With much thanks to Hashem, I present to you, dear readers, Vedibarta Bam on Megillat Esther.

Frankly, I must also thank you, for it is your favorable reception of the previous sefarim that encourages me to continue publishing. The greatest reward a writer can receive is the knowledge that, thank G‑d, his work is being put to good use. Hearing from rabbis, teachers, and lay people that they refer to Vedibarta Bam on a regular basis is indeed appreciated and inspiring. I hope it will be the same with this volume.

The Midrash Rabbah (Vayikra 29:11) says, “All sevenths are favorite.” This is the seventh sefer I have completed, with G‑d’s help. It is a favorite because it is connected to the month of Adar, which is the happiest month of the year for K’lal Yisrael and also personally since my marriage to my wife Bracha, “biz 120,” took place on the 26th day of Adar.

As mentioned in other volumes of Vedibarta Bam, the sefarim are written as a gift to our family. Torah is used as the medium to link them with us, our parents and grandparents.

The Rebbe once said at a farbrengen about the 14th of Kislev, the anniversary of his marriage to Rebbetzin Chaya Mushka, the daughter of the previous Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Schneersohn, “It is the day that connected you (chassidim) with me.” Similarly, our wedding anniversary is a very happy occasion, not just for us, but also for our dear family. A happy event should always be crowned with divrei Torah, and hence a sefer connected with the month of Adar is indeed appropriate.

Through the preceding volumes of Vedibarta Bam and Ki Yishalcha Bincha on the Haggadah of Pesach, we, thank G‑d, have acquired many new friends. On Purim it is a mitzvah to send manot to friends. It would be proper to send all our new friendsmanot, but it is not feasible. Therefore we ask you to kindly accept thissefer in stead. Whether a sefer can actually qualify for mishlo’ach manot is discussed later on in this sefer, but it can definitely qualify as a way to show thanks and appreciation to all of you whose friendship is a cherished source of inspiration.


About the Book

For the convenience of the reader, we have printed the entire text of the Megillah together with an English translation. The translation is a synthesis of some of the popular interpretations. An effort was made to accurately interpret the text, and at the same time, to assure that it reads and flows smoothly.

On each page, beneath the text we have added comments and explanations presented in our already popular format of question and answer. This facilitates the reader’s comprehension, and assists in better focusing on the subject matter. Some were taken from sefarim which are long out of print, and which were available through the Rebbe’s library under the auspices of Agudat Chassidei Chabad. It is one of the most extensive Judaica libraries. The librarians are very knowledgeable and the catalogue is superb.

Included in the sefer is also a treatise on the question of whether one can fulfill the mitzvah ofmishlo’ach manot — sending portions — by sending a sefer to a friend in lieu of actual food.

An addendum to the sefer is a fascinating explanation from the Rebbe concerning the last pasuk in the Megillah, that Mordechai was, “ratzu lerov echav” — “accepted by most of his brethren” — upon which the Gemara (16b) comments that some of his colleagues in the Sanhedrin opposed his involvement in the government as a Jewish advocate at the expense of his Torah study. The Rebbe, in his brilliant way, explains why Mordechai continued his activities notwithstanding his colleagues’ dissatisfaction and explores the basis for the difference of attitude between the majority and minority of the Sanhedrin.

This novel analysis is printed in Likkutei Sichot, vol. 16, p. 373, and masterfully translated by the prolific writer Rabbi Eliyahu Touger. It was printed in Beacons on the Talmud’s Sea, a Sichot in English publication. It was reprinted here with some slight modification, with the permission of Rabbi Yonah Avtzon, Director of Sichot in English, and we are grateful to him.

In many circles there is a long standing tradition to appoint a Purim Rav — usually a young prodigy who would formulate some thoughts in a lighter vein on the Megillah. To add to our reader’s simchat Purim, at the end of the sefer is a section containing a sampling of some Purim-Torah.


The Name Vedibarta Bam

Vedibarta Bam is the name given the five-volume series on the Torah. Some may wonder why was this name also used for this sefer on Megillah?

The answer is twofold. Firstly, it is most appropriate that a sefer on Megillat Esther carry the same name as sefarim on the Torah, since according to the Gemara (Megillah 7b) the Sages found in the pasuk of the Torah, “Ketav zot zikaron baseifer” — “Write this as a remembrance in the Book” (Shemot 17:14) — an indication to write Megillat Esther for posterity. In addition, the Rambam (Megillah and Chanukah 2:18) writes that, “all prophetic books and sacred writings will cease [to be recited in public] during the Messianic Era except the Book of Esther. It will continue to exist just as the Five Books of the Torah and the Oral Torah that will never cease.

Secondly, this sefer, as all the previous ones, is a gift from us, myself and my wife, to our children. Though she does not participate in the research or writing, without her support, understanding, encouragement, and indulgence, I would never be able to produce these sefarim. The word “bam” is made up of the initials of our names, Bracha and Moshe. Like all parents, it is our fervent wish and desire to see our offspring learning Torah. Thus, through Vedibarta Bam — speaking of Torah — they will forever be linked to bam, their parents and grandparents — Bracha and Moshe.


Acknowledgments

Basically, to produce all mysefarim I have worked with the same team. My daughter Yehudis Leiter, Rabbi Avtzon and his colleague Yosef Yitzchok Turner of Sichot in English, and my editor Dr. Binyamin Kaplan of Tulane University, New Orleans, Louisiana.

It may seem that to continuously thank the same people is superfluous. However, the more I work with them, the more I see their qualities, talents, and mentchlichkeit, making them deserving of new recognition.

To make this sefer a reality, my daughter Yehudis would come to my study with her newly born baby, Uziel, to take dictation. At night after all the children were asleep, she would start typing. Like the patriarch Yaakov, she can justly say, “Vatidar shenati mei’eina” — “My sleep drifted from my eyes” (Bereishit 31:40).

The Gemara (Chagigah 12b) says, “Whoever engages in Torah studies at night merits that Hashem draws a thread of loving-kindness over him throughout the day.” I say to her, “In zechut of all the nights you spent in Torah study while working on this and other sefarim, may you, Shimon, and your entire family be enveloped with Hashem’s loving kindness all the days of your lives ‘biz 120.’

There are many unanticipated difficulties one encounters till a sefer comes off the press, and even afterwards. Some can be very distressing and discouraging. My dear friend Rabbi Yonah Avtzon’s cheerful countenance and hearty smile has helped me overcome many hindrances. For his devotion to the dissemination of my sefarim and concern about them as though they were his own, I extend my heartfelt thanks.

The patience and skill it takes to layout a sefer of this style is difficult to describe. Often, I am amazed at the unlimited patience with which Yosef Yitzchok Turner has been blessed. Like his colleague Rabbi Avtzon, he does not let a difficulty hinder him. Only thanks to their indefatigable efforts did Sichot in English become one of the largest publishing houses of Torah and Chassidut. May all their efforts for Torah and Chassidut be crowned with success, and may it earn them the bestowal of Hashem’s blessings in abundant measure.

Words are meager to describe my appreciation for Dr. Binyomin Kaplan’s editing, insights, recommendations, and comments which made this sefer a presentable piece of work. I thank him profusely for sharing with me his writing talents, expertise in English, and also his keen grasp of Torah subjects. May he and his family be blessed with an abundance of success in all their endeavors. May Hashem fulfill all their hearts’ desires for good, materially and spiritually.

Rabbi Moshe Bogomilsky

2 Rosh Chodesh Adar I, 5760


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.