By the Grace of G‑d
9 Sivan, 5711 [1951]

Greetings and Blessings!

Your1 letter of 25 Iyar reached me just now. You no doubt have long since received the booklet and the sichah together with my letter, and at auspicious times I mention your name and your wife’s name at the holy resting place of my revered father-in-law with reference to your needs.

As I wrote you long ago, I have one thing to say: I do not understand your bitterness and melancholy at all. Since2 “even the superintendent of a well is appointed in Heaven,” it is certainly obvious that the rabbi of a Jewish community should be aware of the responsibility that rests upon him. It is even more obvious that if notions such as those [of which you write] bring you to bitterness and melancholy, they certainly stem from “the Opposite Side”3 — or, to borrow the phrase of my revered father-in-law, “that smart little guy.”4 Accordingly, every time and every moment that you think such thoughts, these are thoughts that come from the chambers of “the Opposite Side” — and concerning a thought of this kind it is written5 that “as soon as it rises there (i.e., to the mind), one thrusts it aside with both hands and averts his mind from it [...], and refuses to accept it.”

Now, this is speaking of every man, for6 “the rank of Beinoni is one that is attainable by every man, and every man should strive after it.” (This is not contradicted by the statement in Tanya7 that the Beinoni “has never committed any transgression,” whereas chapter 14 states that “every person can, at any time or hour, be a Beinoni.” The meaning [of the former statement] is that the Beinoni’s present spiritual state is such that transgressing has no place in his life, neither in the future nor in the past.8 This will suffice for the present.)

From all the above it will be clear that I am not at all comfortable to read in your letter that you are seeking a different position. You ought to remain in your present post, and to trust firmly that G‑d will lead you in the path of truth9 and bless your holy work with success. If doubts on this enter your mind, this does not indicate a doubt as to your ability, but a weakness in your trust. The remedy for this is to study Shaar HaBitachon in Chovos HaLevavos,10 and, more broadly, to be bound to the Tree of Life, i.e., the study of Chassidus,34and to participate frequently in a chassidic farbrengen. In the present context, a comradely gathering at which chassidim encourage each other’s efforts at finetuning their own spiritual sensitivity. with genuine chassidic joy — to be happy and to make others happy.

Now, since you have moved into your new apartment, the thing to do would be to organize a chassidic farbrengenthere, truly and properly — to recall the good old days, when a chassid at a farbrengenwould speak [candidly], without hesitating to consider what this one or that one would say, or what his own left side or right side11 would say. A chassid only knew that a chassidic farbrengen — listening to a discourse of Chassidus, a chassidic vort,12 or an anecdote about one of our Rebbeim — lights a man up, and13 “a little light dispels a great deal of darkness.”

Furthermore: Why should one think about darkness? Let’s think more about light — especially now, when we are at the time at which the first Tablets of the Law were given.14 And, [interpreting] the phrase15 “engraved (charus) on the Tablets” [on the non-literal level called derush], the Sages taught:16 “Do not read charus (‘engraved’); read cheirus (‘freedom’).”17

May it be G‑d’s Will that your new apartment exemplify the adage18 that “he who changes his place changes his fortune” — in a good direction. May your home be a warm home and a happy home, filled with19 “a commandment [that] is a lamp and the Torah [that] is light.” May it be filled with the luminary within the Torah, i.e., the teachings of Chassidus, and the spiritual lifestyle of Chassidus, and the customs of chassidim. And you should hold a chassidic farbrengen there from time to time.

I look forward to hearing glad tidings regarding an improvement in your frame of mind, and to hearing that at long last — even if only as an [unenthused] assumption of responsibility20 — you have undertaken that henceforth you will fulfill the Torah’s command that one should serve G‑d “with joy and with a gladsome heart.”. In the original, besimchah uvetuv leivav (Devarim 28:47).