This collection is intended to bridge the gap between older and more recent Hasidic movements within the realm of Judaism, and to an extent help bring some awareness of the Hasidic culture to those unfamiliar with the group.
While the book is well-written and the stories interesting, some familiarity with not just the Hasidic culture, but with Judaism generally and even Kabbalah would likely bring greater understanding and appreciation to the text, an admission made by the authors themselves in the introduction. Nonetheless, A Heart Afire is a book that those interested in the Hasidim will appreciate indeed. From The Jewish Publication Society and available from your local, independent bookstore. (Shop local, shop independent, and tell ’em you saw it on Elephant Journal… it makes a difference!)