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A Breath of Fresh Air

A Breath of Fresh Air

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Letter & Spirit - Personal and Public Correspondence of the Lubavitcher Rebbe Send Us Your Letters Letter & Spirit - Personal and Public Correspondence of the Lubavitcher Rebbe

By the Grace of G‑d
11th of Iyar, 5712 [May 6, 1952]
Brooklyn, N.Y.

It was with especial pleasure that I received the list of names of those of our community who reside in Russia...

I am convinced that maintaining contact with them, if only by thought, reinforces the concept that "all Jews are responsible for—and integrated with—one another."1 Indeed, since the darkness and obstruction [of all things holy] of that country have no control over those [of us] who are outside its borders, [our] bond with those who still find themselves there supplies them with the strength to resist and to fortify themselves regarding their situation, and diminishes the cruel tyrant’s power over them.

By analogy: A person finds himself in a dank cellar, but part of his body extends out into the pure, fresh air. The vitality thus absorbed by the body extends to its entirety, including the part that is in the dank cellar.

But to achieve this [we] must be as a single body, and this is accomplished by the power of thought... which transcends all limitations of time and space---as my father-in-law, the Rebbe,2 said on the night of Shmini Atzeret 5693. 3 And although there it concerns a nasi, a leader of Israel,4 a semblance of this also applies to all who are connected with him...

I trust that you will continue to maintain such contact in the future. Certainly, this would be greatly beneficial for those who find themselves there, as well as for those who find themselves here.5

Footnotes
1.
Talmud, Shevuot 39a: “All Jews are responsible for each other." The Rebbe’s addition of "integrated" is a play on the word arev ("responsible for"; lit. "guarantor"), which is of the same root as iruv, "intermingled".
2.
Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Scneersohn (1880-1950)
3.
1932. See Likkutei Dibburim, vol. I, p. 2
4.
Whose soul incorporates the souls of all Israel (Rashi on Numbers 21:21; see Tanya, ch. 2). The Rebbe, with his characteristic humility, is refraining from explicitly including himself in this category
5.
Published in Likkutei Sichot, vol. XIX p. 474
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