A letter addressed to a group of students.

Tishrei 7, 5713
Sept. 25, 1952

The Ten Days of Teshuva – Repentance – which begin with the two days of Rosh Hashana and continue through their culmination point, the Day of Atonement, Yom Kippur, are the ten days of the inauguration of the new year. Between these three most solemn days of the year we are given a period of seven days, containing every day of the week: one Sunday, one Monday, and so forth. This complete week, neither more nor less, is given to us to enable us to atone and repent for any wrong deeds accounted for during the previous year, and to better our way of life in the new year. That we have been given a complete week in which to accomplish this is significant: Spending the Sunday of this week as we should, and making the most of the time, serves as a repentance and atonement especially for all the wrong done on all the Sundays of the previous year; the same for all the Mondays of the past year on the Monday of this week, and so on.

However, repentance implies two essential conditions: regret for the past and resolution for the future. Therefore this seven day period is also a means of planned preparation for the forthcoming year. On the Sunday of this week we should plan especially for better Sundays in the new year. This will give us the strength and ability to carry out and fulfill our obligations on the Sundays to come. Likewise with regard to the Monday of this week, and all the rest of it.

In thinking of ourselves alone, however, we would only deal with part of our obligations. As I have emphasized many times in the past, one should not and must not be content with leading a proper Jewish life personally, in one's own home and family. One must recognize and fulfill a duty to the environment in a way of influencing everyone in it to adhere to the Torah and to its precepts. This duty is particularly required of youth, in whom G‑d has bestowed an extra measure of natural energy, enabling them to become leaders, particularly among their own youth groups, to inspire others in the ways of our Torah and Torah-true way of life.

I hope and pray that everyone of you will become a leader and source of good influence in your environment, leading Jews, and Jewish youth particularly, to a true Jewish life, a life of happiness, a life where its spiritual and material aspects are properly balanced. Such perfect harmony of the spiritual and material can only be found in the Torah and Mitzvoth, and in the light of the Torah you will lead your colleagues and friends to true happiness.

G‑d Bless you and your respective families with a Chasimo and Gmar Chasimo Toivo.

M. Schneerson