Join The Conversation With Mishpacha's Weekly Newsletter

Book Power

Libi Astaire

Books can whisk you off to distant locations, take you back in time, propel you to the future. They can introduce you to fictional characters whose struggles and triumphs become your own. But they can do even more —book can change your life. Family First writers share unforgettable titles, and the impact they made.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Caught by a Chassidic Story

It’s no accident that I live in Neve Yaakov. Although many people think this neighborhood, located in northern Jerusalem, is “out of town,” when I realized that the main street is named after Rav Shlomo Yosef Zevin I knew I had found my spiritual home. You see, it was partially thanks to Rav Zevin — or rather, his two-volume work A Treasury of Chassidic Tales (ArtScroll) — that I became frum and found a career as a journalist and novelist.

Now, I know what some of you are thinking. You can see how someone who miraculously overslept on the morning of 9/11 could do a complete turnabout and become a baal teshuvah. But from a chassidic story? That sounds too much like … well, a chassidic story. So let me tell you mine.

I grew up in what’s known as theKansas Citymetropolitan area, which spans the border betweenMissouriandKansas. Even by the most stringent opinionsKansas Cityis “out of town,” so it should come as no surprise that I didn’t know much about Chassidus growing up. But this isn’t a story about growing up in an out-of-town community. It’s a story about a word — a word that became a battle cry for my generation, growing up during the 1960s and 1970s: Relevant. 

Share this page with a friend. Fill in the information below, and we'll email your friend a link to this page on your behalf.

Your name
Your email address
You friend's name
Your friend's email address
Please type the characters you see in the image into the box provided.

Drink to Eternity
Rabbi Moshe Grylak Redemption doesn’t simply mean being let out of jail
Klal Yisrael Is Always Free
Yonoson Rosenblum "In that merit will Klal Yisrael continue to exist”
Home Free
Eytan Kobre My baseline for comparison is admittedly weak
Believe in Your Own Seder
Rabbi Judah Mischel Hashem is satisfied when we do our best
Picture Perfect
Yisroel Besser Take a picture — and this time, send it to yourself
Flying Solo
Rabbi Ron Yitzchok Eisenman As Pesach loomed closer, his resentment was growing
Hanging on by a Hair
Jacob L. Freedman MD “Do you still think that I’m not completely crazy?”
A Song for Every Season
Riki Goldstein Influencers map out their personal musical soundtracks
Subliminal Speech
Faigy Peritzman The deeper the recognition, the deeper the effect
The Big Change
Sarah Chana Radcliffe Spelling things out clears clouds of resentment
The Count-Up
Mrs. Shani Mendlowitz Tap the middos of Sefirah to recreate yourself
The Baker: Part 1
D. Himy, M.S. CCC-SLP with Zivia Reischer "She can't get married if she can't build a relationship...
Know This: Infertility
As Told to Bracha Stein There was no place for me. I didn’t belong
Dear Shadchan
The Girl Here's the thing: I need time