Letter No. 3493

B”H, 20 Iyar, 5715

Greetings and blessings,

In response to your undated letter: As per your request, I will mention you at the gravesite of my revered father-in-law, the Rebbe, זצוקללה"ה נבג"ם זי"ע,1 for a blessing for long and good years.

It would be worthwhile for you to study Shaar HaBitachon in the text Chovos HaLevavos and contemplate the concepts explained there. Contemplate for even a brief moment: Every Jew, man and woman, has simple faith that there is no place devoid of G‑d.2 And there is a renowned ruling of our Sages3 on the verse:4 “There is strength and joy in His place.” And it is written:5 “One should not come to the gate of the king in sackcloth.” Thus it is unthinkable to disturb the happiness of Him of Whom it is said “There is strength and joy in His place,” because of an individual’s sadness — whomever that individual may be. This is so even if it momentarily appears to you that there is a legitimate basis for those feelings. There is no need to think deeply about the matter; even slight contemplation is sufficient.

Moreover, there is a well-known ruling of Rambam, cited in the Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayim 231[:1], that one must serve G‑d “in all one’s ways.” And it is known that the service of G‑d must be characterized by happiness, as implied by the verse:6 “...because you did not serve G‑d your L‑rd with happiness.” Also known is the importance of rejoicing in the performance of mitzvos.

Since it is possible to connect all of a person’s affairs — “all one’s ways” — with a mitzvah, it is obvious that “gladness should [constantly] be in your dwelling,”7 as explained by Rambam at the conclusion of Hilchos Lulav, quoted by my revered father-in-law, the Rebbe, in his introductions to Kuntres Etz Chayim and Kuntres HaAvodah.

Divert your attention from your thoughts and your self-absorption and be involved in matters concerning the love of your fellow man and the love of G‑d. May G‑d grant you long and good years.

With blessings that you share good news regarding all the above in the near future,

Letter No. 1773

B”H, 13 Menachem Av, 5712

Greetings and blessings,

It pained me to hear from you that you are still depressed, and that, as I understand, this spirit has spread to your family.

I do not want to enter into a lengthy discussion and debate with you whether your state of mind is justified or not. Clearly, extensive thought is not needed to understand why you feel so despondent after the tragedy — may G‑d protect us — that occurred. Nevertheless, believing Jews in general and chassidim in particular called on to always hold fast to G‑d our L‑rd in an overt and pronounced manner, as implied by the verse:8 “And you who cling to G‑d your L‑rd are all truly alive today.’ Implicit in “true life” is not just barely getting by, pushing through days after day, but that there should be genuine life — that neither you nor family members lack for anything material or spiritual.

Now, although it is possible that, heaven forbid, one is not deserving of such ample blessings from G‑d, even so, the Zohar (Vol. II, p. 184b) states:

The upper world grants its influence in response to [the lower world’s] state. If the approach from below is with a beaming face, a similar form of Divine influence shines forth to it from Above….9 In this vein, [it is stated]:10 “Serve G‑d with happiness,” for the happiness of a person draws down a corresponding form of sublime happiness. In the same manner which this lower world is adorned, will it draw down a corresponding manner of influence from Above.

Stated succinctly: When one strengthens his trust in G‑d that He will provide that which is necessary for one to be happy, good-spirited, and vibrantly joyous, and his trust in G‑d is so powerful that it affects his day-to-day life, he draws down such influence from Above. One will then actually see with his own eyes that his trust was well-founded. May G‑d grant that you, your wife, and all the members of your family see this [degree of revealed goodness] in the nearest possible future and in actual fact.

Awaiting good tidings,