By the Grace of G‑d
4th of Adar I, 5722
Brooklyn, N.Y.
[February 8, 1962]

Greeting and Blessing:

Your letter of February 5th was just received. I note the 7th day of Adar is your birthday, and I send you my prayerful wishes for a successful year in every respect, including a substantial improvement in Parnosso without mental distraction. As you may know, the well-known passage, “If you eat of the toil of your hands, happy are you and it is good for you” is explained in Chassidus that although “Man is born to toil” and Parnosso is connected with a certain amount of strain, the strain has to be confined to the “toil of the hands, but not to the toil of the head.” This means that while it is necessary to use one’s hands as well as one’s head, the mental preoccupation should not be in matters of Parnosso but rather in spiritual matters and in communal affairs, and in your case for the benefit of Lubavitch in particular, for which you have great potentialities.

It is customary in Jewish life to connect everything with the weekly Sidra. At present, we are beginning a series of Sidras dealing with the construction of the Mishkan. Here we see that G‑d desired that material things such as gold, silver and copper, etc., should be converted into a spiritual and Holy Cause, namely the Sanctuary. At first glance, it would seem difficult to understand why G‑d should require a special sanctuary, since it is possible to worship G‑d in the open field, or to contemplate in complete withdrawal from the world, etc. Nevertheless, G‑d insisted on having a Mishkan and Mikdosh, offering every Jew an opportunity to participate in its building and thereby convert the material into the spiritual. In the merit of this, G‑d gives the Jew material blessings in order to provide him with means and vessels to create even more spirituality and Holiness and thus make an abode for Him within the material and physical world. May this be so in your case in an ever-growing measure.

Hoping to hear from you good news about your personal as well as communal affairs,

With blessing,

M. Schneerson