Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Question to Readers of the Sfas Emes Blog

For some time, I have been thinking of changing the format of this blog.  I want to take the Sfas Emes's teaching's to a more practical level.  The current format of translating and elucidating the ma'amarim is restrictive in that I need to stick to whatever is in the ma'amar. 

I envision taking existing ma'amarim on the blog, noting the practical lesson in the ma'amar and giving down to earth suggestions as to how to apply the lesson to our daily lives giving examples either from my own experiences or from that of others. 

The format would be much more interactive.  You, the reader, would have an opportunity to share your experiences relating to the lesson of the ma'amar as well as comment and offer additional suggestions about how the lesson of the ma'amar could be applied practically.  I envision ensuing lateral and lively discussion at a practical level.  For example, if the Sfas Emes is discussing how to overcome the negative impact of tragedy on our lives, there is room for input from professionals, counselors and the like who deal with these issues.

For those of you who would miss the weekly new ma'amarim, I point out that this blog currently contains close to 300 ma'amarim.  There are ma'amarim on every parsha in the Torah as well as on all the holidays on which the Sfas Emes wrote.  That's enough material to fill more than 600 pages of a medium sized book.  Each week I'd list the links to the ma'amarim for that week's parsha at the beginning of the practical application post.

My motivation is to see us apply the Sfas Emes's teachings to our everyday lives.  I think it would make a sea change in our lives and have a ripple effect on the rest of our environment.  Taking it seriously could mamash change the world.

I would love to hear your thoughts about this, whether yea or nay, and I am open to additional suggestions as to how this could be done.

I await your input!  Thanks.


A Simple Jew said...

Great idea! I encourage you to do just what you suggested.

elker said...

Personally, I love it as is.

NonymousG said...

go for it!

Anonymous said...

How about a separate blog for that or a commentary afterward saying you know the implications or applications is a little overstated plus there is a book that does that already.

Moshe David Tokayer said...

What book?

Long Beach Chasid said...

I have been reading your blog for a long time now and have been learning Sfas Emes for close to 3 years with my Rav. We have gone through R' Leffs Emes V'Emunah commentary on the Sfas Emes that many times while my Rav reads also from the sefer itself. While I enjoy the book I think that i have reached the limit the book can give me. Since the Sfas Emes's sefer is so complicated I could not simply open it up with hopes of understanding and Baruch Hashem your blog has helped me connect to the Sfas Emes so much more.

With that said.

You have many maamarim achrived as you noted around 300 so if anyone wants a translation they can go to the archive. Because "there is already a book that does that" means what? That is it lets pack up and go on? I would LOVE to read your thoughts on these maamarim that you spend so much time translating each week. I would like to read whatever practicality you can pull from the sefer as the point of Polish Chassidus as lofty as it can be, is meant for practical application in the world.

I which you much hatzlacha on this endeavor and think it belongs on this blog and should not be anywhere else. You should make it clear at the top that there are translations available in the archive as well as elucidations by you.

This really makes me excited I must tell you.

AZT"F said...

Nice idea. I like this blog, so i would have to say like Anon 3:56

AZT"F said...

Nice idea. I like this blog, so i would have to say like Anon 3:56

Me said...


Personally, I am a stickler for seeing the maamar, or any Jewish text, as it is (or, as the case may be, in translation; but still, the maamar itself, as opposed to a discussion of the maamar). However, "hamaaseh hu ha'ikar", the idea, lofty as it is, absolutely must have a practical result. Therefore, I propose some sort of middle ground, like still providing your renditions of the maamorim, and then at the end of each one maybe saying "the lesson in avodah we can derive from this...etc." Something like that.

Or, maybe like Anonymous said, a separate blog for the commentary/discussion. But that might be too much work.

Brochos veHatzlocho


Moshe David Tokayer said...


I hear you and I agree. I'll only be discussing ma'amarim that I've already translated.

Having said that, nothing would make me happier than being able to quit my day job and spend more time translating/elucidating new ma'amarim and discussing their practical application, maybe even building a Sfas Emes website with online shiurim, discussion board, the whole shebang.

Until I either am able to retire or someone starts paying me, that will have to remain on my wish list :)