Opinion: Hitting the Publish Button


yechiel-michel-stern-2By Kollel Guy

There is a tremendous sense of awe when you hear someone has published 84 seforim in his lifetime. That person is Rav Yechiel Michel Stern of Yerushalayim, who was featured recently in Mishpacha magazine. The article focused on miraculous events that happened to him throughout his life and some very touching stories that he experienced in the past year.

Publishing 84 seforim in his lifetime is quite a feat, especially for someone who is not even 70 years old. So what is his secret? Is he some super genius? How does someone manage to release new seforim at the rate of 2.3 per year?

The secret lies in his ability to “ship” products fast and without delay. Most people have a fear of “shipping.” Everyone can think up great ideas, but only some people actually start working on them. And from those who actually start working, only a handful end up delivering something to the world.

There is a fear of completion that holds most people back. We fear the ridicule and rejection, so we hide back and do nothing. Rav Stern didn’t care what other people think. He published. (One of the episodes he recalled was how one of his seforim was such a dismal failure that the stores called him to pick them up because no one was buying them.) And published again. And didn’t stop. That’s a rare talent, but it doesn’t take a genius to do so. It takes focus, persistence, determination, and courage. In the famous words of the founder of Apple computer, “Real artists ship.” Everyone can be that artist. We just need to push harder.

{KollelGuy/Matzav.com Newscenter}


  1. I must disagree with you.

    Rav Stern is unquestionably a gaon. That is first and formemost. Yes, he is brave.

    But no, most people should not learn a lesson from his publishing. They should learn a lesson from his yedias haTorah. And when they are qualified, they should then consider publishing.

    Seforim stores and Yeshiva libraries are filled to overflowing by usless seforim published by people unqualified to write. And no one needs encouragement.

    Gedolei hadoros like the Pnei Yehoshua and the Divrei Chaim were hesitant to publish, and denounced many of the “mechabrim” of their own times.

  2. This has got to be the dunmbest piece I’ve read in a while. As #1 mentioned, Rav Stern is a gaon and his seforim are quality, with substance and worthy material. It is no “koontz” to just publish, publish and publish and there are many, many things one can learn from Harav Stern and how to “pump out seforim” is not one of them. How absurd it is, if that’s what you took out of the Mishpacha article or what you learn from Rav Stern or people like him, then you have completely missed the boat. You should therefore keep these thoughts to yourself and not prove your point, by churning out a meaningless article just for the sake of writing, and looking like a complete fool.

  3. iNTERETING although i dont agree.

    no one is like Rav Michel! Rav Michel is a gaon olam so he can publish some ofnthe most classic seforim! we cannot!

  4. The Brisker Rav used to say, “Nisht altz tracht men, nisht altz vus men tracht zukt men, nisht altz vus men zukt shraibt men, un nisht altz vus men shraibt drukt men”.
    His ainkel, Reb Avrohom Yehoshua says, “haint, nisht altz vus men drukt zul men trachten”.

  5. Easier said than done. After the sefer has been edited and vetted with haskamos, it still costs quite a bit of money to print and time to sell. I speak from experience.