Two Hundred Weekly Posts Grow Into Impactful Book

A new book by Rabbi Shmuel Kaplan, head shliach of Maryland, was born out of hundreds of weekly ‘blogs’ sent to his baalei-batim. The book has already received wide praise in the short time since it was published.

By staff

This is how Best-Selling author Joseph Telushkin describes the recently published book by Maryland Regional Shliach Rabbi Shmuel Kaplan: “His knowledge is strikingly varied and far-reaching. He knows his Bible and Talmud, no surprise, but he demonstrates great fluency with science and psychology. His insights are penetrating and if you incorporate them, your life will change dramatically. Plus, his writing style is fresh and always accessible. In short, you will learn a lot and enjoy it.”  

The book published by Ktav Publishers is titled “Eclectic Thoughts of Meaning – Finding Significance in The Common.” It is a collection of two hundred private “blogs” that Rabbi Kaplan has been writing exclusively for his friends and supporters over the past six years.

“Instead of giving my baalei-batim awards and gifts, I decided to give a weekly gift of knowledge,” Rabbi Kaplan told “It turned out to be far more appreciated than I ever imagined. Many of the baalei-batim told me they wait for the ‘blog’ to arrive each week and often share them with family and friends.”

The recipients became such avid fans of the ‘blog’ that they insisted that they be collected and published. The result is this book.

The 200 topics covered by the ‘blog’ varied week by week. It could be related to current events, an interesting new scientific discovery, a personal observation, an explanation of a Jewish subject, a Yom Tov or a particular topic from the Sedra of the week. Each ‘blog’ was kept to around five hundred words to make it easy to read and digest. This explains why the title “Eclectic Thoughts of Meaning” was chosen. To make it easier to find a particular topic, the ‘blogs’ were arranged into one of nine categories for the book.

Lawrence H. Schiffman, Professor of Hebrew and Judaic Studies at New York University writes; “He brings a sensible Torah perspective to the issues that we all face and demonstrates beautifully how Judaism enables us to uncover the divine presence in so much of our daily lives and be inspired by it.”  

Rabbi Mendel Bluming, a Shliach in Potomac Maryland who has worked closely with Rabbi Kaplan and appreciated reading the blogs, had this to say about the new book. “I want Shluchim to know that it’s a real treasure that has helped me explain many different subjects to baalei batim. I encourage Shluchim to take the time to discover it. In the book, Rabbi Kaplan brings to bear his vast knowledge, his many years of experience together with his inimitable ability to clearly elucidate complex issues that are fundamental to Yiddishkeit.”

Rabbi Bluming emphasized that “this book is an ideal gift of substance for Shluchim to give to their mekuravim as they travel along the road to becoming more Torah observant. It is appropriate for the most secular to the frum. Rabbi Kaplan’s blogs have helped me share Chassidus with my own baalei-batim and I am confident that whomever you share this book with will be positively impacted and grateful.”

The publishing of the book coincided with the first Yahrtzeit of Rabbi Kaplan’s mother Sara Peshe bas Reb Nochem Yitzchok to whom the book is dedicated.

The book was prepared for print by Wellspring Press and features a foreword by renowned lawyer Nathan Lewin.

Eclectic Thoughts of Meaning is available on

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