What inspires you about Chayenu?
BP: The ease of access to the vocalized Hebrew text and English, along with the consolidation into a weekly magazine format makes learning on the road possible. Combine that with the accessibility of Chabad Podcasts such as Tanya with Rabbi Mannis Friedman and life is pretty good!
Which sections in Chayenu do you enjoy and why?
BP: I enjoy the sections on Chassidus and Tanya. Again, large volumes of incredibly deep work are broken down into parts, that are digestible, which you can actually use and apply to daily life.
How has Chayenu positively affected your life and those around you?
Studying in general, and through the use of Chayenu as a guide, has significantly deepend my observance and studies. It is hard to put into words the energy and feeling it generates after a long day of work, being able to study some Chassidus before davening maariv, and getting ready for bed.
On a larger scale, it has made me a better husband and father. The delivery of the publication every month has highlighted a number of other Jewish personnel on the team and will hopefully serve as a tool to bring them closer to Hashem in the manner it has served me.
Where is the place you least expected to experience Chayenu?
BP: Here, in the middle of Winter Training in the Imperial Valley of California!
Do you have an interesting story to share about Chayenu?
BP: My wife and I have been in the process of adopting a son for the past six months, and we were both at a really low point. We were frustrated that it was taking so long to place him in our home and the way he and our family were being treated by the current foster parents. It had really been a trying few days. It happened to be the week of the Previous Lubavitcher Rebbe’s Yahrtzeit. Of course Basi L’Gani was a focus in Chayenu, along with other customs surrounding the observance, one of which was to send a letter to the Ohel. I sat down and wrote a pidyon nefesh, asking for a blessing that the son we were trying to adopt would be placed with us soon. The very next day we received word that he would be in our home by Shabbos! It was truly remarkable.
What would you say to people who have not yet subscribed to Chayenu?
BP: Do it! I am able to leave my seforim at home where they are safe and can inspire my children, while learning more than I ever thought possible.