Category Archives: Inspiration

Gifts From Hashem by Rabbi Moshe Goldberger

Opening the mailbox to find a review copy of Gifts From Hashem, by Rabbi Moshe Goldberger, was such a joy!

cover gifts from Hashem

 

The sefer is now parked next to our dining room table for a daily session of it at dinner time.

We highly recommend you get a copy do the same.

This book is adapted from the classic, hard-to-find “Apple Book,” the sefer Speak in All His Wonders, which is based on the teachings of Harav Avigdor Miller.

The material has been revised and expanded. It is arranged in short daily lessons that are meant to help readers achieve joy through being aware of Hashem’s presence in the world. Each lesson — most are less than a full page — is followed by a thought for the day.

The sefer has six parts. The first explores the concept of bechinah. The second helps readers put it into practice by appreciating the wonders of the human body. The third turns its focus on Hashem’s amazing creations in the world around us. By this time, readers must be experienced  bechinah practitioners, so Part IV raises the stakes. It is about appreciating pain, suffering, poverty, etc. Part V addresses a gift from Hashem that many people hardly stop to dwell on: The gift of being Jewish.

Appreciating Gifts from Hashem Through the Morning Blessings

The last section of the book leads readers through the Morning Blessings in a way that may forever change how we recite them.  In fact, the publisher promises an upcoming booklet that will contain only this section of the sefer, for those who want to use it in their morning tefillah.

There’s also a classroom edition of Gifts From Hashem in the works, which is wonderful news.

As Rabbi Goldberger writes in the introduction, “Through bechinah, we learn how to see the world through the Torah’s eyes and how to appreciate Hashem’s gifts. We develop an ever-increasing happiness and love of Hashem.”

We couldn’t think of a better goal with which to start a new year.

Published by Simchas Hachaim (which is the official publisher of Harav Avigdor Miller’s books and lectures.)

We received a review copy of this sefer.

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How Free Will Works by Dovid Lieberman

The quality of our lives comes down to the quality of our choices. That’s the bottom line that prompted How Free Will Works: The Blueprints to Take Charge of Your Life, Health and Happiness, by Dovid Lieberman.

How Free Will Works by David LiebermanDr. Lieberman is a psychologist, with many other books to his belt.

This is not just a philosophical work. The book doesn’t try to prove the existence of free will – it assumes that, within certain parameters, there is always a responsible choice to be made, and goes from there.

As the subtitle indicates, this is what many would probably call a self-help book. Dr. Lieberman takes readers through practical steps to help them actualize their potential.

From the back cover:

Drawn from classic sources, How Free Will Works explores the elegant relationship between Divine providence and free will — and illuminates the connections among themes such as: miracles, mazal, happiness, cause and effect, Heavenly decree, nature, success, tikun, self-esteem, destiny, teshuvah, prayer, mental illness, anxiety, mitzvos, emunah and bitachon, suffering, fear, pleasure, anger, and will power.

How Free Will Works sheds fascinating light on the cosmic network of interlacing forces that operate in creation — such as Divine providence, mazal, and prayer — and reveals the power and parameters assigned to each.

More valuable still, this groundbreaking achievement explains how free will intersects with, and impacts on, these forces — which give us the practical and near-magical ability to maximize opportunities,sidestep unnecessary hardship and heartache, and transform our emotional, spiritual, and physical health.

As the dazzling design and sweeping influence of free will emerges, we move in a world that offers us a different experience. and it will become increasingly difficult — if not inconceivable — for us to ignore the one truth that will become so patently obvious: we control the quality of our lives.

This is a book that has enormous potential to improve people’s lives in a very meaningful way. It shows readers ways to find fulfillment, to engage in life, to reignite their purpose, no at matter what stage in life they may find themselves, by reconnecting with their neshamah.

Dr. Lieberman was interviewed about his sefer on the OU’s Savitsky Talks podcasts. You can listen to it here.

Published by Feldheim.

Purchase now from Amazon.com

Dr. Lieberman is also the author of 10 previous books, which have been translated into 26 languages and include two New York Times bestsellers. Among them:

Real Power by David Lieberman

 

 

 

 

 

Get anyone to do anything book cover by David Lieberman

The Miracle Next Door by Yona Yakobovitz and Malka Adler

I spotted The Miracle Next Door on sale for the incredible price of $5.49 (instead of $21!) at the Menucha website today.

Miracle Next Door coverThe is a powerfully inspirational book that has given so much chizuk to so many people around the world.

The true story of a disabled mother of two disabled children, this book is told from two different viewpoints – that of the neighbor who volunteered to help (Malka Adler, also the author of a Second Helping of Sunshine), and the moving, poetical diary entries of Yona Yakobovitz, the first-time mom who after years of davening for a child, suddenly found herself spending years in hospitals at her son’s bedside.

Yona Yakobovitz was disabled by rheumatoid arthritis since the age of 19. After many childless years, she was blessed with a son, Yisrael Meir, who was born with severe Stickler’s syndrome and many physical problems. His problems were so challenging that some doctors even refused to treat the child!

She fought tooth and nail to save her son (who is today a delightful 20 year old young man.) When Yisrael Meir was 8 years old, his brother Eliyahu was born with Down syndrome and a variety of other physical problems.

It’s a tale of incredible hardship – but never a downer.  As the book reminds us, “pain is inevitable, but suffering is optional.” In every new and difficult twist and turn, this family looked for the positive lessons to be learned.

One striking quote I’ve never forgotten – an excerpt from this mother’s diary, rejoicing upon finding out that her son was finally well enough … to have surgery:

There is one beautiful thing that keeps me hanging on, which is that I feel…I feel like a mom.  We waited so long for him and we worked so hard with him to heal and to be in this world – so busy keeping him alive that the time to just be a mommy was so scarce, so precious.

Amidst all the daily chores and hard work of being a mom, how often do we stop to appreciate that getting to do all that hard work is an amazing privilege?

Interwoven among the chapters is also the story of Tofaah, the first all-woman, Jewish rock band, which is this mom’s other “baby,” and the incredible kiruv work the band does.  There’s even a CD included with the book. (At least there was when the book was published by Targum.)

I’m so glad to see Menucha picked up this book and is making it available once more!

Purchase now from Menucha or used from Amazon.com.

If you’re a fan of the book, or if you buy it now and it touches your heart, please contribute to the fund set up to help this inspirational family.


Living On by Rabbi Daniel Yaakov Travis

By Naomi Elbinger

Living On: Messages, Memories and Miracles from the Har Nof Massacre is the brainchild of Rabbi Daniel Yaakov Travis, Rosh Kollel of one of the victims, a friend and neighbor of the four victims, and a fellow congregant at Kehilas Bnei Torah, the shul where the attack took place.

cover of Living On by Rabbi Travis

 

6:57 a.m. — 39 men daven at a neighborhood shul in Har Nof, Jerusalem.


7:08 a.m. — Four of them lie murdered
al Kiddush Hashem, following a massacre that rocked the Jewish world.

 

“I knew each of the four kedoshim personally and I davened at that shul every day for years,” said Rabbi Travis. “The idea for this book came during a Shabbos discussion with another Har Nof resident.

We felt that following such a tragic event, and in light of our personal connection to the kedoshim, something major had to be done to preserve the momentum that had been generated.

“By the next erev Shabbos, the book was already written, edited and on its way to print. Anyone who knows anything about the usually interminable process of book publishing acknowledges the Divine Assistance we merited.”

The book has three main sections: Miracles, which details the unfolding of the attack and its aftermath, and includes many incredible stories of salvation from survivors and eye-witnesses; Memories, which explores the special qualities of the four victims, as told by close family and others who knew them; and Messages, which delves into the inner meaning of this tragedy, which we must try to comprehend with the help of our Gedolim.

The concluding section, entitled Living On, explores how we can carry on, meaningfully changed, in the aftermath of the tragedy.

Notable contributors to the book include: HaRav Aharon Leib Steinman, shlita; HaRav Moshe Sternbach, shlita, Av Beis Din of Jerusalem, whose son survived the attack; HaRav Yitzchak Mordechai Rubin,  shlita, Rav of Kehilas Bnei Torah; HaRav Zev Leff, shlita, and many other Torah luminaries.

“Most of the news reports of the massacre were gruesome and depressing,” said Rabbi Travis. “But this book takes a completely different view. We explore the pain of the people involved but we also highlight the many miracles experienced on that day; the incredible faith of the widows and survivors; the outpouring of chessed that followed the attack; and the meaningful messages that emerged. This book seeks the true Jewish perspective. We showed the manuscript to the survivors and they agreed that it reflects the deeper message we should all be seeking.”

The challenge of taking such an atrocity and finding messages of hope within it seems formidable. But several survivors of the attack and relatives of the victims were extremely supportive of the project and helped provide the content.

“The first thing I said when I woke up was the Pasuk ‘Ashira laHashem bichayai – I will sing to Hashem with my life’ (Tehilim 104:33)” said Rabbi Shmuel Goldstein, who sustained severe head injuries after being attacked by one of the terrorists with a meat cleaver. He was interviewed extensively for the book. “Now I appreciate that so much more; that every second that Hashem gives me life, it’s not a onetime present, it’s a constant present that Hashem gives and keeps giving. Even though it is looked at as a very bad story, there are so many miracles that Hashem did.”

The book presents itself as a double chessed: it helps reader process this traumatic event in a positive way, while giving tzedakah to the widows and orphans. The publication was fully sponsored by generous donors, so 100% percent of proceeds from sales of the book will go to victims’ families.

Living On: Messages, Memories and Miracles from the Har Nof Massacre is available at Feldheim.com or at Jewish bookstores.

Naomi Elbinger is one of the Jewish world’s leading experts on web marketing and business strategy and can be found at MyParnasa.com – The Jewish Business Blog.

Rabbi Travis is also the author of:

cover praying with joy by rabbi travistravis-shabbos