Question & Answer With Dixie Yid - "My" Sefer
A Simple Jew asks:
More than a year before I returned to my family's shtetl, I called a seforim store in Brooklyn and ordered a copy of the sefer. The sefer than sat on my book shelf untouched until one day I sat down with a local rabbi and we began to learn it a little bit here and a little bit there.
The sefer then returned to my shelf again until one day I decided that I would go through every page. And that is exactly what I did; never letting a day go by without learning from it. Day after day, month after month, year after year, I return to it and bring a copy along with me wherever I go.
With the determination of a miner who is convinced that he will discover gold, I seek to deepen my understanding of this sefer. I continually search for locksmiths who can teach me how to unlock this tzaddik's teachings.
Sometimes a locksmith may become discouraged at the daunting task and suggest we work on a lock he has previously picked. However, I have no interest in the locks that he is overly familiar with. They are his locks and not mine.
Do you have a sefer that you consider to be your sefer? If so, which sefer is it and why do feel such a personal attachment to it?
Dixie Yid answers:
My favorite sefer right now is the Meor Einayim by Reb Nachum Chernobyler. I don't think that my connection to this sefer is as strong as yours is with your sefer, but I do feel very attached to it.
It all started several years ago when I was living in a (Jewishly) small town working in klei kodesh, doing G-d's work. I felt that I lacked any center in my avodas Hashem. It was just a mitzva here and a mitzva there, with no real mesorah or derech avoda, path in serving Hashem, behind it. I sought out the advice of a Rav I consulted with periodically and he suggested that I start a phone chevrusa with someone to reconnect to the Yeshiva system again.
At that time I was going through over 100 tapes I had bought of drashos in Chassidus by Rav Moshe Weinberger and so I thought that since I had never learned Chassidus before, I would like to try that. So I called up a Chassidshe Rav that I had met while in Kollel and asked him to learn something with me. He suggested Meor Einayim. I had to call about 7 or 8 seforim stores, but I finally found one that let me pay by credit card and would ship it to me. By the following week I had it and we learned a few pieces in it.
The phone chevrusa did not work out long-term, but about two years ago, I picked up the sefer and just started learning various pieces on that week's parsha. The feeling was unbelievable.
I felt like I was in a Batman cartoon. SLAM! WHAM! BANG! Every few lines, Reb Nachum Chernobyler was hitting me with mind-bending revelations about the deeper truth and meaning in the universe. After every half-paragraph I felt like I needed to take a break just to digest what I'd just read. My head was spinning. I love it when a sefer takes me down the rabbit hole into a new perspective on how to see the world that I never would have imagined existed.
There are some things that I see in the Meor Einayim that I have great difficulty coming to terms with, and though I have no personal or family connection that I know of with Chernobyl, the Twerskys or New Square, I relish that feeling of going deeper and deeper into things that the Meor Einayim gives over.
Because I'm a Meor Einayim pusher, a few friends have been exposed to it and one particular friend has started a chaburah in which we're learning it. So B"H, besides learning it on my own, I have ongoing opportunities to learn this great sefer. Anyone else have a favorite sefer? If so, which sefer and why?