Inspirational Thoughts for the Week

To my generous and kind backers,

I wanted to share with you my exciting news regarding the publication of my book, Forty Years in the Wilderness: My Journey to Authentic Living.

Shortly after the Kickstarter campaign was successfully funded last July, 2013, I returned home to Jerusalem, Israel. I secured a beautiful airy and quiet apartment that allowed me to diligently focus on reviewing with my editor all the chapters that I had previously written. After we completed this initial work I devoted the next 6 months to writing and writing, and more writing! The creative energies in Jerusalem poured forth and at times I could not keep up with my own thoughts. After each chapter my editor in Seattle reviewed the content and did her magic. By the end of February I completed all 42 chapters, the preface, prologue, and epilogue. At that point my editor reviewed the entire manuscript in its entirety with additional final edits.

I then had the book carefully proofread twice by a professional of the highest caliber.

At that point with twice edited and twice proofread manuscript “in hand” I then did what any first time writer who is self publishing would do. I froze! I had to ask myself if I am really ready to go through with this and bring my personal 40 year memoir to the world. I meditated and sought Divine guidance and the answer was a huge “of course!”

I began working with the various people involved in the final stages of self-publishing one’s memoir. This included working with a graphic designer for the book cover, the micro publisher for the book layout, who as well has the account with the printing company to arrange for the sample copy and for the advance printing of a limited number of copies, and coordinating the launch and readings with my public relations and social media manager. Once the proof copy is approved I can then confirm with the necessary steps to offer the book for sale online.

All of this work, and indeed it has been work whose value knows no bounds, and a learning experience I could never have imagined, leads me to share with all of you very exciting news. With deep gratitude to G-d and to all of you, I will be launching my book Monday evening, 12 May, at 8pm, in Seattle at Congregation Beth Shalom, 6800 35th Ave NE, Seattle, WA 98115.

For those who have donated at levels that include receiving either a soft-copy or limited hard-copy I would be blessed and humbled to personally give you your signed copy at the launch. If for any reason you are unable to make it to the launch I will be giving some readings at other venues and you are encouraged to stop by at that time. I will post the official schedule at a later date.

For those who are unable to attend either the launch or a reading in the Seattle area, fulfillment of your book will be sent afterwards.

I would like to invite all of you to continue to follow my journey by “liking” the book’s  Facebook page, 40 Years in the Wilderness , where you can see current updates, book reading and launch announcements and other exciting news!

Looking forward to seeing as many of you as possible to personally extend to you my immense gratitude.

With many blessings,








NEW! Tanya class

 Jewish Soul Food – Tanya

Are you thirsty to experience a genuine encounter with the Mystery of mysteries? Are you seeking to encounter G-dliness in your everyday life? Do you want to connect with your spiritual center, your soul, and to others’ souls?  Would you like to bridge the abyss between the material and the spiritual within Torah tradition?

Then come and feed your soul and drink from the wellsprings of the spiritual teachings of Chassidut as taught by Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi in his timeless book - Tanya.

The class is led by Yiscah Smith who has a background in both learning and teaching this most inspirational masterpiece in our rich mystical tradition.

The class is designed for those interested souls from diverse backgrounds.  No individual is either too much of a beginner or too advanced.  What we all do have in common is our innate need to connect to that which is infinitely greater than the sum total of HaShem’s entire Creation.

In person Sundays 9:30 am -10:45 am at Yiscah’s home in the Nachlaot neighborhood, Jerusalem or via live teleconference.  Please contact her for details:


My Story – 40 Years in the Wilderness

My story is not simply a tale of personal triumph over inner demons.  Rather, I am telling my story in order to, with the help of God, inspire and help others who are mired in obstacles — people for whom achieving a life of authenticity, genuineness, and wholeness feels impossible.  I, like many individuals, was paralyzed by fear, shame, and low self-esteem for most of my life.  Like me, these individuals find themselves unable to make the leap of faith they need to honor their own inner truth.  Many people, deep inside, yearn to somehow catapult past their personal demons, the forces strangling, suffocating, and wringing the life out of them.  My demons were gender identity confusion and the passionate desire to live a spiritual life within the Jewish tradition that conflicted with it.

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