I have to thank Dixie Yid for introducing me and the blog's new focus, as well as for inviting me to be a co-author on the blog.
Many of you might have noticed the blog's new focus: Avodas Ha'Avoda. This refers to how a person is oved Hashem, serves Hashem, through his avodah, working for his livelihood.
The idea came out of a "chance" meeting between myself and Dixie Yid on the way into work recently. For certain reasons, I have been recently struggling with the whole experience of working. I just couldn't mentally deal with the fact that I was working very hard to provide for my family, but at the end of the day, I was still just yearning to be able to sit and learn. I sat in the office crying out to Hashem, asking him to let me sit in the Beis Medrash. Why couldn't it be me? I love Torah, I love learning, and I love being an eved Hashem. Simply speaking, work was bringing me down.
I ebbed and flowed. I would find sources of inspiration in my learning, but nothing stuck with me.
About a month ago, I started to read The Dimension Beyond by Rabbi Yisrael Lorberbaum. It started to fundamentally change me in ways no other sefer has. I hope some day I have the opportunity to meet R' Lorberbaum. In the middle of learning this sefer, I spoke with an old friend from up north about my work challenges. The next day he forwarded me an article, which I shared with Dixie Yid which is posted here. This article truly changed me... It just connected to it in away nothing else I have read has. One line which particularly struck me were these simple words "In truth, if there exists a profession in the world, since it was created with God's will, it must be used as a tool to accomplish God's will." Those words made the connection in my neshama. I felt as if Hashem sent me a gift...
Fast forward to this past Erev Shabbos... I was sitting in my home office and thinking about the fact that there is so much Torah relating to work. There is so much available which can provide chizuk. There is a lot of Torah which can truly inspire and change so many of us who are struggling to find meaning and inspiration in our "9-5".
I emailed my friend, Dixie Yid, asking his thoughts on working towards the following lofty goal with me: I want to set out to collect as many non-halachic Torah sources which provide inspiration and mussar for Avodas Ha'Avodah. I told him that I wanted to collate all of this and publish a sefer, donating all the proceeds to tzedakah. Even just in my small world, there are so many men grappling with Avodas Ha'Avodah. Think of the change we could make in this work, in Klal Yisrael, in Families....
Dixie Yid thought it was a great idea and graciously decided to change the focus of his blog. But why? Simple, we NEED YOUR HELP! With my help, we will find and post relevant articles based on mussar, early meforshim, machshavah, and chassidus, but we need all of you to send us sources! Please leave them as comments or send them by e-mail to either myself or Dixie Yid. Our e-mail addresses are on the right sidebar. As we receive them, we post and catalogue them for the blog With Hashem's help, we will publish them in a sefer and im yirtzeh Hashem, it will help bring Moshiach one step closer!
With sincere feelings of hakoras hatov to Dixie Yid and the current readers, I hope you are inspired as much as I am to what I deem as a truly worthy endevour to help be michazik Klal Yisrael to be mikadish their Avodas Ha'Avodah.