This is the fifth english adaptation from the author’s popular seforim which provide simple, clear, and practical instructions for living our daily lives culled from a vast array of Torah sources.
In this sefer, the author is challenging us to think – to look at who we are and what we are doing. We are off balance! In order to “straighten ourselves out,” we need to balance the two parallel paths of the Torah. Firstly, the author stresses the observance of the “outward” mitzvos; and secondly, we are urged to find the hidden messages of the Torah. Only if we discover these inner dimensions (and realize them in our own souls) will we be able to develop an intimate relationship with Hashem. The author provides many practical examples how to balance these two ways.
Like his other seforim the style may at first appear to be repetitive. This is done deliberately, since most people will read something once and then read on. The author therefore does the repetition for you, showing how, by restating the apparently obvious, the ideas penetrate from the mind to the heart. While these books certainly expand our minds, more importantly, they give us specific methods for working with the heart – the primary gauge of our inner growth.
This sefer is comprised of three sections: Getting to Know Your Way, Getting to Know Your Home and Getting to Know Your Children. The chapters are translations from printed Hebrew seforim or lectures that the author gave in Israel and the U.S.A. Each of these drashas were tailor-made for the audience the author was addressing.
The first section Getting to Know Your Way is a collection of essays on the topic of "returning". The first drasha, The Void, was delivered in Williamsburg, Brooklyn to a group of Chassidic boys who were “on their way home,” [a nice way of saying that they had abandoned Yiddishkeit completely]. The second drasha, Yishuv Ha’da’as, was delivered to Israelis who had recently returned from India where they attended a seminar in order to continue on their individual spiritual journeys. The third drasha, Path of the Baal Teshuvah was delivered at a yeshiva in Monsey to Israelis who had “returned” in the U.S.A.. These chapters appear here in print for the first time.
The second section, Getting to Know Your Home, contains five chapters. The first chapter In Search of Simplicity was delivered in Sfas and discusses “living in a generation where the breaches in our behavior are greater than the wall which surrounds us.” The Holiness of Marriage – Bringing Spirituality into the Home was delivered in Atlanta, Georgia to members of the growing Orthodox kehillah. These two chapters appear in print for the first time. The chapter entitled The Essence of the Jewish Home was adapted from the Hebrew sefer, Da Es Atzmecha. It discusses the necessity of uniting with one’s spouse on the levels the guf (body) and the neshamah (soul) in marriage. The last two chapters – Uniting the Emotions with the Intellect and The Foundation: The Emotional Connection were translated from chapters six and seven of the Hebrew sefer Da Es Baischa.
The third section, Getting to Know Your Children, is the translation of the first five chapters from the Hebrew sefer of Da Es Yeladecha: Building A Solid Foundation for Your Children’s Education; Building the World of Feelings; Mixing Emotions into Daily Life; Guid-ing the Child’s Emotions in a Positive Direction; Teaching Children to Think On their Own.