By the Grace of G‑d
Rosh Chodesh Nissan; Month of Geulo,
Third Day of the week of Vayyikro,
Blessed twice with good, 5740
[March 18, 1980]
Brooklyn, N.Y.

To the Sons and Daughters of
Our People Israel, Everywhere —
G‑d bless you all!

Greeting and Blessing:

The central point of the Geulo (redemption) from Mitzrayim — (as G‑d indicated to Mosheh Rabbeinu) “When you will lead the people out of Egypt...” is, of course, “ will serve G‑d on this mountain”: to receive the Torah from Sinai, study it and observe its Mitzvos in actual practice, for “the essential thing is the deed”, and to do all this in complete freedom.

At the same time, each Torah-related action has an impact on the mental and emotional faculties of the person learning Torah and doing Mitzvos, refining him or her both in intellect and character, as the Rambam — the Guide of the Perplexed of his generation and of all subsequent generations — emphasizes in many places.

Needless to say, since each and all of the Mitzvos have been given by G‑d, who is Ein-sof (Infinite), so are the teachings and effects of every Mitzva and Torah-aspect infinite in scope and dimension. And the more comprehensive and all-embracing is the Mitzva, the deeper, wider, and more variegated are the aspects stemming from it.

In addition to the teachings of the Mitzva itself, there is also the instruction that can be derived from the kevius-occurrence — of the Mitzva as it becomes due on a particular day of the week, which varies from year to year. And while the general message always remains in force, the particular occurrence of the Mitzva in point of time underscores specific aspects of the Mitzva even more pointedly and emphatically.

If the above pertains to every Mitzva and aspect of Torah, how much more so in regard to such an all-embracing event as Yetzias-Mitzrayim, which we are obligated to remember and to mention every day, twice daily, in our prayers, and in a particularly pronounced way during the days of Pesach so as to permeate thereafter every day of the year.

* * *

In light of the above we take special note of the fact that this year Pesach is ushered in, i.e. the kevius of the first day of Pesach, as well as of Rosh Chodesh, the first day of the Month of Geulo, is on the third day of the week, the day which the Creator blessed twice with “good” tov lashomayim v’tov labriyos, “Good to Heaven and good to the creatures.” Hence, this year’s Pesach, the Festival of Our Freedom, in addition to all its other teachings, prominently conveys the instruction that we ought to put in an extra measure of vitality and effort in both areas of Divine service, namely, “between man and G‑d” and “between man and man” in our everyday life throughout the year.

One of the inner aspects of being “good to Heaven and good to the creatures” is that it is the most effective medium of unity between two extreme opposites: the Creator (“Heaven”) and the created (“creatures”), as well as between the creatures themselves, where each individual has his own will and his own interests; but being good to each other brings about peace and unity between them, in the fullest sense of shalom, namely, that both sides gain a measure of completeness (shleimus).

It follows from the above that what has been said about being “good to Heaven and good to creatures” means that these do not remain two distinct concepts, but they become (like) one and the same — as the Alter Rebbe taught that v’ohavto lre’acho komoicho (“love your fellow like yourself”) is a “vessel” to v’ohavto es Hashem elokecho (“love G‑d, your G‑d”).

Even where it appears at first glance that it is merely a matter of tov lashomayim, yet since it stems from v’ohavto es Hashem elokecho, it must express itself in the fulfillment of His Mitzvos with true enthusiasm, including, especially, the “Great Principle” of the Torah, v’ohavto lre’acho komoicho — tov labriyos.

And conversely, inasmuch as the Mitzvos refine the person, his character, intellect and dispositions, as mentioned above, they are the instruments whereby to achieve the highest degree of loving G‑d “with all your heart, and will all your soul, and with all your might” — tov lashomavim, because the refined soul-powers become attuned and drawn to spirituality and G‑dliness.

* * *

This is also one of the basic teachings of Yetzias-Mitrayim, the purpose of which was to “serve G‑d on this mountain”, receiving the Torah, as also indicated in the first of the Ten Commandments: “I am G‑d, your G‑d, who brought you out of the land of Egypt.”

Simply stated: After the Jewish people languished in Egypt for generations, in a state of slaves to Pharaoh, not only physically but also spiritually — they changed themselves completely and attained true freedom; so much so that not only did they reject the “idols” of Egypt and the whole Egyptian ideology, but moreover they consecrated all their powers and the “great wealth” that they brought out of Egypt to the construction of the Mishkon (Sanctuary) for the Divine Presence in their midst, which made peace between the whole of Creation and the Creator, to the extent of v’shochanti b’soichom (“I will dwell among (within) them”) — making this material world a fitting abode for G‑d, blessed be He.

* * *

May, G‑d grant that every one of us, in the midst of all our Jewish people, should have a “kosher and joyous Pesach” — and this expression, too, reflects both tov lashomayim (“Kosher Pesach”) and tov labriyos (“joyous Pesach”), since in order that the joy of Yom Tov should be complete, it is necessary to care for and bring joy to “everyone who is hungry” and “everyone who is needy,”

And practicing Ahavas-Yisrael in the fullest measure will nullify the cause of the present Golus3 and will hasten the realization of the Divine promise “As in the days of your going out of the land of Egypt” — “G‑d will bring us to His Holy Land... and will build His Beis HaMikdash as the high Heavens... and we, Your people and the sheep of Your pasture, will praise You for ever”, for it will be a Geulo that will not be followed by Golus, a Geulo forever, the true and complete Geulo through Mashiach Tzidkeinu, and very soon indeed.

With esteem and blessing for a
Kosher and joyous Yom Tov,
and good tidings in all above,

/Signed: Menachem Schneerson/