By the Grace of G‑d
15 Iyar, 5718 [1958]

To the [esteemed] chassid,
R. Menachem [Feldman],

Greetings and Blessings!

[...] You1 write about your health and about having been unwell in the past, and of your doctor’s directive that you must keep yourself under control and free yourself of worries and stress and the like.

As is well known, the classic counsel for being free of worries is to [cultivate] the attribute of bitachon. The way in which you can explain this subject to yourself is explained at length in many works, including Chovos HaLevavos, Shaar HaBitachon. In fact, trust is a direct corollary of the fundamentals of the faith of the Jewish people, all of whom are “believers, the descendants of believers.”2 And this belief is that G‑d supervises every single person with individual Divine Providence, and that He is the essence of good — in the words of the Sages, “All that the Merciful One does is for the good.”287

If so, what room is left for worry? Worry can arise only if one forgets the fundamentals of the faith.

In light of this, the above applies to matters that are in the hands of Heaven. As the Sages teach, “Everything is in the hands of Heaven apart from the fear of Heaven.”. Berachos 33b. In matters of Torah and mitzvos, therefore, a person should worry — about how to improve his ways so that they will accord with the purpose for which he was created. In the words of the Mishnah,3 “I was created to serve my Maker.”

Though you do not mention this, I hope that you have fixed study sessions in the revealed plane of the Torah4 and also in the teachings of Chassidus,34and that from time to time you add to these sessions — for in matters of holiness we are commanded to increase.5

With blessings for good news in all the above matters,


P.S. My English secretary is not in town at the moment, hence the reply in the Holy Tongue, but you can continue to write in English.