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 congratulate 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.

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.

There are many people who describe the Rebbe in superlatives: a Torah genius, a visionary leader, a miracle worker, or simply a caring and sympathetic listener and counselor. What draws us most is the quality that can only be described by the term “Rebbe” — a limitless, unique energy and vitality that comes from the G‑dliness which we all possess and which the Rebbe revealed in a distinctive way.

The Rebbe would cry and laugh. What made him special, however, was what he cried and laughed about. Coming into his presence, you became aware that he lived for a goal beyond himself. And more importantly, he was able to awaken the spark inside each of us which likewise seeks to live for goals beyond ourselves.

While fully in touch with the present, he also gave us a promise and a picture of a deeper and more meaningful future. While in contact with the Rebbe, the peace, love, and spiritual awareness that will characterize the era of the Redemption are not just abstract goals. You understand them, because you relate to a person who had anticipated and foreseen them in his day-to-day life.

He gives others tools to share in this awareness, and in that way, endows them with a sense of mission and purpose. For, having sampled these qualities, a person wants nothing more than to communicate them further and in that way, help bring the world to its ultimate fulfillment.

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