Jewish Kabbalistic Meditation “דרכי שלום”
Yeshivat Nefesh Hachaim merits being located in Yerushalayim on Har Tzion adjacent to Kever David Hamelech. The yeshiva is a pioneer in publishing siddurim and machzorim with the Kavanot of the Arizal specially geared to the beginner. Our siddurim are printed in an unabridged, clear format. They include instructions, introductions, and various customs written in a clear and easy style specified for our day and age. They also feature various prayers, intentions, charts and expanded Roshei Teivos to assist those wishing to enter these gates of wisdom. All this is done with nice fonts and typesettings which facilitate easy reading. Many of those who got used to our siddurim claim they cannot substitute it for any other kind.
Throughout the years we’ve expanded the repertoire of seforim we publish to incorporate a few types of siddurim, machzorim, tikun chatzot, and pamphlets on various subjects. We also plan on publishing, B’ezrat Hashem, a Tehilim, seforim on halachot and customs, commentaries on the Arizal’s writing and other Kabbalah seforim, Siddurim for women, Seder for Hoshana Raba night, Shavuos night, Shvi’i Shel Pesach, books on segulos and personal prayers, a book of songs for Shabbos and festivals, Seder for Chanukas Habayit, Seder for a Brit Yitzchak, and prayers for the illui nashama of the niftarim.
“Jewish Kabbalistic Meditation “דרכי שלום”” merits encouragement from gedolei Torah of our generation and is especially endorsed by Rabbi Yitzchak Goldstein Shlit”a Rosh Yeshiva of Diaspora Yeshiva.
We are presently occupied with publishing our siddur -“Siddur Chen”. Many years of painstaking work was put into it so far. It is a result of much effort of our group that gathers to study the introductions and Kavanot of the Arizal. The siddur incorporates introductions, charts and explanations to ease the understanding of these Kavanot. We are simultaneously working on Ashkenaz, Sefard, and Safardi siddurim, in three languages, Hebrew, English and Spanish.
Is it permitted to translate and why?
Many ask if is it permitted to translate Kabbalah literature into other languages. There are multiple answers to this question.
The main response is that the unfortunate situation today is that there are some charlatans out there, many of whom aren’t even Jewish, that present themselves as Mekubalim. Unfortunately, many Jews fall prey to them. Therefore anyone with the power to protest has the obligation to do so. He should also publicize as much as possible the correct way to approach these gates of wisdom. He should educate the masses that there is no way to fulfill their desire of attaining this wisdom other than the authentic Jewish way that was passed down for generations. If anyone tries to attain this wisdom elsewhere he will destroy rather than rectify. Therefore, we feel it to be not only permitted but important to translate these seforim of Kabbalah to make our people aware of the aforementioned.
Another reason to translate these seforim is that many observant people throughout the world feel distant from spirituality. All their Torah and prayer are done by rote and just to fulfill their basic obligation to feel free to be able to move onto matters they find more interesting. We are confident that if they would taste the sweetness of the wisdom of Kabbalah, or even just some insights into what they are already doing, they would quickly be transformed into serious Ovdei Hashem. As they begin to see and understand how the whole Torah is connected to and affects the higher worlds, they will get a new realization of what Torah is, and a renewed spirit.
Sharing the merit with you
It goes without saying that these projects are costly. Production is not progressing as quickly as it should fitting such a worthy project. We, therefore, extend our offer to all of Am Yisroel to participate in this tremendously holy project. Please take a generous part in funding the continuation of these important works. These are works of Rishonim who are compared to angels. Through helping produce these works one can arouse the zchusim of the Rabbis who brought this profound wisdom down to us. This will also be the cause of elevation to their souls, and in this merit, they will pray for us all to receive limitless bounty and blessing, Amen.
What else is in it for you
The Chofetz Chaim wrote in his sefer Ahavas Chesed that there are people who want to do something special in memory of a loved one. Sometimes they make a nice expensive tombstone with golden letters and nice flowers. Some add nice plants and the like and spend a fortune on these items. They think this will cause some pleasure to their departed relative. They are gravely mistaken. If heaven forbid, a relative passes on and didn’t leave any progeny behind, instead of investing in the above items, they should make an everlasting memory for them with a mitzvah that will endure for generations. If he doesn’t have the means for this he should at least donate a Sefer in his memory, for the public to learn from, and write the name of the departed inside. This way whenever someone learns from it it will cause pleasure to the nifter. The Chofetz Chaim concludes that he’s seen many do this.
This merit is multiplied many times over if one would dedicate the publishing of a new Siddur, like the one we are working on. This would help many Yidden throughout the world pray to Hashem with the proper kavana and to draw down to the world a spiritual and physical flow of blessings in all areas. This would also bring the Geula closer. How meritorious would these sponsors be in this world and the next! They will be among the mezakei harabim that regarding them is written “They are like the stars forever”, for this is a merit that lasts forever.