The Kotzker Rebbe is purported to have responded to the question of why he didn’t write a book with the following answer: “Why should I write a book? The only time my chassidim would have time to read it is Friday night after the meal. They would lie on the couch, exhausted, with a full belly and a few l’chaims. They would open the book and within a few moments it would end up on the floor in a puddle of drool. For that I should write a book?”
For a few years, I have wanted to write a book, but to be honest, I am haunted by the story told about the Kotzker Rebbe. Would my book really be a meaningful contribution? Would anyone buy it? If I gave it away, would anyone read it, or would it simply gather dust on a shelf?
And yet, for nearly twenty years, I have been giving classes, writing articles, delivering sermons, and trying to inspire others with the thoughts, ideas, and stories that inspire me. While there are risks in publishing, there are also risks of sitting on the sideline when you feel you have meaningful things to share.
The Sefer Chassidim (530) states, “Whoever has received a revelation from Hakadosh Baruch Hu in Torah and is able to record it but fails to do so is stealing from Hashem, because Hashem only revealed it to him to share.”
Despite the hesitation of the Kotzker, I do hope to fulfill the charge of the Sefer Chassidim and write a book one day. But before doing that, I have long wanted to compile and consolidate the writings, teachings and classes I have already given and share them in one place.
It is with that goal in mind that I am very excited and proud to share a new website, www.rabbiefremgoldberg.org. The site contains over 750 audio classes, all organized by series. In addition, there are over 300 articles, several sermon digests, dozens of videos, and hundreds of source sheets from past classes. Everything is organized by category or theme and the whole site is searchable.
The website is not an effort to develop an identity independent of my role at Boca Raton Synagogue; indeed, BRS is featured all over the site, including prominent representation on the home page. Rather, it is an effort to host a growing body of content in an organized way something beyond the scope and capacity of the Shul’s website, www.brsonline.org. The shul website is an indispensable resource for our members and visitors who want to know the times of our minyanim, details of our programs, how to contact our staff, etc. This new website is for those who want to learn with me, whether they are a member of BRS or live halfway around the world.
Concurrent with the launch of the new website, I am excited to start a weekly newsletter which will include my weekly article and links to classes I taught that week, as well as previous articles and classes about timely topics. (For example a newsletter before Pesach will include past articles and classes on Pesach.) The newsletter is an experiment in progress, and there are plans to incorporate other fun and interesting things in it.
This website was a much bigger and more complicated project than I ever anticipated. I am enormously indebted to Jonathan Hollander and Stephen Plotsker, who lent their expertise, and countless hours of their time, to quarterback the effort. Shani and Binyamin Muschel put in tremendous work to organize, upload, and edit. They brought much more than just technical knowledge and knowhow, but their wisdom, recommendations and insights were invaluable. This website would not be possible without the generosity and support of my dear friend Saul N. Friedman, whose renowned public accounting firm has sponsored the introduction of the website.
My hope and prayer is that the Torah on this website will not only not end up in a puddle of drool, but that it will be marbeh kavod shomayim, and help inspire those looking for it, and those who search and stumble upon it, towards a more meaningful and mindful Jewish life. If you enjoy and benefit from it, I would be grateful and honored if you share it with others, encourage them to subscribe to the newsletter, and invite them to be part of our growing community of learning.