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The Sultan's Trap (HC)

The Sultan's Trap (HC)

Stories by:Zalman Goldstein
Binding: Hardcover
Pages: 264
Size: 6x9
ISBN: 978-1-891293-64-1
List Price: $19.95

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Clear your schedule and explore 2,000 years of thrilling adventures packed with mystery, fascinating personalities, ingenuity, prayer and unshakable faith!

Why is there a tunnel under the king’s bed?
How did a village teacher escape from a den of pirates?
Why did people living on an island disappear after each Shabbos
only to reappear the following Friday?

This incredibly fun and exhilarating compilation of vintage stories will leave you breathless as you read about spine-tingling tests and challenges faced by Jewish heroes through the ages. Exhale and celebrate with them as they emerge victorious against incredible odds. Let the fun begin!

The Sultan’s Trap
The Chicken Fat Blunder
The Wax Candle
The Four Chochmos
Shabbos Island
A Poritz in a Tallis
The Storyteller
The Tzedaka Plan
The Emir and the Rabbi
Yossel and the Ice Wall
The Turning Wheel of Fortune
The Tunnel in the Palace
The Ten Wedding Gifts
Reb Gavriel and the Pirates
A Memorable Estate Sale

Stories of miracles and wonder inspire a deep faith and trust in Hashem (G-d). This is probably why such stories were told to me by my parents and siblings at bedtime and on long Shabbos afternoons. Some of the these endearing stories were told to my father by his mother, Bubby Chaya Malka Goldstein (née Goldman) nearly eighty years ago in Providence, Rhode Island. Being passed from generation to generation, the tales likely grew and evolved over time, but they are no less fun and no less wise. Decades later, finding myself straining to remember many of these riveting adventures so that I could pass them to my own children, I decided to recapture them in writing for all to enjoy. Special thanks to my dear brother, Rabbi Levi Goldstein, and my dear sister, Toby Lieder, for helping me fill in many gaps, and to Leibel Estrin, Hindy Goldstein, and Manya Goldstein for their editorial assistance. I hope you enjoy reading these stories as much as I have enjoyed collecting them! Zalman Goldstein


A Pleasant Surprise
By Daniel Keren

I recently opened up a package and when I saw the bright shiny cover of the book I couldn’t help but smile as I realized that with the author’s name of Zalman Goldstein, it must be a Chabad collection of stories for children.

But little did I realize that the author is the son of the late legendary “Uncle Yossi” Goldstein storyteller whose tapes of more than 50 Jewish stories backed up with songs have enchanted youngsters and their parents for perhaps more than a half century. Rabbi Yosef Goldstein, of blessed memory, was for more than 50 years a principal of Bais Yaakov Boro Park and he came up with the idea of retelling over stories for children that he as a young child heard from his mother, who in turn had heard those same stories from her father.

And so with this new sparkling collection of delightful children’s stories titled “The Sultan’s Trap,” we have the fourth generation of that family relaying stories that not only are a delight to read and listen to but also communicate more effectively than a lecture the beauty of the unique ethics and morals of the Jewish people. It is also a most fitting memorial tribute from the son (Zalman) to his father (Uncle Yossi) was passed away three years ago just before Pesach.

The book begins with a quote from Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Schneersohn, zt”l, the Sixth Grand Rabbi of Lubavitch: “A Jewish story often inspires love and awe of Heaven better than anything else.” In the tradition of his father “Uncle Yossi,” Zalman Goldstein has put together a most intriguing selection of 15 traditional stories and one more modern tale that is overflowing with ahavas Yisroel, (love of a fellow Jew), bitachon and emunah (trust and faith) in Hashem and other precious Jewish middos, values.

I love reading inspiring Jewish stories for the very reason quoted by the Previous Lubavitcher Rebbe. However, not all books put out by well-meaning authors captivate the imagination and spirit of the reader or listener. But this book is one such volume that your children, grandchildren, nephews, nieces, and neighborhood children will love and gain spiritually from; perhaps even pestering you to read them over and over again until they are old enough to read these stories themselves at bedtime or as the author recalls from his childhood on long Shabbos afternoons.

Lubavitcher and indeed most Chassidim have an extra special affinity for telling over or listening to stories, especially on Motzei Shabbos Melave Malkas. The stories chosen for “The Sultan’s Trap” are from traditional sources. And while a few of the stories I had read were familiar to me from earlier books or telling over of stories, even those with slight or not so slight changes; are rendered in my humble opinion into a better style than I remember having read or heard before.

Most of these charming stories require one to book a ticket into the world of imagination. But, hey if Hashem could create our world and universe out of stunning nothingness, then even these delightful tales could have really happened and even if they didn’t happen, they should have happened and of course their morals and ethical teachings are important for both the reader and the listener to reflect upon and to try and incorporate into our lifestyles in this “real” world.

A lot of effort was invested into collecting these stories and trying to relay them as accurately as possible” Of course, not every effort in and of itself is successful. But I am happy to say that in this case Zalman Goldstein has jumped all the hurdles and has in the process created an important book that will find a reception in every Jewish home whether already religiously observant or secular, but with an open mind to the beauties of a Jewish life as relayed in these charming stories. No doubt, the author’s father (Uncle Yossie) in Gan Eden is rejoicing in the literary achievement of his son. Definitely a great gift idea for kids of all ages!

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