Torah Gems Bookstore of Safed
Opened 11 years ago, by Eliezer Weiss, this Torah bookshop has become a mainstay of religious books for the English speaking community. Eliezer's father, Joe, ran the store for many years where patrons could find over 50,000 new and 2nd hand books. Today the bookshop is under new ownership but the friendly atmosphere and high quality book selection is still as firm as ever. In addition to books in English there are also Hebrew, Russian, Spanish and French books. Torah Gems is located at 37 Jerusalem Street, just across from the English Library and conveniently near the Post Office, You can have your purchases sent anywhere in the world.
The bookshop offers one of the best, if not the best, choice of English Torah books in Israel. With gemaras available in bi-lingual editions from the new Artscroll series, 150nis per volume, it is very easy for someone interested in studying traditional Jewish texts to do so, even if their Hebrew is not so good. The bookshop also carries regular Hebrew gemaras in a choice of editions. Joe tries to offer the Chumash (Bible)(129-245nis) in a wide variety of editions, with or without translation, as well as mishnayot in pocket and full size versions. All the main religious publishing houses are well represented, including Feldheim and Targum and these companies offer special sales twice a year on their stock.
Siddurim (from 78nis) and Machzorim (from 87nis) are offered in both soft-back and hardback. You can choose from Hebrew, or Hebrew-English with a variety of translations, as well as inter-linear and transliteration editions and for Ashkenaz, Sefard and Sephardi liturgies. If there is an edition you want, which Joe doesn't carry, he will do his best to order it for you. Of course books of Psalms (Tehillim) are also available starting at small pocket sized editions for 20nis upwards.
With the large number of Chassidism in Tsfat, there are a lot of English books about the various Rabbis and their teachings. These include biographies of the Bal Shem Tov, Rabbi Nachman of Breslov, Rabbi Schneerson of Lubuvitch and Shlomo Carlebach, books of their stories, as well as more scholarly works and commentaries.
There is a wide variety of self-help books, religious novels, cookbooks, language books and dictionaries as well as a good choice of children's books. The children's books cover the whole age range and include bi-lingual Hebrew-English ones, so that parents and children can read them together. There is also a selection of guide books about Safed and Israel, as well as greetings cards, calendars, and "benchers" ('grace after meals' booklets) so it's hard to stop into Eliezer's bookstore without wanting to buy something. One booklover was heard saying "I want all these books!"
Don't forget to check out the second hand section as you can often pick up a real bargain.
To contact the store: 058-321-1822
10:00am - 2pm Sunday thru Thursday, 10:00am-1pm Fridays.