By the Grace of G‑d
Motzaei Shabbos Kodesh
Mevarchim Chodesh Shevat
24th of Teves, 5743
Brooklyn, N.Y.

To the Sons and Daughters of
Our People Israel, Everywhere,

G‑d Bless you all!

Greeting and Blessing:

This letter is written after the termination of the holy Shabbos on which the month of Shevat was blessed; the month whose 10th day — “The 10th shall be sacred” —marks the anniversary of the Yahrzeit-Hilulo of the Rebbe, my father-in-law of saintly memory.

Significantly, tonight is also the anniversary of the Yahrzeit-Hilulo of the Alter Rebbe, author of the Tanya and Shulchan Aruch (thus our teacher and mentor both in the revealed as well as in the hidden aspects of Torah),

Whose heir and successor my father-in-law was.

It has often been emphasized that the purpose of all commemorations in Jewish life is to inspire and encourage every Jew in the fulfillment of his life’s task, for which he was created. This task has been clearly defined in our Torah, Toras Chaim, in the dictum: “I was created to serve my Master,” and it is carried out and realized through strengthening and disseminating Yiddishkeit, Torah and Mitzvoth, in one’s own life and all around, to the fullest extent of one’s capacities.

In light of the above, I trust everyone will reflect on one of the central points of the Yahrzeit-Hilulo — the day on which he completed his life’s task, “All his work and Torah and service throughout all the days of his life.” This central point is: That when a Jew resolves to work for the dissemination of Yiddishkeit, regardless of difficulties, he is certain to find the strength and the means to overcome all difficulties; and the promise of HaShem, the Creator and Master of man, Yogato uMotzoso — “Make the effort and you will succeed” — is thus fulfilled.

This is surely the living example which the Baal Hahilulo presented every day of his difficult life, including the last decade of his life which he spent in this country, where difficulties and trials were not lacking — in some respects even more difficult than those which he had to overcome in that country —”behind the Iron Curtain,” as is well known.

Needless to say, what the Baal Hahilulo achieved, especially through his Yogato, is difficult, mildly speaking, for a person of our calibre to achieve, not having his extraordinary capacities, Mesiras Nefesh, etc. However, it should also be remembered that after he has broken through all barriers and has paved the way, established institutions of Chinuch, Torah and Chesed, plowed through, planted and fructified with Mesiras Nefesh and Ahavas Yisroel every area of Yiddishkeit, and has created the opportunity for every Jew, all Jews, men, women and children, to follow in his footsteps — there remains no excuse to diminish, G‑d forbid, one’s dedicated involvement in all areas of Torah dissemination, every one according to his or her G‑d-given capacities, and to do it in accordance with one’s own Yogato.

Moreover, any difficulties encountered nowadays here and in many other countries are incomparably minor and easier than those which the Baal Hahilulo had to overcome. Indeed, one can even obtain and does obtain help and encouragement from various government and civic agencies, groups, etc.

The only thing that is required is to appreciate fully the Divine mission — and together with it also the Divine capacities — which have been given to each and every Jew, man and woman, with which to illuminate the world, both one’s own world as well as the world at large, with the light of Torah and Mitzvoth, always with the accent on action which is the essential thing, starting with the fulfillment of the Mitzvoth in the everyday life with devotion and with joy and gladness of heart.

Included in this is the Mitzvo of VOhavto L’Re’acho Komocho in a manner where Re’acho (your fellow) should become Komocho (like yourself) — a doer and an inspirer, “a lamplighter” — like yourself, with the utmost dedication and joy of doing a Mitzvo.

* * *

On the basis of the encouraging words and blessings of the Baal Hahilulo — bearing in mind that “the words of Tzaddikim endure forever” and “are effective forever,” to the extent of “effecting salvation in the midst of the earth” may G‑d grant that everyone should act in keeping with the above mentioned points with even greater devotion and joy than hitherto,

Since in all matters of goodness and holiness, being connected with HaShem who is Ein Sof, there is no end and no limit; hence, however satisfactory they are at present, one can — and therefore must — proceed from strength to strength.

In addition to the essential point, namely, the very fact of carrying out the G‑d-given task, every additional effort in this direction also increases and widens the channels and vessels to receive and actually enjoy G‑d’s blessings in all one’s needs, and in the words of our King David, the Sweetener of the Songs of Israel — which were uttered as a request and demand, but also contain the connotation of a promise: “Open wide your mouth (state all your desires) and I will fulfill them,” and,

First and foremost the desire and the fulfillment that we should very soon see the realization of the Prophecy which was read this Shabbos in the Haftorah: “and you shall be gathered up one by one, Oh children of Israel” when HaShem will, so to speak, take every Jew by the hand and lead all Jews together as one great Kohol (community), one entity, out of the Golus and they are instantly delivered with the true and complete Geulo.

With esteem and blessing for much Hatzlocho and good tidings in all above,

/Signed: Menachem Schneerson/