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I Will Write It In Their Hearts - Volume 1
Letters from the Lubavitcher Rebbe

Advice to Rabbis in Eretz Yisrael concerning three of the Previous Rebbe's campaigns: the Torah scroll to greet Mashiach, the recitation of Tehillim, and studying Mishnayos by heart

Translated by: Rabbi Eli Touger

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No. 63

This letter was addressed to R. Yehudah Leib Aliazarof, a leading member of the Lubavitch community in Yerushalayim.
B"H, Wednesday, 10 Adar II, 5703
Greetings and blessings,

In response to your letter to Machne Israel, [your words] concerning the Torah scroll being composed to greet Mashiach, and the names of those who are participating in the Society for the Study of Mishnayos by Heart and in the Torah scroll:

  1. The intent in founding the Society for the Study of Mishnayos by Heart was not only that yeshivah students study Mishnayos by heart, but that this campaign should encompass the entire Jewish people. [The intent is to] mount a campaign that anyone who is fit to participate in this society should study his portion of Mishnayos, three to five chapters a year (about a mishnah a week), and that he should review what he has learned while walking on his way, standing in a store, sitting on a train, and at any other opportunity in order to purify the air. Certainly, the second collection of letters on this subject from my revered father-in-law, the Rebbe shlita, has reached you; see his sichos[1] on the subject.

    We are certain that if you structure your campaign with these goals in mind, you will find hundreds of working people to participate in the campaign. (These [working people] are the primary ones involved in efforts in the peripheries, and it is written,[2] "I shall find You outside." The advantage [of the Divine service] of working people is well known, as explained in Chassidus, and as noted in the sources mentioned in the explanation of the maamar entitled Mayim Rabbim, in Likkutei Torah LeGimmel Parshiyos. It must be emphasized that it has been decided that the siyum for all the members will be on Isru Chag of Shavuos, vWda,.

  2. You are certainly correct that to expand the work of Machne Israel in our Holy Land, it is necessary that someone travel to all the different settlements. Unfortunately, however, we do not feel able to undertake such a financial burden. Certainly, when making a careful search, it is possible to find in each city and settlement one of the local people who can involve themselves with all the concerns of Machne Israel without expectation of a reward, and they will be considered the local representatives of Machne Israel.

  3. We received the receipts from the International Society for the Recitation of Tehillim, but we cannot give them out to the donors, because [the receipt] also mentions the name of Collel [Chabad]. You are certainly aware of the extra concern that must be shown here with regard to financial matters. So that there will be no possibility for undesirable gossip, I sincerely ask you to print receipts in the name of the Society for the Recitation of Tehillim alone, and to send them to us as soon as possible.

  4. Enclosed is a list of the members in the International Society for the Recitation of Tehillim. It would be proper to print a certificate {on thin paper} for every one of the Societies for the Recitation of Tehillim mentioned here and send them to us after you have signed them. We will then send them to their intended recipients.

  5. Everything printed with regard to Machne Israel and Merkos L'Inyonei Chinuch is sent to you from time to time. Certainly, it will arrive in the proper time.

To conclude with words of Torah that relate to the above subject: It is possible to bring a proof that purifying the air is relevant to [the Divine service] of working people. For the concept of air in Divine service and with regard to a person's soul is explained in several sources in Chassidus, including the maamar entitled Ner Chanukah in Torah Or. There it states that [air] can be described by an analogy to letters which are considered as inanimate objects when compared to the intellect, and it also can be described with the analogy of mitzvos when compared to the Torah.

It is clear that foul air,[3] i.e., letters which are comparable to inanimate objects, refer to deeds stemming from the side of evil.

The air must be purified through the incense offering which removes a foul odor, as stated in the maamar entitled Seir Izim, 5664.[4] This refers to mitzvos performed in actual deed, which[5] refers to the Divine service of working people. In particular, it can be explained that this refers to [these people's] speaking the letters of the Torah. For this encompasses two advantages, Torah study and the observance of the mitzvos. The observance of the mitzvos alone, in contrast, requires protection, as explained in the maamarim entitled VeZos HaMitzvah and Acharei Havayah in Likkutei Torah. See also the maamar entitled Limaan Tirah which explains our Sages' statement[6] that the term shmor, "protect," refers to the Mishnah, stating that this aspect of Torah is the breath that speaks words of Mishnah.... And [man's] breath evokes [G-d's] breath, as it were.

It is possible to explain that the purification of the air is merely a preparatory step to the ultimate Redemption. (As is well known, the exiles will not be gathered in except through the merit of the Mishnayos.[7] At this stage, however, there will be a limited number [of the Jewish people]. In the generation of Mashiach and in the World to Come there will be no limit, as explained at length in the maamar entitled ViEleh Shmos from the Mitteler Rebbe.

It can also be explained that the letters of the Torah are referred to as "horses," "the horse on which the king rode."[8] [The relationship between Achasverosh's[9] horse and the Torah is underscored by our Sages' comments (Shabbos 88b)] that the Jews renewed their acceptance of the Torah at the time of Achasverosh. Through the preparation of these "horses," we will merit the fulfillment of the prophecy,[10] "be like a deer or like a young hart," which refers to hastening the coming of the Redemption, [as stated in Sanhedrin 98a]: "If they merit, they will hasten it," as explained in the Hosafos to Torah Or.

With the blessing "Immediately to teshuvah, immediately to Redemption,"

Rabbi Menachem Schneerson
Chairman of the Executive Committee

   

Notes:

  1. (Back to text) [Sichos Isru Chag HaShavuos 5702, Sefer HaSichos 5702, p. 128ff.] See also Letter No. 53 in this publication.

  2. (Back to text) [Shir HaShirim 8:1.]

  3. (Back to text) [This and the following two notes were originally part of the text of the letter. We have placed them as footnotes so that the text will read more easily.]

    Which is far worse than heavy air, as explained in the maamar entitled Al Kein Yomru HaMoshalim in Likkutei Torah, sec. III; see also the maamar entitled Haskeis U'Shema Yisrael 5633, but in that source a distinction was not made between foul air and heavy air; with regard to foul air, see also Nazir 54b which speaks about the air of the Diaspora, and Sanhedrin 109a which speaks of the air in a tower. [See also Letter No. 132.]

  4. (Back to text) See Moreh Nevuchim, Vol. III, which states that the incense was offered to remove the foul stench [in the Beis HaMikdash], and the Zohar, Vol. II, p. 219a, that the incense offering was intended to remove filth. Clarification is, however, necessary because the Zohar and the maamar entitled Seir Izim speak of the recitation of the laws of the incense offering which precedes prayer, while the mitzvah of bringing an incense offering - which is the subject discussed in Moreh Nevuchim - comes after the sacrifices and prayer. See Shaar HaKollel, ch. 3, sec. 12. In Torah Or and Or HaTorah, by contrast, the reference is to the reading of the passage of the incense offering which follows the reading of the passage concerning the daily sacrifice.

  5. (Back to text) As explained in the maamarim concerning Chanukah, the maamar entitled Chof Hei BeKislev, which is referred to in Or HaTorah.

  6. (Back to text) [Kiddushin 37b.]

  7. (Back to text) [Vayikra Rabbah 7:3.]

  8. (Back to text) [Cf. Esther 6:8.]

  9. (Back to text) [See Torah Or, Hosafos, p. 116c ff., which notes that Achasverosh (auruajt) contains the word aj meaning "hasten" and refers to the transmission of Divine influence rapidly, without being held up within the intermediate levels.]

  10. (Back to text) [Shir HaShirim 2:17.]


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