Ken (Chanoch) Bloom's Blog

17th March 2010

Seforim on which to base a mussar vaad

The AishDas Society is looking to start a new online/telephone women's mussar va'ad, and is looking for an appropriate sefer for those who do not have much hebrew skill.

Past va'adim have been based on Alei Shur by R' Shlomo Wolbe, but the hebrew is not easy, and aside from small excerpts, we do not have reshut from his family to translate the sefer (and we have asked).

An explanation of our approach is in the translated excerpts of Ali Shur, but to very briefly summarize, the primary criterion for this list is that the book has practical exercises to be performed over a multi-week period to practice and develop specific middot, before moving onto the next exercise in the same middah.

Other seforim that have been suggested include the following. They almost all involve a bit of a change in hashkafic focus (mostly to be more deveikut-oriented) or methodological focus. Our real challenge here is to choose something that's translated/translatable that has the amount of middot development that we're looking for, so some of these books are more on target, and some are farther off.

I'll try to keep this list updated if other suggestions appear on the AishDas lists.

Permalink | torah.
17th March 2010

Hebrew-English Sepharadi Tisha b'Av Siddur

On a recent trip, I came across a Hebrew-English Sepharadi Tisha b'Av siddur (after years of searching). It's Siddur Kol Eliyahu published by Congregation Shaare Rahamim in Brooklyn, NY by Rabbi Shlomo Churba. To purchase copies, I imagine that you would call Congregation Shaare Rahamim at 718-951-6226.) The credits page says that the kinot translations (which are approximately the only thing translated in the siddur) are used with permission from Siddur L'Tisha B'Av published by B'nei Shaare Zion (also in Brooklyn, a quick Google search tells me their number is (718) 376-0009), so there may potentially be two extant Hebrew-English Sepharadi Tisha b'Av siddurim in the world.

One big caveat of Tisha b'Av siddurim is that every siddur seems to be very different from every other siddur. Though they share many kinot in common, they also have many different kinot. Siddur Kol Eliyahu is according to the syrian minhag, and it's different from Avodat HaShem and Or Vaderech (which are, in turn, different from each other.)

But if you're Hebrew isn't good, and you're looking to find more meaning on Tisha B'Av (if chas v'shalom the mashiach doesn't come before then), then these might be worth looking at.

Permalink | kinot.
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