Power Bentching By Rabbi Moshe Meir Weiss, Now in Hardcover


rav-moshe-meir-weissShelley Zeitlin:  Rabbi, I got my new hard cover edition of Power Bentching.  It’s about time!

Rabbi Weiss:  Yes!  There were many hurdles to overcome before it finally became available in the stores.

Shelley Zeitlin:  What kind of hurdles?

Rabbi Weiss:  Well, for starters my very devoted chief editor, Shaya Sonnenschein, had the final copy ready to go when his computer was literally smashed when he was moving his office.

Shelley Zeitlin:  Was everything lost?

Rabbi Weiss:  Let’s put it this way.  The whole sefer had to be re-typeset from scratch.

Shelley Zeitlin:  Well, it says everything that Hashem does is for the good.  Was there some obvious good in this setback?

Rabbi Weiss:  Most certainly.  It meant that the whole manuscript went though yet another process of refinement.  You wouldn’t believe the hundreds of improvements that were made in the meantime.

Shelley Zeitlin:  Is the hardcover the same as the soft cover?

Rabbi Weiss:  No, it is greatly enhanced.

Shelley Zeitlin:  In what way?

Rabbi Weiss:  On every other page, there is a color-coded box with a new thought to take away and to share with one’s family.

Shelley Zeitlin:  You mean you added outtakes?

Rabbi Weiss:  No. not exactly.  An outtake is when an author picks something out of the text and highlights it for emphasis.  That’s not what I did.

Shelley Zeitlin:  Then what are these additions?

Rabbi Weiss:  I’ve categorized them under five different headings: A Family Lesson.  Something to Consider.  A Fundamental Concept.  A Lifetime Practice.  A Point to Ponder.

Shelley Zeitlin:  Why did you decide to make these additions?

Rabbi Weiss:  I had several reasons.  The first was because of people’s time constraints.  It often happens that a person doesn’t have enough time to sit down and read, but he has a few moments to flip through the pages and glance at these bullets.  I wanted to give also a person who is tight on time a chance to gain something from the sefer.

Shelley Zeitlin:  I’m sure that this wasn’t done only for those who are strapped for time!

Rabbi Weiss:  That is correct.  There are also those who have a short attention span and they benefit most from abbreviated bullets.  These additions are perfect for them.

Shelley Zeitlin:  Any other advantages?

Rabbi Weiss:  Yes, and perhaps it’s the most important.  Many times, people read an entire chapter, find it interesting, but in the end they don’t walk away with a concrete lesson, with something to improve their lives.  By giving these capsulated messages, I’m hoping that people will walk away with life altering concepts.

Shelley Zeitlin:  Can you give us some examples?

Rabbi Weiss:  Certainly.  Here’s one that’s short, sweet, and to the point.  Under the word nechamah, consolation, in the forth blessing, I included the following bulletin under the heading of A Fundamental Concept.  “It is very helpful to ask Hashem to help us cope with life’s disappointments.” This is concise and succinct and it gives the reader the knowledge that this is the place to pray for help in coping with the bumps of life.

Shelley Zeitlin:  Can you give us an example of A Lifetime Practice?

Rabbi Weiss:  Sure!  When we pray for our spouse and our family towards the end of the bentching, I make the observation that we should realize that every time we break bread it is an opportunity to pray for our children and grandchildren.

Shelley Zeitlin:  That’s important.  How about another one?

Rabbi Weiss:  Well, here’s another that just as succinct.  On the word u’lerevach, and with relief, I advise the reader to pray to Hashem to have a calm and relaxed disposition.

Shelley Zeitlin:  Good advice for our stress filled times.  What about giving us an example of Something to Consider.

Rabbi Weiss:  Here’s a good one.  On the stanza, “Hu yaaseh shalom aleinu,” where we ask Hashem to grant us peace, I comment that one should realize that sibling rivalry is one of the greatest pains that children can inflict on their parents.

Shelley Zeitlin:  What about a Point to Ponder?

Rabbi Weiss:  Here’s one that I hope will cause many to ponder.  Most of the time when you relate the evil that someone did to you, your crime of lashon hara is far worse than his or her misdeed.

Shelley Zeitlin:  I see what you mean.  These thoughts are not at all in the body of the text!

Rabbi Weiss:  That is correct.  It is my hope that these new bullets will spark lively conversations at our Shabbos and dinner tables.  I’m hoping that one of the children will comment, “You mean if we speak about someone who was talking in shul, we get more of a sin than the person who was doing the talking?”

Shelley Zeitlin:  I can see how short pieces are more readily available to the eye when sitting at the meal table.

Rabbi Weiss:  Most definitely.  Under the heading of a Lifetime Lesson, I include the short statement that Rav Pam said, “Fifty percent of successful child rearing is prayer.”  That quote is a  life changing gem that can be spotted and retained in just one second even after a mere superficial glance!

Shelley Zeitlin:  To change the subject, how has the sefer been selling?

Rabbi Weiss:  Well, Shelley, because of the delay, the sefer didn’t become available until four days before Succos.  I feverishly wanted it to be available to the Succos customers and I have to give bountiful thanks both to Shaya Sonnenschein and Gross Brothers printing for the heroic feat of producing this beautiful sefer from delivery of manuscript to delivery to my distributor, Judaica Press, in less than three weeks.

Shelley Zeitlin:  And then what happened?

Rabbi Weiss:  Well, my good friend and veteran distributor, Aryeh Mezei, tried to dissuade me from putting out a sefer four days before Yom Tov.

Shelley Zeitlin:  Why?

Rabbi Weiss:  Because the proper way is to have ample advance advertizing and sufficient time to put up posters in the stores, set up the sefer properly, and so forth.

Shelley Zeitlin:  But you didn’t listen!?!

Rabbi Weiss:  Well, I was more interested in at least benefiting at least some people to have the sefer in their hands when they bentched in the sukkah and on Simchas Torah.

Shelley Zeitlin:  Did the sefer suffer from this?

Rabbi Weiss:  Well, here’s the answer to your first question.  The initial delivery to Jewish bookstores all over the world added up 850 copies.

Shelley Zeitlin:  Is this a lot or little?

Rabbi Weiss:  It’s all relative.  Three years ago, my first sefer, Passiaonte Judaism, sold over 3000 copies in the first shot and I consider Power Bentching to be a bigger blockbuster.

Shelley Zeitlin:  So what happened?

Rabbi Weiss:  Firstly, the market has changed . In the last few years, novels dominate the front of many seforim stores.  While this is not necessarily a bad thing for it offers our children healthy recreation as an alternative to the secular garbage that they might otherwise be reading, it does do significant damage to the more serious seforim that people would otherwise be buying.

Shelley Zeitlin:  How so?

Rabbi Weiss: Well let’s face it.  In today’s harsh economy, people go into the Jewish bookstore with a limited budget.  When a child asks for the newest novel, they sometimes have to forego on Rabbi Frand’s new sefer on Chumash or Rabbi Weiss’s Power Bentching.

Shelley Zeitlin:  So what’s next for Power Bentching?

Rabbi Weiss:  Well, the beauty of this sefer is that it’s always current.  People bentch every day and it fills a need that will never become old.  So, slowly we are finding that the stores are calling with reorders, and orders are coming from Amazon.com and other venues.

Shelley Zeitlin:  Can a person get a sefer directly from you?

Rabbi Weiss:  Most certainly and there’s an advantage!  If they call me at (718) 916-3100 or email me at RMMWSI@aol.com, I will gladly autograph a copy for them as well.  I would also like to add that Power Bentching is a great gift item for Chanukah or when you go to someone for a meal, and especially for a Shabbos stay.

Shelley Zeitlin:  Rabbi, what about Power Bentching for the schools?

Rabbi Weiss:  Shelley, I’m really hoping that schools will want to adopt Power Bentching as a textbook for their curricula.

Shelley Zeitlin:  Is there a need for this?

Rabbi Weiss:  Definitely.  Too often, many people complain that not enough emphasis is made in the formative years of our people in the talent of prayer.  This sefer is a terrific tool since it clearly explains every word with stories, practical lessons, and a sprinkling of halacha.

Shelley Zeitlin:  Did you think of talking to Torah U’Mesorah?

Rabbi Weiss: Torah U’Mesorah already wrote (and it’s included in the sefer) a powerful recommendation.  I quote Rabbi Klein’s comment.  “I am quite comfortable to recommend Power Bentching to be used as a student tool for learning,” etc.

Shelley Zeitlin:  Would you prepare questions after every section to make it more adaptable to the classroom setting.

Rabbi Weiss:  If enough schools are interested, I would be glad to write this study guide.  If you would like to sponsor a school or are interested in more information please call me at (718) 916-3100.

Shelley Zeitlin:  What about translating Power Bentching into other languages?

Rabbi Weiss:  It’s in the works.  What we need now are sponsors.  You already have my number of email if you would like to become a patron.

Shelley Zeitlin:  You know, Rabbi Weiss, I’ve ordered many copies from you.  Your sefer is already a hot item in Bayswater and I’ve heard from people how much they’ve benefitied from this sefer.

Rabbi Weiss:  Thank you, Shelley.  It’s my hope that many more people will get to enjoy it and in the zchus of all of us bentching properly, may Hashem upgrade our livelihoods and bless us with long live, good health, and everything wonderful.

{Shelley Zeitlin-Matzav.com Newscenter}


  1. Rabbi Weiss, and to all with whom this wouldn’t have been possible, from your rebbetzin (with whom you should share nachas till 120) to Mr. Zeitlin and beyond, tizku l’mitzvos. The book is magnificent.

  2. Rabbi Weiss is a walking Kidush Hashem His seforim and his tapes are phenomenal . I have also read his latest sefer on bentching and it has had a tremendos affect on me Tizku L’mitzvos


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