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

The necessity for establishing schools and educational programs for girls; spiritual charity

Translated by: Rabbi Eli Touger

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  The importance of a positive self-imageTable of contentsRelease Time Education Programs in Public Schools; outreach to Jewish children as a means of nullifying the harsh decrees of the Holocaust  

No. 48

This letter was written to the leaders of the Lubavitch community in Montreal.
24 Teves, 5703
the yahrzeit of the Alter Rebbe
Greetings and blessings,

You are certainly aware of the work of [the organization] Merkos L'Inyonei Chinuch which my revered father-in-law, the Rebbe shlita, founded more than a year ago. A concise summary of its activities has been printed in the Tishrei-Teves issue of HaKeriah VehaKedushah, vWda,.

One of the fundamental tasks [of this organization] is the education of Jewish girls, [an objective] which for various reasons has been sorely overlooked. In particular, this involves founding girls schools - which are called either Beis Rivkah or Beis Sarah - and organizing Mesibos Shabbos, Shabbos parties, for girls.

In keeping with the statements of the director of Merkos, Rabbi C.M.A. Hodakov, after his visit to Montreal, Merkos L'Inyonei Chinuch has decided to establish such institutions in your community, and if possible, in other cities in your country.

We are now turning to you and asking you - all together, or one, or several [of you] who are fit for this [responsibility] according to your choice and conviction - to take upon yourselves this most important task, and as my revered father-in-law, the Rebbe shlita says:[1] "It is an established covenant that vigorous work will not be performed without bearing fruit."

The particular dimensions of the agenda of work certainly vary from place to place, but the fundamentals of the mission include three parts:

  1. Establishing a school for young and teenage girls;

  2. Establishing Mesibos Shabbos for girls;

  3. Organizing classes - in the form of courses or as friendly discussions - whose intent is to train counselors for the Shabbos parties, speakers, and organizers of activities for young and teenage girls, i.e., personnel who will participate in all aspects of the activities mentioned above.

Experience here has shown that one can hope for influence on wider circles and less opposition if the above concepts are introduced without involving any other interests or concerns, even concerns involving holiness, and even when they are only secondary in nature. [For example,] even here, Merkos L'Inyonei Chinuch is a separate institution, [sharing no connection with other existing Lubavitch institutions].

Needless to say, in matters such as these, it is unnecessary to devote [lengthy dissertations] to inspire activity. Hence, I will mention only a few points:

In the Mechilta, quoted in Rashi's commentary to the Torah, Shmos 19:3, the Holy One, blessed be He, addressed "the House of Yaakov," the women, before "the children of Israel," the men. Shmos Rabbah 28:1 explains that the reason is "they are eager in their observance of mitzvos;" alternatively, "because they bring their children to the Torah." See the discussion of this concept in the talks of my revered father-in-law, the Rebbe shlita, delivered in Riga, in 5694.[2]

Similarly, with regard to the reward received for their activities, our Sages declare (Berachos 17a) that women will receive a greater reward than men. Certainly, this applies in the present age, ikvesa diMeshicha, the time when Mashiach's approaching footsteps can be heard. In this era, our nation's fundamental [mission and] task is tzedekah, as stated in Tanya, Iggeres HaKodesh, Epistle 9, which quotes our Sages' statement:[3] "Israel will be redeemed solely through tzedekah." And as our Sages taught (Taanis 23b), in this, women have an advantage over men, for they give food [which the poor man can partake of immediately], not merely money [in which instance, the poor man must purchase food and then prepare it].

This statement can be interpreted homiletically, in reference to our Divine service. There are two ways in which a person can influence a colleague - or his own animal soul:

  1. He seeks all sorts of methods [to influence] his colleague to carry out everything which he is obligated to do [to fulfill] the mission on which the Master of the world sent [his soul] in its descent [to this material plane]. And he seeks to impress upon his colleague the importance of acting with kabbalas ol, i.e., even though he does not understand the necessity of the matter, and he does not have love and awe of G-d, [he should observe the Torah and its mitzvos]. (See the Rambam, [Mishneh Torah,] Hilchos Teshuvah, the conclusion of 10:1: "We train them to serve [G-d] out of fear until their knowledge increases and they serve with love.")

    It is evident that a person whose own Divine service is characterized by kabbalas ol has a sensitivity and a tendency towards this approach, and will easily find the words and the actions that will influence a colleague [to adopt this path].

  2. Another method is that a person endeavors to explain to his colleague the greatness of the Creator, [the importance of] loving Him and being in awe of Him, until his colleague comes to the correct understanding and the observance of the Torah and its mitzvos on his own initiative. It is evident that this approach is favored by men of understanding and thinkers whose own conduct is based on a strong and unfaltering conception.

To explain the above in light of our Sages' statement in Taanis: "When we meet a poor person" - and as our Sages commented:[4] "A poor man is poor solely in knowledge" - our approach must follow the directives of the prophet:[5] "Distribute your bread to the poor.... If you see a naked person, clothe him." And as my revered father-in-law, the Rebbe shlita, in his talk of Purim, 5691, Kuntres 13,[6] interprets: "If one sees a Jew who is naked when it comes to tzitzis and has no tefillin, cover him." These statements are based on Tanna D'vei Eliyahu Rabbah, ch. 27, which states:

"If you see a naked person, clothe him." What is implied? If you see a person who does not possess words of Torah, bring him into your home and teach him the recitation of the Shema and prayer. Teach him one verse every day or one law. Encourage him to perform mitzvos. For there is no naked person in Israel except a person who does not possess the Torah and its mitzvos. He resembles one who is truly naked.

When a poor man encounters a man, one whose habit and nature is to go out, [visit] distant places, and deal with his silver and gold - note the parallels in our Divine service as explained in the maamarim of Parshas Vayeishev[7] - when this man meets a poor person, he will give him money - in the analogue, love and fear [of G-d]. Since these [emotions] are "wings" - as explained in Tanya, the conclusion of ch. 40. The ultimate purpose, however, is Divine service motivated by love [i.e., not only feelings of love, but also deed]. Hence, the poor person still must labor before he purchases his meal.

[It is different when] a poor man encounters a woman, of whom it is said:[8] "Everything which a woman acquires, her husband acquires." "Her husband" [refers to G-d, as it is written:[9]] "Your Husband is your Maker, the G-d of Hosts is His name." As explained in Torah Or, the maamar entitled Lo Tiheyeh, the love and fear [such a person possesses] are under [the influence of the name] Elokim, like a servant, of whom it is also said:[10] "Whatever a servant acquires, his master acquires." The Divine service of such a person is directed solely to "carry out the will of her Husband,"[11] i.e., it is the service of kabbalas ol. Even the love and fear such a person possesses are dominated by this quality.

[A woman, one whose Divine service is characterized by kabbalos ol,] gives a poor man bread which is ready to be eaten. For kabbalas ol can be shared with a poor person whose spiritual level is of no consequence at all. See Likkutei Torah, the conclusion of the maamarim from Parshas VeZos HaBerachah, and also the conclusion of the maamar entitled VeHavayah Omar HaMichaseh, in the series of maamarim from the year 5666, which discuss the concept:[12] "A woman was granted a greater measure of understanding than a man."

[It is these qualities,] mesirus nefesh, kabbalas ol, and the actual observance of the mitzvos, which reflect the advantage of the feet, i.e., [they are the spiritual qualities] necessary in this generation of ikvesa diMeshicha; see the sichah of Kislev 20, 5694, sec. 9.[13]

May it be G-d's will that we all - speedily in our days - merit the fulfillment of the prophecy:[14] "Behold I will take the children of Israel from among the nations ... and David My servant will be king over them." (As explained in the maamarim of Parshas Vayigash in Torah Or, and the maamar entitled VeAvdi David, 5699,) this refers to the quality of deed which surpasses [study], the level alluded to in the verse:[15] "A woman of valor is the crown of her husband."[16]

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



  1. (Back to text) [HaYom Yom, entry 12 Tishrei.]

  2. (Back to text) [Likkutei Dibburim, Vol. III, p. 570a.]

  3. (Back to text) [Rambam, Hilchos Matanos Aniyim, 10:1; Shabbos 139a.]

  4. (Back to text) [Nedarim 41a.]

  5. (Back to text) [Yeshayahu 58:7.]

  6. (Back to text) Likkutei Dibburim, Vol. IV, p. 729a.

  7. (Back to text) [See Torah Or, beginning of Parshas Vayeishev.]

  8. (Back to text) [Gittin 77a.]

  9. (Back to text) [Yeshayahu 54:5.]

  10. (Back to text) [Pesachim 88b.]

  11. (Back to text) [As our Sages (Tanna D'vei Eliyahu Rabbah, ch. 9) state: "There is no proper woman except one who carries out the will of her husband."]

  12. (Back to text) [Niddah 45b.]

  13. (Back to text) Likkutei Dibburim, Vol. 1, p. 110a.

  14. (Back to text) [Yechezkel 37:21, 24.]

  15. (Back to text) [Mishlei 12:4.]

  16. (Back to text) [This quality will be revealed in the Future Era.]

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