My beloved, my brethren and friends:

An open rebuke out of a love concealed : come now and let us adjudge, remember the days of old, consider the years of every generation. Has such ever happened since the days of the world, and where, oh where have you found such a custom in any one of the books of the early and latter sages of Israel, that it should be usage and regulation to ask for advice in mundane matters— what one is to do in matters pertaining to the physical world. (Such was not asked) even of the greatest of the erstwhile sages of Israel, as the Tannaim and Amoraim "For whom no secret is hidden" and "All the paths of heaven are clear unto them," except for the real prophets that were aforetimes in Israel, as Samuel the Seer to whom Saul went to enquire of G‑d about the asses that were lost to his father. For in fact, all matters pertaining to man, except for the words of Torah and the fear of Heaven, are apprehended by prophecy only "And there is no bread unto the wise," as our sages, of blessed memory, said: "Everything is in the hands of Heaven except for the fear of Heaven;" and "Seven things are hidden .... man does not know how he will profit, and when the Kingdom of David will return ..." Note, these are likened one to the other!

As for what is written in Isaiah "A counsellor and a wise one who silences all," and also, as for the statement of our sages, of blessed memory, "That one is benefitted by him with etzah (counsel) and toshiyah (salvation),"— this refers to matters of the Torah, called toshiyah. Thus the sages, of blessed memory, said: "A counsellor is he who knows to intercalcate the years and to determine the months;" for in Torah-terminology the principium of intercalcation is called etzah and sod, as mentioned in Sanhedrin folio 87, see there in the commentary of Rashi.

However, I shall relate the truth to those who listen to me: "Love upsets the natural order of conduct," for it is a covering of the eyes not to see the truth. Because of their great love for the life of the body— [for the sake of Heaven, to worship G‑d with it in a mode of flashes of fire and a great flame because of their soul's love for G‑d], they are properly angry with the agony of the body, Heaven forfend; may G‑d show compassion. Thus they are not able to bear it at all, to the point that it drives them out of their mind to tramp about from city to city to seek advice from afar, and they did not implore G‑d by returning unto Him with humble spirit and submission of the body to accept His chastisement with love, "for He whom He loves ..."

It is analogous to a compassionate, wise and righteous father who punishes his son. Surely the wise son should not "turn his back" to escape and find himself help, or even an intercessor before his father, who is compassionate, righteous and merciful. Rather, he should have his face looking straight at his father, face to face, to endure his strikes with love "For weal unto him all the days."

Now, above, the aspect of panim (face) is that of willingness and pleasure. That is, our Father in Heaven effuses unto His children all the good of the worlds, and life for the soul and body, out of love and willingness, pleasure and delight, through the Torah of Life, His blessed Will, which He gave unto us, as it is written: "For in the light of panecha (Your Face), You gave us the Torah of Life.. ."to carry out His will with it. And of this it was said: "For in the light of the King's Face there is life, and His will..."

To the heathens, however, He effuses the life of their bodies without willingness, pleasure, and delight. This, therefore, is referred to as elohim acherim; for they draw from the aspect of achurayim.

It is likewise with man: willingness and pleasure are an aspect of panim (face). When one does not accept with love and willingness, it is as if "he turns his neck" and achor (back), Heaven forfend.

The suggested advice (to be able) to accept with love, is the counsel of the Lord in the mouth of our sages, of blessed memory:"to examine one's conduct." Thus one will find with himself sins that require the purgation through afflictions. Then one will see clearly His great love towards himself which "upsets the natural order of conduct," as in the simile of the great and awesome king who, out of his great love, personally washes the filth from his only son, as it is written: "When the Lord will wash the filth off the daughters of Zion ... with a spirit of justice..." And "As waters (reflect) face to face," there will be an arousal of love in the heart of everyone who perceives and understands the preciousness of the nature of G‑d's love for the nether beings; it is dearer and better than all the life of all the worlds, as it is written: "How precious is Your chesed... " "For Your chesed is better than life... " For chesed [which is the aspect of love] is the Fountainhead of the life prevalent in all the worlds, as it is written: "He sustains life through chesed"

And then G‑d, too, will give weal and make His Face shine towards him in the mode of a manifestation of the love which at first was clothed and hidden in a manifestation of admonition, and the gevurot shall be sweetened at their source and the judgments become nullified, forevermore.

My beloved, my brethren and friends:

Due to the immensity of my preoccupations which all together surround me and "Encircle me like water all day and all night, never holding their peace,"— I am unable to bear the burden to state in writing all that is in my heart. Briefly, however, I come as one who reminds and repeats erstwhile matters in general, and in particular to those of the people who offer themselves willingly— to stand by the (Divine) service, i.e. prayer, with a loud voice: to strengthen themselves very much with all might and power against any internal or external obstacle, with, literally, a strong hand. This refers to the "will of those who fear Him,"— transcending the wisdom and understanding G‑d gave into them in order to know to exercise all that G‑d commanded with intelligence and knowledge. There should be but a simple will and a spirit of voluntary offering in every one whose heart prompts him to serve "a whole service," thus to cause gratification unto his Maker. Of this it is said: "For it is a stiff-necked people, and You pardon;" for pardon, too, transcends wisdom, as "they asked wisdom ..." Thus Moses our Master, peace to him, invoked "measure for measure," and suffice this for the initiated.

Furthermore, I ask of you not to cast aside my words, the plea I issued for everyone to be upright and walking with integrity just as "G‑d made man upright; not to seek numerous calculations" of the pretexts of man's steps and a person's thoughts and devices. For that is the work of Heaven and not an occupation for human beings. Rather, (every one is) to believe with absolute faithfulness in the precept of our sages, of blessed memory: "And be humble of spirit before every person"— in general. For it is a set matter and an established proverb that each one becomes better through his fellow-being. Thus it is written— "All the men of Israel... as one man associated together" just as one man is composed of many limbs; but when they become separated this affects the heart. "For out of it are the issues of life." With us, therefore, by all of us being as truly one man, the service (of G‑d) will be established in the heart. And from the affirmative.. . That is why it was said: "To serve Him as one part" Therefore, my beloved and dear ones: I beg of you to make an effort with all the heart and soul to drive into the heart the love for one's fellow-man, "And none of you should consider in your hearts what is evil to his fellow-man"— it is written. Such (consideration) should never rise in the heart, and if it does rise one is to push it away from his heart "as smoke is driven away," and truly like an idolatrous thought. For to speak evil is as grave as idolatry, incest, and shedding of blood together. If this be so with speech ...; and the advantage of the adjustment of thought over speech, whether for the good or for the better, is already known to all the wise of heart.

May the good Lord, who blesses His people with peace, set among you peace and life, forevermore, as is the wish of him who loves you faithfully from heart and soul.