Chanukah is all about light. Every night we kindle the menorah in an effort to fill our hearts, homes, and environments with as much light as possible. Chanukah is a time when we celebrate our good fortune in being Jews, and connect with the many lights in our lives. There is the light of the candles, the light of mitzvos, and of course, the light of Torah.
One great light that is increasingly burning bright in our generation is the light of Chassidus, Pnimiyus HaTorah, the study of which has helped strengthen the connection of many Jews, and provide deeper perspective in the ways of Yiddishkeit, the will of Hashem, and the very purpose of creation.
One daunting obstacle that stands in the way of those who wish to study Chassidus, is the sheer depth of its teachings, which are often inaccessible to the layman.
Fortunately, in November of 2000, an organization emerged to address this challenge.
Machon Eliezer Yitzchak, the publishing arm of Heichal Menachem, is headquartered in Boro Park, Brooklyn, NY, and produces the very popular Chassidus Mivueres series. Rabbi Yaakov Leib Altein, Editor-in-Chief of the Machon, heads up a talented team of Jewish thinkers, including Assistant Editor-in-Chief Reb Meir Kleinman, along with Rabbi Dovid Olidort, who work tirelessly to render complex texts of Chabad Chassidus accessible, by way of brilliant commentary.
The work of Chassidus Mivueres is extremely important in our times.
We are living in a period in Jewish history when the frum community is outwardly growing as never before, and yet, inwardly, the soul of the frum community faces its greatest challenge, as the myriad realities of our modern world impose great hardship on the effort of the individual to attain a significant degree of inspiration in the service of Hashem.
The challenges the frum community faces in today’s day, and the role that Chassidus can play in easing these pressures, is best illustrated by the following true story.
A number of young Yeshiva students set up a mobile seforim store on a street corner in Boro Park. A Chassidishe gentleman approached, reviewed the offerings, and selected three copies of the exact same sefer, a volume of Chassidus Mivueres. As he paid for the seforim, the student asked him why he is purchasing three copies of the same volume. The man responded simply, “One copy is for my house, one copy is for my office, and one copy is for my car.” This only made the students more curious. “Why,” they asked, “do you need a copy of Chassidus Mivueres in three different locations?” The man paused for a moment, pondered, and explained: “If you look at me,” he said, “I wear the clothing of a Chassidishe Yid, and you would assume that is who I am. But inside, I have struggled for so long. I have so many doubts, so many questions. In fact, there was a time when I nearly gave it all up. And then something happened. I came across a volume of Chassidus Mivueres. As I read the pages of this sefer, it spoke to me as no sefer ever has. The light literally jumped off the pages.”
The Chossid concluded, “I hope this explains why I am buying three copies of this sefer. In a world full of darkness, Chassidus Mivueres sheds light, and wherever I am—at home, at work, or in my car—I never want to know darkness again!”
As this story illuminates, the Chassidus Mivueres movement, which began in the year 2000 with the printing of a handful of pamphlets, and has since gone on to produce a slew of handsomely bound and ever popular seforim. These seforim were projected to sell 2000 copies in the first year and sold out in one week, and have thus far sold more than 75,000 volumes. The Chassidus Mivueres movement has had a remarkable impact on the frum world. Indeed, it has been embraced in the most far ranging quarters, from Boro Park to Bnei Brak, from Gerer Chassidim in Ashdod, to members of Israel’s Settlement movement, from Rabbi Weinberg of Aish Kodesh in the Five Towns, to Rabbi Bentzion Twersky of Milwaukee. All have found in the texts of Chassidus Mivueres the very essence of Torah, brought to life in the light of Chassidus, in a fashion that energizes the soul as nothing else can.
When I asked Rabbi Altein about the secret of the Machon‘s success, he pointed to his partner in the founding of Machon Eliezer Yitzchok, Rabbi Don Yoel Levy, Kashrus Administrator of OK Kosher Certification, and Chairman of the Board of Machon Eliezer Yitzchok. “Rabbi Levy was there from the very beginning,” explains Rabbi Altein, “in fact, he was there before the beginning. Rabbi Levy witnessed the good work of Heichal Menachem, and as a leading student and proponent of Chassidus, he wanted to extend the reach of the organization. It was his vision and constant encouragement, guidance, and support, which enabled the establishment of Machon Eliezer Yitzchok and helped (and continues to help) spread the light of Chassidus to the masses.
To learn more about Machon Eliezer Yitzchok, and to order volumes of Chassidus Mivueres, including the latest sefer – Volume 1 of Chassidus Mivueres on Tanya, please call (718) 633-1076, or go online to www.chassidus.com.