As I was thinking what to write for this introduction, I opened my inbox and saw a message chain. A member of the In Touch family was sending me an e-mail that he received from a relative who had received it from a friend. At the bottom was a story from the In Touch which a teacher was using in his address to students in a Jewish community thousands of miles away.

The informality of the flow of information was exciting. Not so many years ago, such ideas were found in books only for scholars to open. Today, they are being spread through many warmer, more user-friendly media.

I celebrate our readers for making the In Touch part of this explosion of knowledge. Years ago, Reb Dovber, the second Chabad Rebbe, was asked what he expected of his followers. He replied that he wanted that when two of his chassidim meet, they should discuss G‑d’s oneness.

What was the Rebbe asking for? His intent was simple. When two stock-brokers meet, what do they speak about? The market. When two realtors meet, they speak about the prices of homes and when teachers meet, they speak about students.

People speak about what’s on their mind. What the Rebbe wanted was that his followers should have spiritual concepts on their minds and so when they run into a friend, that’s what they would talk about. In modern day terms, when one faxes or e-mails a friend a Torah thought, that same goal is being accomplished. A reader sees an idea that he likes and communicates it.

As readers have circulated the bi-weekly In Touch fax sheets, the requests came in: Can you add me to the subscription lists? Would you mind this being translated? Can I mass mail this? Through our readers’ efforts, the In Touch has blossomed into a family of thousands who share Torah concepts with friends, business associates, relatives, and sometimes, with people they barely know.

The prophets teach that in the era of Mashiach, “The knowledge of G‑d will fill the world as the waters cover the ocean bed.” By spreading “the knowledge of G‑d” through all possible means at present, we can both anticipate and precipitate the coming of that future era.

In Thanks

To communicate with others, a person must go beyond his own subjectivity. For that reason, the In Touch is a team effort, involving the contributions of many different individuals. Warranting special recognition are my mother, Rosalynn Malamud, for her continuous help in editing a product worthy of taking pride in. Of course, my wife Kayli, who has made the In Touch family part of our family, sacrificing her time — and bearing with my late hours — to make sure that each person on our list receives their bi-weekly fax on time. A special measure of thanks goes out to my children. They’ve grown up with the In Touch. From the time they were babies, they shared our nights together as they watch me work on the cover letters, go over proofs, and fax out the bi-weekly In Touch Torah sheets.

Also, I would like to thank you, our readers. Your encouragement, questions, and occasional corrections makes the In Touch an interactive dynamic, where your response prompts us to deeper understanding.

Within the chassidic community, it is not accepted for a chassid to thank his Rebbe. Nevertheless, it is impossible to conclude without mentioning his continuous contribution. The In Touch is not merely “established in his memory” or “a perpetuation of his teachings.” Instead, it is our way of staying In Touch with him and the mission he gave us: to prepare ourselves and the world at large for the coming of Mashiach, not as a dream of the future, but Now.

Yossi Malamud
Crown Heights, NY
28 Sivan, 5767

P.s. The mission of the In Touch was outlined in the Publisher’s Foreword and Editor’s Preface to Vol. II of Keeping In Touch. Because of their continued relevance, excerpts from them are reprinted here.