Monthly Archives: July 2012

Sunday’s Spark of Mussar

Rav Yisrael Lipkin of Salant

The door of the synagogue opened suddenly, and a man rushed in to hear Kedushah. In his haste, he stepped on the shoes of one of the mispalelim and soiled it.
After Kedushah, R’ Yisrael called the man over to a corner and told him to apologize to the person on whose shoe he as stepped. “True, hearing Kedushah is a great and precious mitzvah,” said R’ Yisrael. “But the mitzvah gets ruined if it by doing it one harms another person.”

From “Sparks of Mussar” by R Chaim Ephraim Zaitchik

A most inspirational talk from Rabbi Jonathan Rosenblum

Tuesday, July 10th, Chai Lifeline’s MY KIDS program brought in Rabbi Jonathan Rosenblum to speak on the topic of  “Taking Responsibility for ourselves, our brethren, our World”.  MY KIDS is a unique program of Chai Lifeline dedicated in memory of a remarkable womanMiriam Yocheved Isenberg, of blessed memory.  If you take a few minutes to watch the video you will find out how Mrs. Isenberg directly impacted the observant life of the Rosenblum family.  The event was extremely inspirational to me and the take home message, that each of us was created with a unique purpose is something worth thinking about.  My thanks to the Isenberg family and Chai Lifeline.  The entire video is available for viewing here or below.


Part one

While I purchase many books and seforim (Jewish learning books) on Amazon, rarely do I write a review. This time I was compelled and I have only finished about 100 pages of the newly published book titled Bnei Avraham Ahuvecha.  This remarkable collection of teachings about Chassidic thoughts on Gerim (those that convert to Judaism). It is written for the potenial convert, those that converted, those are looking for insights, for the layperson and the scholar alike.

Whenever I get a book that contains any research, I always check out the footnotes first. The notes in this book are an indication of the amount of hard work that Dov ben Avraham put into the labor of love. What’s amazing, is that the footnotes reference many Hebrew books and concepts within Judaism and are written in style that is engaging and simple to understand. The truth is, this is how the whole book is. The skill to take complex, hard to define ideas and clearly bring the to a reader in an engaging way is something that is exhibited thoughout the book.

The author has taken ideas and teaching that were only available in Hebrew and has rendered them into English in very readable fashion. The book is organized by topic and has several first-person essays placed thoughout the volume. In edition, the book as additional essays written by some of the most knowledgable people within the English speaking Chassidic world.

Not only does the author (a ger, convert, himself) provide teachings based on the Chassidic tradition, but he offers additional insights, when needed. As he writes in his introduction he, “used his non-existent free time” since the fall of 2009 to work on this project and the result is amazing. Bnei Avraham Ahuvecha fills a void that has been missing within the Jewish world for years. It even contains sections with teaching based on the Jewish holidays.

Just looking at the sincere approbations in the front of the book show how special the author is and importance of this work.

Now for the litte things, like the actual physical book. You might think that paying $14.95 for a book that has 320 pages is a great deal… well, you’re right. The author has made the book very affordable and hasn’t given up on providing the reader with a high-quality paperback book. The cover (front and back) is in heavy glossy print, it’s tightly bound, the paper is a very sturdy cream color, and the font is very easy on the eyes.

I am looking forward to finishing up this book in next few days and I know it will be something that I go back to time and time again.

Stay tuned for Part two

(This was originally posted here.)

Jonathan Rosenblum speaking in Chicago on July 10th

Chai Lifeline invites you to
The Third Annual MY Kids
Community Symposium
Taking Responsibility for Ourselves, Our
Brethren, Our World
A discussion with:
Rabbi Jonathan
Founder and Director,
Jewish Media Resources
Tuesday, July 10, 2012
7:30 PM
Congregation Sha’arei
Tzedek Mishkan Yair
2832 W. Touhy, Chicago
Free and open to the public.
This program is a service of MY Kids,
a program of Chai Lifeline Midwest.