By the Grace of G‑d
2nd Day of the Week of
Chai Elul, 5742
Brooklyn, N.Y.

To the Sons and Daughters of
Our People Israel, Everywhere

G‑d Bless You All!

Greeting and Blessing:

On this auspicious day of the auspicious month — Chai (18) Elul, the month that all of it, especially the last twelve days of it beginning from Chai Elul, are dedicated to preparing for Rosh Hashono and for the entire new year, may it bring us and all our people Israel goodness and blessing,

It is surely the appropriate time to reflect on one of the main features pertaining to said preparations; which, of course, have to encompass all aspects of human life, comprising thought, word, and action, and in accord with the Divine purpose of the creation of man (ordained on the first Rosh Hashono), and in accord with the purpose of man’s life, namely, to serve the Creator in all three areas: Torah, Avodah and Gemilus Chasodim (Torah-study, Prayer, and acts of kindness, namely, mitzvoth).

* * *

It has been discussed many times that although Rosh Hashono is the festival that commemorates the “birthday” of the world (as we say in our prayer, “This is the day of the beginning of Your works”), it is actually the day when the creation of the world was completed with the creation of man, on the sixth day of Creation. Thereby the world attained its fulfillment (and pronounced “very good”), for it is through man that the whole of creation attains completeness and fulfillment, in accordance with the design of the Creator. This was actually achieved immediately after Adam, the first man, was created, as related by our Sages of blessed memory that Adam called upon all creatures, saying: “Come, let us prostrate ourselves and kneel; let us bend our knees before HaShem our Maker.” And so it was, and “HaShem reigned, garbed in Glory.”

* * *

One of the aspects in which the creation of mankind differed most conspicuously from that of all other creatures is that man was created as a single individual —

a) single — unlike other creatures, both in the animal world and in the world of plants, where creatures were simultaneously created in couples (male and female),

b) single also in terms of being one species, the human race, unlike other creatures, both animals and plants, where thousands of species were created right from the beginning.

Needless to say, the Torah, Torah Or, which illuminates and explains all “things”, calls attention to this conspicuous difference. Our sages of the Mishnah declare: “For this reason man was created single — to teach you that each individual is a ‘whole (complete) world.’” Secondly, “For the sake of peace among people, so that no one will be able to say, ‘I am a descendant of a greater ancestor than yours.’”

The question that immediately poses itself is: The said two reasons seem contradictory. According to the first, the emphasis is on the preeminence of a person as an individual, so much so that every individual is termed a “whole world.” And since the Torah, Toras Emes, declares that “people differ in their דעות (opinions),” the sense of personal importance is bound to foster dissent, and in a sharp form, since each individual is a “whole world.” The result, therefore, would be the opposite of “peace among people.”

But, inasmuch as the two reasons follow consecutively in the same context, and each of them is so important that it affected the manner in which man was originally created, we must conclude that the said two reasons not only do not contradict each other, but, on the contrary, are quite compatible and, moreover, reinforce each other.

The explanation of it is as follows:

True, a person is a “whole world,” and “people differ in their דעות (opinions),” but a person’s opinion need not, and must not, exclude — even in one’s own mind — the possibility that there can be a second opinion, indeed even a contradictory opinion. Moreover, one has to regard other opinions —even a contradictory one — with respect, since the other person is a “whole world.” Hence, he must consider the other person’s view with proper consideration. Then, in addition to such an attitude being conducive to real accord and peace among people, and a durable peace at that — inasmuch as it is based on the rule of the eternal Torah that every individual is a “whole world” — it would result also in reexamination of one’s own opinion, and to more clearly analyze its positive but also its negative aspects, and thus attain the real truth, fulfillment of his own “whole world.”

The same attitude by the next person, and the next, and so on, would eventually bring about accord and peace among people.

It should be noted, parenthetically, that speaking of דעות (opinions), we have in mind such as come within their definition in G‑d’s Torah, and are in every detail consistent with the Torah, the Wisdom of HaShem; otherwise, it would be contrary to דעה — to wisdom and knowledge, as is obvious. Yet, these opinions differ (sometimes also contradict one another) in approach and judgment relating to דברי הרשות — mundane matters.

* * *

Turning our attention to action, since “action is the essential thing,” namely, the general every day conduct — it follows that awareness of the abovementioned thought brings the constant practice of the Great Principle in Torah — V’Ohavto lRe’acho Komocho, “Love your fellow as yourself,” with the accent on Komocho — “as yourself.” The idea behind this: Everyone was created by the same Creator, the Creator of the Whole World, and everyone — though merely “your fellow” and not you yourself — is also a “whole world,” “like yourself.” Hence, you should love everyone as you love yourself; and since this is an imperative by the Creator of every person, it is certain that it can be achieved and fulfilled by, and in, every person.

At the same time, since the Creator is “the King, Who is the Source of Peace,” and He demands, that there should be “peace among people,” as mentioned above, and provides the capacity to achieve it, as is understandable — all this makes it still easier to carry out the Mitzvo of V’Ohavto lRe’acho Komocho, Komocho, in actual practice, and in all aspects.

* * *

All the above has a special relevance to the preparation for Rosh Hashono, the Day of Coronation of the King of Peace — including, above all, mutual peace and love among our Jewish people in the fullest manner of unity, so that all Jews constitute one entity in the fullest degree, and all Jews “like one man with one heart” acclaim the Supreme One on Rosh Hashono as “King of Israel,” and do so willingly, indeed, joyously; and this is carried out in a manner that influences the whole environment, so that the Creator is recognized as “King of the Universe” — as this happened on the first Rosh Hashono through the first man, Adam, as mentioned above.

* * *

May it be G‑d’s Will, that, in accordance with the text of the concluding prayer of each Amidah, every day: “Bless us, our Father, all of us as one, with the Light of Your Countenance” — as explained by the Alter Rebbe (author of the Tanya and Shulchan Aruch): inasmuch as we are “all as one,” it brings about the fulfillment of “bless us our Father, with the Light of Your Countenance” —

May this be so actually and forthwith,

Including the blessing — in the words of our King David מלכא משיחא, “I will feed him (the Jewish People) with the finest of wheat, and sate (each of) you with honey from a rock,”

And each and everyone, man and woman, is granted a Kesivo vaChasimo Tovo, for a good and sweet year, both materially and spiritually.

With esteem and blessing for a
כתיבה וחתימה טובה,

/Signed: Menachem Schneerson/