April 18, 2024
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We’re All in This Together: A New Book by Rabbi Y. Frand

Everyday of our lives, we are faced with challenges, big and small – from dealing with financial issues to navigating interpersonal relationships, from work related situations to trying to stay in shape. So many of us get caught up in the business of managing the many facets of our lives that we neglect the most important tool in our quest to stay centered and on target–improving ourselves as individuals.

Enter Rabbi Yissocher Frand, a maggid shiur at the Ner Israel Rabbinical College whose skills as an orator have made him a perpetual crowd favorite, landing him highly coveted spots lecturing on behalf of the Chofetz Chaim Heritage Foundation and at the Siyum Hashas. A prolific author and highly sought out speaker, Rabbi Frand’s talks are sprinkled with humor and his thoughts and insights relatable and accessible.

In his latest book, published by ArtScroll, We’re All in This Together, Rabbi Frand shares his insights on how each of us can work on ourselves to become more sensitive and more aware of others in order to better achieve our true purpose in life. Rabbi Frand tells engaging stories about people who put others first. It’s hard not to read these short essays and wonder how to we can internalize these attributes and make them part of our own lives.

One story, The Girl Who Went the Extra Mile, describes a couple who after a long wait, were finally blessed with twin girls. As the babies grew into mischievous toddlers, their parents took them on vacation to a hotel, where the mother stayed with the girls during the week, while the husband spent Monday-Friday at home in the city, so he could go to work.

One day, it happened–every mother’s worst nightmare–Mom left the twins at the lunch table for just a moment and one of them disappeared. Frantic, she asked everyone for help, and came across a group of Bais Yaakov girls. The girls agreed to help find the missing toddler. One girl took charge and organized the search. All the teens, including the organizer split up and one by one they returned, alone. Finally, the girl who organized the search returned and she had with her the missing youngster.

Everyone wanted to know how she managed to find her.

“Did you look under each desk?” asked the organizer.

The girls shook their heads no.

As she returned the little girl to her grateful mother, the mother felt compelled to ask how it was that this one teenage girl had shown so much energy, had been so able to take charge and was so devoted to finding the toddler.

The girl seemed reluctant to answer but finally told the mother why it meant so much to her to find the missing child. “Because I am Leiby Kletzky’s sister,” she answered.

In this case it was the cruelties of life that instilled this teenager with the sensitivity to feel someone else’s pain. But the notion of caring deeply for our fellow Jew is one that should motivate us daily, says Rabbi Frand. Whether it is davening for someone who is sick, out of work, or needs help finding their mate, each of us should take upon ourselves to think beyond our own needs, to think of others as well.

We’re All In This Together is cut into short segments to make for easy reading. If you’re looking for some interesting bedtime reading, or a meaningful lesson for your Shabbos table or if you’d like to be inspired by stories that are uplifting and caring, Rabbi Frand has written a book that will lift your spirits and make you want to care about others.

Sandy Eller is a freelance writer who also has written song lyrics and scripts for several full scale productions. She can be contacted at [email protected].

By Sandy Eller

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