It is true. There is much more to Chassidism than “just stories” -- even though many popular and scholarly authors have portrayed the movement more as the province of storytellers than thinkers.
Chassidism has a rich spiritual, moral, and intellectual core, but its stories are often the best entrance to the treasures within. And some of the movement’s greatest thinkers have used its tales to captivate their listeners, and then initiate them into the thought-world of the Baal Shem Tov and his spiritual heirs.
In this time-honored craft, Rabbi Abraham J. Twerski M.D. has few peers. As a scion of a family that traces its roots to the founders of Chassidism, son of noble parents who planted and nurtured a slice of Galicia in Middle America, and close kin of renowned grand rabbis, Rabbi Twerski is steeped in the richness of Chassidic tradition. As an outstanding Torah scholar, master of homiletics, pioneering psychiatrist, and healer of torn psyches, he understands people’s hurts and needs.
In his hands, stories are “not just stories” -- they are precision tools that teach and enlighten, that heal and encourage.
This book is a masterpiece on many levels. It is a superb collection of stories, chassidic and otherwise, told by a master. It is a thoughtful and provocative exposition of great spiritual themes. It is a magnificent overview of Chassidus, a movement that breathed life, pride, and vigor into millions of Jews.
Not Just Stories will become a milestone publication, a book that will be read over and over again, for the stimulation of its message and the sheer joy of its text.