Rabbi Nachman Seltzer

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Rabbi Seltzer is a collector of great Jewish stories. “People call me up with their stories,” he explains. “They track me down through the Hamodia office in New York or look me up on the Internet. I put my e-mail address in my books as well so people can contact me if they want. In the beginning of my writing career, finding obtaining truly amazing stories was much more challenging, but it has, Boruch Hashem, gotten easier with the years. People now look at me as an address for the incredible scenarios that happen to them.”

 

Rabbi Seltzer is excited about new publications of his books, “The Edge”, “The Link” and “Stories With A Twist”, which have recently become available as ebooks through Jewish ebooks.

Artscroll/Mesorah has just published Rabbi Seltzer’s 13th book, “The Shadows”, a page-turning novel pitting Israeli security against potential nuclear war. A popular storyteller, novelist, and columnist, Rabbi Nachman Seltzer is the author of twelve other books, including such classics as The Network and The Link (fiction), Child of War (biography), the Moments series, Stories with a Twist, and the bestselling It Could Have Been You series (short stories), and his 13th book, “The Shadows”, a page-turning novel pitting Israeli security against potential nuclear war. He also compiled One Small Deed Can Change the World, a popular anthology, and is a columnist for the International Hamodia Magazine. His true-life stories are beloved around the world. 

When Rabbi Seltzer was in kollel and getting smicha by Rav Yitzchok Berkovitz’s halacha kollel, he was also trying to break into the writing field. He was turned down by a certain company that wasn’t willing to chance such a green writer. Then he got his big break, akin to the collection of stories he published with Artscroll,“One Small Deed Can Change The World.” It did change his world.  He recalls, with hakoras hatov:

 

“Rabbi Yehoshua Leiman zichrono l’ivrocho, (one of the pioneers in the field of Jewish publishing) was offered a job as editor of a brand new newspaper. He took every article I had written and asked me for more, giving me the confidence to eventually take my writing to the Hamodia and from there around the world. Taking my articles was perhaps a small act for him, but it had an effect on me and by extension hundreds of thousands of people. 

 

Rabbi Seltzer infuses his learning with inspiration he derives from his writings and the stories he has collected. There is an expression in the writing and speaking world – are you a writer who also speaks professionally, or are you a professional speaker, who also writes?  Rabbi Seltzer doesn’t divide his life in such ways – his work as a Rebbe and teacher aligns naturally with his writings. 

 

“A few days ago my chavrusa and I were learning a sugya in Avoda Zara about David Hamelech and Bnei Yisroel,” he recalls. “That sugya became a shiur which I will be delivering B’ezras Hashem to my students in a few days. It is lessons such as those that can just as easily end up in one of my books. People write about what they know and if much of your time is spent doing one particular thing, it is bound to have an effect on what you are going be writing about. Being a storyteller make me a better Rebbe, because the most effective mode today in getting a message across is through the medium of storytelling and Boruch Hashem I have collected a really large amount of ultra special stories with which to make my points in class. It keeps my students awake, in participation mode and allows me to slip in many crucial points along the way.

 

Rabbi Seltzer learns daily at Jerusalem’s Mir Yeshiva and is also a rebbe in various post-high-school programs for American students studying in Eretz Yisrael. He also runs the Shira Chadasha Boys Choir, which has released four albums to date. A busy Rabbi, husband, and father, he, like many writers, has to fit his books into his otherwise very full schedule. He offers this chizzuk to others who stand in his shoes, wishing for the ability to publish their ideas, and wondering how they will ever get it done. Now, in the world of ebook publishing, publishing options are myriad, and the gates are open even wider. He counsels:

 

“It’s called One Page At A Time. If you write one or two pages a day, but really stick to it, you will create a book before you turn around. Try it. Just two pages a day. You will have a way to get your individual message across and be able to influence many people for the good, all by this small action. What’s one page after all? Try it. You may find yourself pleasantly surprised!”

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