Local author details journey seeking path to inner peace, true happiness

Local author details journey seeking path to inner peace, true happiness

BY ROBERT A. COHN, Editor-in-Chief Emeritus

I. Alan Appt was familiar to members of the local Jewish community as the founding owner of the Bagel Factory on Olive Boulevard, which he opened in 1974 and sold in 1987.  During long stretches of time alone, making the dough, forming and baking the bagels, gave him, “long periods of time to think about many aspects of life,” which included the basic concepts for his book, “The Strength in Knowing” (Hartford & Baines Publishers, $14.95, paper).

Appt has been extensively involved in the local Jewish community.  He studied under the late Chief Orthodox Rabbi Sholom Rivkin, who officiated when Appt became a bar mitzvah.  He was also an active member of Brith Sholom Kneseth Israel congregation.  He currently attends services at Traditional Congregation and Neve Shalom, and his grandson is a student at the Saul Mirowitz Jewish Community School.

Appt says his deeply personal journey led to “a heightened understanding of beliefs, love, peace and joy as well as personal and spiritual development.” His Jewish background helped set him on the path to his book, which he hopes will help his readers “find their own truth without delusions, and gaining higher degrees of love, peace and joy in their lives.  But most of all, obtaining a greater understanding of our life, purpose and meaning.”

While Appt’s book is aimed at a general audience of readers of all faiths and belief backgrounds, he makes it clear that his own religious roots are Jewish, and frequently takes note of his Jewish perspectives in his fast-moving text.


Appt acknowledges various religions’ paths to spirituality and draws upon prayers and wisdom from several faiths in his survey of spiritual thought. The book contains numerous Jewish references, including quotes from Pirke Avot, the Lubavitcher Rebbe and the Talmud. Along with Jewish tradition, he finds meaning in diverse writings, including “The Peace Prayer” of St. Francis of Assissi. Appt says that while the prayer is Roman Catholic in origin, it is “nonsectarian in context, can be applied to any religion or spiritual practice.”

Appt writes, “May your life become more enriched, and may you find peace in a fulfilled existence. May God grant that all of you who seek true happiness find true happiness.”

In sharing a detailed description of his own path to spiritual awareness and inner peace, Appt may very well point many others towards a similar journey.