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

Publishing the sichos of the Previous Rebbe; the unity symbolized by the mitzvah of lulav and esrog

Translated by: Rabbi Eli Touger

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No. 105

The following letter was sent to R. Shlomo Palmer, an active communal leader in Chicago.[1]
B"H, 13 Tishrei, 5704
Greetings and blessings,

Today, the printing of the sichos of Pesach 5703 were completed; I am enclosing one copy with this letter. I have also requested that several other copies be sent to you under special cover. Please notify me with regard to any additional copies that you wish sent.

The printing was delayed until the present time for several reasons. One reason is that my revered father-in-law, the Rebbe shlita, made many both qualitative and quantitative additions to the text, beyond what was originally expected. Also, [the delay was caused] by our desire to print the sichah in the most attractive manner possible, together with an index, references, and other additions.

We can now recite a blessing [of thanks] at the completion [of the task]. I again express my gratitude on behalf of all those who will read and study this sichah, because thanks to you and the honorable R. [Yaakov] Katz,[2] it was possible to publish this booklet.

As our Sages comment in the Midrash (Vayikra Rabbah, ch. 30), the festival of Sukkos is the first day of the reckoning between the Holy One, blessed be He, and the Jewish people after the atonement granted on Yom Kippur. On that day, we are commanded (Vayikra 23:40): "And you shall take for yourselves the fruit of a beautiful tree (the esrog), palm branches, a bough of a thick-leaved tree (the myrtle), and willows of the brook."

Our Sages comment in the Midrash:

These are the Jewish people. The esrog [alludes] to people who possess [the advantages of] both Torah study and good deeds. The lulav [alludes] to people who possess [the advantages of] Torah study, but not [those] of good deeds. The myrtle [alludes] to people who possess [the advantages of] good deeds, but not [those] of Torah study. The willow alludes to people who possess neither [the advantages of] Torah study, nor good deeds. The Holy One, blessed be He, says: "Bind them together as a single collective. At that moment, I am upraised."

This reflects the advantage of a sichah over a maamar,[3] that it can [inspire] not only [the people in the category of] the esrog and the lulav to become "beautiful," but that it can affect the myrtle and even the willow. If there will be a person who will apply himself to this purpose, such people can be made "beautiful" and attractive through certain portions of the sichah, to the extent that they will "form one collective entity - see Kerisus 6b which states that any communal fast [which does not include the sinners of Israel is not a fast, as Amos 9:6 states:] "And His collective...." - to perform G-d's will with a full heart."[4]

Fortunate is the man who is named Shlomo - for that name reflects the concept of Shalom, "peace" - who can establish peace among the four categories of individuals within the Jewish people mentioned above. And when they are all joined together as one, they will be granted, as we request in the blessing Sim Shalom - "blessing, mercy, and life."

With wishes for a happy holiday and [with the blessing,] "Immediately to teshuvah, immediately to Redemption,"

Rabbi Menachem Schneerson
Chairman of the Executive Committee

[P.S.] I am certain that my letter of Menachem Av 7 [5] arrived at the appropriate time.

   

Notes:

  1. (Back to text) [It comes in sequence to Letter No. 89 translated above.]

  2. (Back to text) [Letter No. 106 is a letter of thanks to R. Yaakov Katz which echoes almost verbatim the points of this letter until this paragraph. The paragraphs that follow in this letter were addressed personally to R. Palmer and reflect the communal service the Rebbe expected from him. The letter to R. Katz also contains several paragraphs - translated below - which reflect a personal connection to R. Katz who was a priest and thus a descendant - as well as a disciple - of Aharon.

    Our Sages commented (Avos 1:12): "Be of the disciples of Aharon ... loving the created beings and drawing them close to the Torah." In Tanya (ch. 32), the Alter Rebbe explains that "even those far from G-d's Torah and His service, who are therefore referred to merely as 'created beings' must be drawn close with thick cords of love. For perhaps it will be possible to draw them near to the Torah and Divine service."

    This reflects the advantage of a sichah over a maamar, that not only a learned scholar, familiar with Torah sources, will be inspired, but that even a simple person - even merely one of the "created beings" - will be drawn near to G-d's Torah and Divine service through the concepts spoken about in the sichah.

    The activity of drawing these people close stems from the quality of Aharon which is present among every member of the Jewish people, and in particular among his descendants, the priests.]

  3. (Back to text) [A maamar represents a formal Chassidic discourse and had traditionally been given more importance than a sichah, a talk delivered by the Rebbeim. Since R. Palmer donated towards the publication of a sichah, the Rebbe explains its importance.]

  4. (Back to text) [Cf. the Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur liturgy.]

  5. (Back to text) [See above Letter No. 89.]


  Efforts to encourage Jewish soldiers; the significance of commemorating Rosh HaShanah on the anniversary of the creation of manTable of contentsConcern for donors to Merkos L'Inyonei Chinuch  


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