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Increasing in Physical and Spiritual Charity

Increasing in Physical and Spiritual Charity

18th of Elul, 5710 [1950]

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ב"ה

18th of Elul, 5710

Dear Brethren, G‑d bless you all:

On the threshold of the New Year, every one of us, man and woman, pauses to draw up а balance sheet of one's record in the past year. We resolve to better ourselves and pray for а happy year, materially and spiritually.

Our Sages say that giving Tzedoko (charity) to the needy opens the way for our prayers to bring us good health, prosperity and happiness.

Man possesses a body and а soul. And just as there is material poverty (in food, clothing and shelter), so there is spiritual poverty, where the deficiency is in spiritual things: knowledge of the Torah, the observance of the Mitzvoth and the practice of good deeds.

Said our Sages: "How are we to understand the words of the prophet, 'When thou seest а poor man, clothe him?' Surely also in this sense: When you see a man lacking in the knowledge of the Torah, take him in to your house, teach him the Shema, encourage him to fulfill the Mitzvoth, teach him Torah, etc. ..."

When we are about to appear before the Supreme Judge on Rosh Hashanah, we must take stock, each one according to his own yardstick -- the possibilities and opportunities one has -- as to how well we have practiced both material and spiritual deeds of charity and kindness.

Even as the poorest among the poor has opportunities to practice acts of kindness towards his fellows, so has the spiritually poor man opportunities to benefit others through exercising good influence upon his friends and neighbors in the observance of the Torah and Mitzvoth.

And naturally, the materially wealthy and spiritually rich, among the latter the spiritual leaders, Yeshivah students, etc., must be lavish in their acts of Tzedoko, in money and time, in behalf of their brothers and sisters who are less fortunate than they, to save them, heal them, and strengthen them, body and soul.

May our Merciful Father in heaven inscribe every one of us all unto a good and happy year, materially and spiritually, and bring us the true Redemption through our Righteous Messiah, speedily in our time, Amen.

Wishing you, and thanking you for your wishes of а כתיבה וחתימה טובה

M. Schneerson

Rabbi Mendel Schneerson
Son-in-law of the late Lubavltcher Rabbi,
of saintly memory הכ"מ

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