Title: The Journey to Your Ultimate Self
By Rabbi Shmuel Reichman
Mosaica Press, 671 pages
While we’ve just barely started the summer, it’s not too early to start thinking about a new sefer on the weekly Torah portion for the next year.
So much of our day is spent involved in mundane activities – running to the grocery store, driving carpool, putting dinner on the table, working long hours… the list goes on. It’s easy to put personal and spiritual growth at the bottom of our to-do list. The Journey to Your Ultimate Self by Rabbi Shmuel Reichman is the perfect volume for anyone who wants to bring personal and spiritual growth higher up on the list.
In The Journey to Your Ultimate Self, each section opens with a story or metaphor to help the reader better relate to the main points of the parsha, which sets the framework for the many ideas that follow. As the Torah is our guidebook, helping one reach his/her full potential, every section contains divrei Torah, discussion questions and action points. The discussion questions can also be used as journal prompts. Examples of discussion questions include: How do you find your unique purpose? Is it more important to be skilled in an area or to enjoy it? Action points include: Pick an area in your life where you tend to stay in your comfort zone, make a plan for steps to take to go beyond it, identify three ways in which you tend to compare yourself to others, and work on focusing inward in those areas.
The main points of each Torah portion are bulleted at the end of each section. This sefer can be used at the Shabbos table for parsha review and discussion question prompts, even if not everyone sitting down at the meal has read the book.
Many of the ideas build upon each other from one week to the next. For example, much of the material in the first few sections centers on how we spend our lives re-learning the Torah taught to us in the womb by a malach, how our journey of self-discovery is actually a journey of self-re-discovery, reconnecting with our G-d-given mission in this world. One does not need to read these in sequence in order to understand the material. However, the more one reviews these concepts, the more one will internalize them.
In essence, this sefer focuses on helping the reader fill his/her toolbox, bringing Torah wisdom from the head to the heart. The reader will maximize his/her experience with this sefer by completing the weekly exercises by discussion at the Shabbos table, with a chavrusa or chabura, and/or completing them as journal prompts.