This volume, Vedibarta Bam—Devarim, completes the series on Torah. Upon reaching this milestone, I humbly proclaim, “Mah ashiv laHashem kal tagmulohi alai” — “How can I repay Hashem for all the kindness bestowed upon me” (Psalms 116:12).

At the outset, I stated that this was not a book of sermons. However, in response to requests from many readers, I have included a number of sermons in this volume that I delivered in past years in my shul during the High Holiday season. Additionally, in each volume there is an index of derush — sermon material — for various occasions, enabling the reader to find more thoughts to develop for High Holiday sermons.

Over the past two years I have learned a great deal about writing, editing, publishing, and distributing. I have found that to succeed in all these areas, assistance is imperative.

I am greatly indebted to my editor, Binyomin Kaplan of Tulane University, New Orleans, Louisiana. His scholarly and professional input, advice, and comments enhanced this work immensely. May he enjoy much success in all his pursuits.

This project became a reality thanks to the secretarial skills of my daughter, Yehudis Leiter. Demonstrating great love for Torah and devotion to her father, she assisted me in the development of Vedibarta Bam while simultaneously dexterously attending to the needs of her family. May she and her husband Shimon merit to enjoy good health, and much Yiddish and Chassidish nachas from their family.

Through the efforts of Rabbi Yonah Avtzon of Sichos in English, this work was published and disseminated to the public. The patience and talent of his assistant, Yosef Yitzchok Turner, made the design and layout of Vedibarta Bam aesthetically pleasing. May their endeavors for Torah and Yiddishkeit be blessed with success.

On Simchat Torah, when the reading of Devarim is concluded, everyone blesses the one called up, “Chazak! Chazak! Venitchazeik!” — “Be strong! Be strong! And may we be strengthened!” (See Orach Chaim 139:11.) The Chabad custom is that the one called up to the Torah for the reading of the concluding verses also makes this declaration (see Hayom Yom, 18 Tevet). Hence, at this juncture I pray that Hashem grant me — incidentally, three times “chazak” (חזק) has the numerical value of 345, which is the numerical value of “Moshe” (משה) [see Ma’or Veshemesh, end of Bereishit] — and my wife Bracha longevity, good health, and strength to enjoy an abundance of Yiddish and Chassidish nachas from our family. May they be a dor yesharim yevorach — a generation of the upright who shall be blessed (Psalms 112:2).

Vedibarta Bam was compiled as a gift to our family with the intention of linking together our family members, past and present, through Torah. May this wish be realized in the fullest.

Rabbi Moshe Bogomilsky

3 Tammuz, 5757





Note on Transliteration and Format



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:

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.