Ways of My Heart is Rabbi Steiman’s collection of essays on the Parsha. For over 19 years, Rabbi Steiman has written a weekly Dvar Torah, using chiddushim and hashkofos based on the Nesivos Sholom. These Divrei Torah, which begins with a question on a Passuk and include captivating stories to convey the answer’s deeper message, inspire email subscribers worldwide and was also distributed in various shuls. By compiling these Divrei Torah into one sefer, Rabbi Steiman hopes to inspire even more people to connect to Hakadosh Baruch Hu.
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Sneak Preview: Check out one of the many stories including in this Sefer that you can enjoy weekly!
About 18 years ago, I merited to go in to the Grand Rabbi of Bobov, zt”l, Rebbe Naftuli Tzvi Halberstam. He looked at my kvitel and asked where I work. The Rebbe was inquiring about my parnassah, but after answering his question, I turned the conversation to work on personal growth. “I want to ask the Rebbe what I should be working on myself,” I said. “What should be my focus in personal growth?”
The Rebbe smiled and said, “The Torah tells us, ‘Vedavka bo.’ Rashi Hakadosh points out that you can’t cleave to Hashem because Hashem is like a fire. Instead, Rashi tells us, we can strive to get closer to Hashem by copying His traits. ‘Ma hu rachum af ato rachum.’ Just as He is compassionate, so should you be compassionate, and this is what you need to work on.”
I felt a great responsibility to work on what the Rebbe had asked of me and wanted to learn more about fulfilling this task. I thought that since the Rebbe had learned in the yeshiva of Slonim in Eretz Yisrael after the war, under the Rebbe, Reb Mottele Slonimer, zt”l, perhaps a Slonimer sefer could provide some guidance.
I started learning the only Slonime sefer I was familiar with at the time: the Nesivos Sholom, written by the Slonime Rebbe, Reb Sholom Noach Brazovkiy, zt”l. When I came to the last page of the Nesivos Sholom – Alef, the following words of the Nesivos Sholom struck me: “What is the life of a Jew? Just as Hashem has compassion, so must you have compassion.” I realized then that by learning the whole sefer I would better understand what the Rebbe meant, and since then, I have become very attached to this sefer.
A few years ago, I began teaching the Nesivos Sholom on the weekly parshah in Ohr Somayach in Monsey, New York, where people come from all over the country to learn how to grow and form a connection with Hashem Yisborach. There was a group of Bucharian Jews from Phoenix, Arizona, that was so impressed with the hashkafos of the Nesivos Sholom that they asked me to come to Phoenix to teach it to their community.
I accepted their invitation and was so happy to see how much their community enjoyed learning the Nesivos Sholom. In order to keep the community inspired and help them continue growing spiritually, I began writing a dvar Torah on the weekly parshah in English and Russian, which I emailed to the community members.
When writing my weekly dvar Torah, I used my own chidushim, based on the hashkafos of the Nesivos Sholom. I structured the emails to begin with a question on the passuk and then bring stories and quotes from tzadikim to provide the answer. I chose this approach because the Beis Aron writes that the best way to strengthen our emunah today is with stories of tzadikim.
Baruch Hashem, my efforts brought wonderful results. With time, the email list grew to over 500 contacts from all over the world. Moreover, many people would print out the emails and distribute them in their shuls.
The idea for this sefer was first proposed by some friends, who suggested that I share my divrei Torah with a wider audience. Thanks to their encouragement, I began working on this sefer, which is a compilation of those first divrei Torah, which were distributed around the world through weekly emails. It is my hope that by printing this sefer I will be able to inspire even more people to connect with Hakadosh Baruch Hu and grow in Yiddishkeit.
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