Published and Copyrighted © by
Rabbi Moshe Bogomilsky
1382 President Street
Brooklyn, New York 11213
All rights reserved.
No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form or by any means, including photo-copying, without permission in writing from the copyright holder or the publisher.
First Impression 5761 • 2001
Second Impression 5764 • 2004
While derashot - sermons - on Shabbat are perhaps not so popular today as they were years ago, they are still a high point of the Rabbi's activities during the High Holiday season. With the advent of the Vedibarta Bam series, I have been inundated with requests by many Rabbis to publish derashot for Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, and Sukkot.
A large part of this volume has been developed in response to the abovementioned requests. In it are some of the derashot I have delivered in my shul, Congregation Yeshivah of Crown Heights, Brooklyn, New York over the past thirty years. Thank G-d, they were well received at that time, and hopefully the same will be true today.
Some speakers may choose to discuss their insights on current events or contemporary secular subjects in their sermons. It is my humble opinion that, particularly during the High Holiday season when the shul is best attended and there is an urge for spirituality, the sermon should focus on Torah content. It should provide spiritual food for thought and inspire the listeners to better observance of Torah and mitzvot. This is the type of sermonic material the reader should anticipate finding in Vedibarta Bam.
In addition to derashot, this volume includes a collection of thoughts on the Torah portions read during the Yom-Tov, clarifications of some of the prayers and liturgy of the Machzor as well as explanations of some minhagim - customs. A section on Sukkot, Shemini Atzeret, and Shabbat Bereishit rounds out the month of Tishrei, and since some read Kohelet - Ecclesiastes - on Shabbat Chol Hamo'eid Sukkot (or on Shemini Atzeret - see Orach Chaim 663:2) the Sukkot section includes a selection of thoughts on Kohelet.
With some innovation and creativity some of the Torah thoughts contained herein can be developed for derashot. At the end of the book we have added an index which identifies the selections which relate to a particular theme or subject.
My uncle Rav Osher Hakohen Katzman has one the largest private collections of antique and contemporary sefarim. In addition to talmudic commentaries, halachic treatises, responsa, Chassidic thought, and history, he also has many volumes on derush - homiletics - in Yiddish and Hebrew written by Rabbis who occupied pulpits in America during the first half of the twentieth century.
I recall that when I was young and unversed in bibliography, I asked him about the derush sefarim. Why did he spend so much time and resources to seek and purchase them? His answer to my query was that in addition to being a Rosh Yeshivah in Yeshivah Torah Vodaat, he is a Rav of a shul. One of the things the congregants expect of him for the salary they pay him, is to deliver a derashah every Shabbat and Yom Tov. If per chance he finds one good vort - thought - for a derashah in the sefer, the money he spent for it was a well worth investment.
It is my fervent wish that Rabbis and laymen, teachers and students will find this volume in the Vedibarta Bam series a useful source for this year and years to come.
The credit for producing this volume is not totally mine. I must acknowledge the talent of my very skillful and meticulous editor Dr. Binyamin Kaplan. Recently he moved to Los Angeles California, where he holds an important position with the Union of Orthodox Congregations. Nevertheless, he has always found time (at times during the late hours of the night) to review, edit and elucidate my writings with his invaluable insights and comments.
My daughter, Mrs. Yehudis Leiter has lent her secretarial skills to this publication. For her assistance in propagating Torah, may she and her husband Shimon merit to see much Yiddishe and Chassidishe nachas from their family.
Rabbi Yonah Avtzon is a friend who goes beyond the call. He heads Sichot In English, which has become one of the largest Jewish publishing houses, and I thank him for taking the disseminating of Vedibarta Bam under his wings.
Finally, the secret of Rabbi Avtzon's success is his colleague Yosef Yitzchok Turner. In all sincerity I must state that were it not for his patience and perseverance, computer skills and talents, mentchlichkeit and unassuming personality, this book could not have been a reality. Lacking adequate words of praise and recognition, I will suffice by saying yasher koach and may Hashem reward him handsomely.
To my wife whose understanding enables me to accomplish, to my children, grandchildren and relatives, and to all the readers who have become part of our extended family, I wish a Kesivah Vechasimah Tovah and a year of Geulah and Yeshuah for Klal Yisrael.
Rabbi Moshe Bogomilsky
Rosh Chodesh Elul, 5761
Transliteration generally employs the Sephardi accent, with the following usages:
1. Words with a final hei are spelled with a final "h."
2. "Ei" (the vowel-sound in "freight") is used for a tzere.
3. "Ai" is used for the vowel-sound in the word "tide."
4. An apostrophe is used between distinct consecutive vowels, as in "Ba'al."
5. An "e" is used for a vocalized sheva, i.e. "bemeizid," not "b'meizid."
6. "F" is preferred to "ph."
7. "O" is used for cholem.
8. Doubling of consonants is generally avoided.
Use of Italics:
Transliterated Hebrew words are generally given in italics without capitalization, except for proper nouns, which are capitalized and, in the case of names, not italicized. Some exceptions are made for very familiar Hebrew words, such as "Torah."
English and Hebrew:
Names of Biblical persons and names of the books of the Pentateuch are given in Hebrew, but other books of Tanach are given in English; thus "Moshe" is preferred to "Moses," "Bereishit" to "Genesis," and "Proverbs" to "Mishlei." Generally English words are preferred to Hebrew ones, but often the content requires the use of the Hebrew.
Exceptions to these rules most often involve forms already familiar to the English reader, forms that would otherwise be awkward, and ones likely to be mispronounced.