affected Jews the world over. Best-selling author Joseph Telushkin commented, “Teller’s biography of Rabbi Auerbach is the most-important book for American Jewry to read.” Learn More

  9. My Rebbe

    My Rebbe

    $23.75

    When Menachem Mendel Schneerson became the seventh Lubavitcher Rebbe, Chabad-Lubavitch consisted of a small group of Chasidim recovering from near annihilation in the Holocaust. During his forty years of leadership, Rabbi Schneerson transformed Chabad into a global movement marked by extensive outreach activities and a closeknit network of emissaries stationed around the world. His passionate devotion to education, social change, and acts of charity and kindness inspired countless people to embrace spirituality in their daily lives. In My Rebbe, celebrated author and thinker Rabbi Adin Even-Israel Steinsaltz shares his firsthand account of this extraordinary individual who shaped the landscape of twentieth-century religious life. Written with the admiration of a close disciple and the nuanced perceptiveness of a scholar, this biography-memoir inspires us to think about our own missions and aspirations for a better world. Learn More
  10. Upwards, The story of my struggle with Parkinsonism

    Upwards, The story of my struggle with Parkinsonism

    $23.75

    Shami Reinman is a vibrant young teacher, barely fifty years old, full of energy and vitality, deeply involved with her students in the classroom and in her home. The queen of her family, she dances and plays with her grandchildren. She travels. She spends time with friends.

    Then she is struck by a dreadful disease, and her entire world turns over. She can no longer teach. Her movement and speech grow progressively worse over the agonizing years. What does the future hold for her but more inevitable decline? Determined not to sink into despondency and despair, she resolves to mold a new life for herself.

    Upwards is the story of her spiritual triumph over her affliction. She finds comfort in her family and the joyous celebrations of family milestones. She spends more time with her Siddur and her Tehillim. She plays word games. She organizes photographs and makes heirloom collages, some of which appear on these pages. As she becomes more limited, the circle of her friends widens, and their visits are occasions of joy and laughter. But most of all, she spends innumerable hours working on this book, often having to dictate her thoughts and memories to others.

    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. Learn More

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