Author Rabbi Yekusiel Goldstein shares the story behind his widely cherished book “Divrei Torah for Children”.
The widely popular book of “Divrei Torah for Children” has been published in a new third volume, with 63 new divrei Torah, on all parshiyos and yomim tovim! Here, compiler, Rabbi Yekusiel Goldstein, shares the journey behind the book.
“About ten years ago, I began teaching third grade in Lubavitch Yeshiva Crown Heights. When Shabbos approached, I was looking for dvar Torah material and realized that what I was looking for, was not available.
I wanted a short vort on the parsha, based on the Rebbe’s Sichos, that was age appropriate for third graders. I wanted a format that included a question on the Parsha, an answer from the Rebbe, and a takeaway lesson for life.
Being that I couldn’t find ready prepared work, I spent Thursday night, preparing it. I learned the sicha, typed it up, edited it and added pictures and some graphics. It took many hours, but the finished product was worth the time invested.
The next week, I went through the same process of preparation. When I successfully prepared the third one a week later, I knew I had a Chazaka, and would try my best to continue all year with Hashem’s help. Some weeks I was up until 3:00 am, but I B”H never missed a week – summer included!
I began sharing my divrei Torah with many teachers who enjoyed them and began teaching them to their classes. Eventually, my fellow teachers persuaded me to publish the divrei Torah in book format. This required a new series of editing, proper layout, and of course actually printing, publishing, and distributing the books.
Currently, “Divrei Torah for Children” is available in all the Crown Heights Judaica stores, as well as some out of town stores, and on Amazon.com.
I began getting positive feedback from teachers and parents around the globe. Though my suggested age I aim for is about 8-12, I’ve been getting feedback ranging between ages 6-14 (and older!)
“My kids enjoy the clear layout and the pictures!” one parent shared.
“The people around the table really enjoy hearing the Divrei Torah,” wrote another review.
“Whenever we have a family birthday, your Dvar Torah book comes to great use!” added a third.
I also heard from Shluchim worldwide:
“This is perfect, since our child doesn’t get to learn Sichos or divrei Torah on a weekly basis!” as well as “Your book is amazing for the summer weeks when the kids don’t have divrei Torah from school!”
Some feedback I often got was that younger grades were learning the divrei Torah and now the new teacher from the older grade was out of his teaching material. Parents also shared that their children went through the entire book and needed new material to share at the Shabbos table!
I took all of this to heart, and started writing “Divrei Torah for Children” volume two. It took many hours to put together, especially because I wanted to include divrei Torah that children would connect to not be beyond what they can relate to.
At long last, I brought the completed book to a Lubavitcher publisher for publishing, but they were too busy at the time to take on the project. I planned to shelf it for a while until they would be ready. That day I turned on the Living Torah and to my amazement I saw a Yid bringing a sefer to the Rebbe that he published. The Rebbe told him, “Hurry up with the next volumes, soon Moshiach will come, and who knows what the order of things will be like then…!”
I got the message loud an clear. I got to work right away and Boruch Hashem, by Chai Elul 5779, the book was ready. This was really great timing since the following year, Covid hit and many schools were closed, so the book was an invaluable resource they could learn at home on their own.
The Rebbe always demanded we keep going and growing with whatever we do. Volume two was completed, but that was no time to settle back, I started soon after on volume three which is now ready, Boruch Hashem.
The book is available at the above retailers, as well as in bulk-wholesale price, for schools and stores upon request.
For the future, I am looking for someone who is ready to take the project to the next level. To distribute it further, to schools and communities worldwide and also turn it into a curriculum for multiple grades. If you would like to get involved, please email: [email protected].
I want to take this opportunity to thank all those who encouraged me, and continue to encourage me, all along the way! I thank my family who contributed a lot with their talents and positive feedback!
I daven to Hashem that this be the last mitzva and last part in “hafatzas hamayanos chutza” to bring the promise Moshiach gave the Baal Shem Tov, that will bring Moshiach now!”
To purchase “Divrei Torah for Kids” click here.