New ArtScroll eBook

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ArtScroll eBook – “A Touch of Purity: The Soul of  Teshuvah Through Stories and Reflections” by Rabbi Yechiel Spero

If repentance is so important – why is it so hard to achieve it?

With his trademark blend of stories that open our hearts and Torah insights that reach our souls, Rabbi Yechiel Spero, author of the bestselling Touched by a Story series, gently but firmly leads us on the path of repentance, teshuvah.

A revered rosh yeshivah struggles to atone for a wrong he’d done years before; a devoted chassid offers to give up his life’s dream rather than embarrass his rebbe; a starving young man lights a candle in the worst darkness of the Warsaw ghetto…

Here are stories that touch us, amaze us and, of course, inspire us to try a little harder, to push a little further – and to reach a place of teshuvah that we never believed possible.

As we are inspired by the wonderful and unusual stories of this master storyteller, we also

  • gain a new understanding of  Selichos, the penitential prayers;
  • learn techniques of introspection;
  • explore ways of enhancing our connection to Hashem;
  • discover the secrets of cheshbon hanefesh – spiritual reckonings – and the tried and true method to attain forgiveness.

In the first chapter I read how the great men of previous generations reacted to Elul. This was classic Rabbi Spero: a combination of stories that left me feeling inspired to be the best person I could become together with Rabbi Spero’s insights on repentance. Though I had never met Rabbi Spero personally, I felt that I was in the presence of a master teacher, a person who thoroughly understood me, my challenges, my strengths and limitations.

In Chapter 2 I was treated to a Spero-esque (is there such a word? There should be!) combination of personalities and stories: tales of contemporary gedolim, Chassidic masters, mussar personalities, and little-known people who had accomplished great acts of growth. There were mashalim and mission statements, as Rabbi Spero shared the questions we should be asking ourselves in the month of Elul: “Who am I? Who do I want to be? Where am I heading?  What do I want for my children? What do my spouse and I want to accomplish as a couple? As a family?”

By now, I admit (this is, after all, the season for confessions!) I had more than enough material to write the copy, but I read on. I couldn’t pull myself away from the engaging stories and from Rabbi Spero’s sincere and unabashedly emotional words of chizuk.

Subsequent chapters were just as packed with information and inspiration. I read about the importance of unity and how chesed facilitates repentance and forgiveness. I learned how to recognize, and touch, the “pintele Yid,” the essence of every Jew (including me!). Cheshbon hanefesh, always a daunting task in today’s non-introspective world, became clearer when viewed through the lens of Rabbi Spero’s marvelous stories;  Selichos came to life as I read how Rav Dessler, author of Michtav M’Eliyahu, prepared himself for those beautiful but difficult penitential prayers.
As I finished the book and the copy I had set out to write I knew that, though summer vacation had just begun and “bein hazemanim” was still weeks away, for me, at least, Elul had come. And thanks to Rabbi Spero and his important new book, A Touch of Purity, I would make the most of it
(more at blog.artscroll.com).

Compatible with iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad

Category: Judaism
Released: Aug 26, 2010
PublisherArtScroll / Mesorah Publications
Price: $11.99 (buy eBook)

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