By the Grace of G‑d
Tishrei 13, 5728 [October 17, 1967]
Brooklyn, NY

Mr. Ariel Sharon,

Greeting and blessings!

I was deeply grieved to read in the newspaper about the tragic loss of your tender young son, may he rest in peace. We cannot fathom the ways of the Creator. During a time of war and peril you were saved—indeed, you were among those who secured the victory for our nation, the Children of Israel, against our enemies, in which “the many were delivered into the hands of the few, etc.”—and yet, during a time of quiet and in your own home, such an immense tragedy occurred! But is not surprising that a created being cannot comprehend the ways of the Creator, Who infinitely transcends us. Indeed, we are hardly surprised if a small child cannot comprehend the ways of a great, venerable, and elderly sage, even though it is only a finite gulf that separates them.

Obviously, the above does not come to minimize the hurt and pain in any way. Despite the vast distance between us, I wish to express my sympathies.

At first glance it would appear that we are distant from one another, not only geographically but also—or even more so—in terms of being unfamiliar, indeed unaware, of each other, until the Six-Day War (as it has come to be known), when you became famous and celebrated as a commander and defender of our Holy Land and its inhabitants and as a person of powerful abilities. G‑d, blessed be He, shone His countenance upon you and granted you success in your activities—indeed a victory of unexpected proportion.

But on the basis of a fundamental, deeply rooted Jewish principle—namely, that all Jews are kindred—the fame that you received served to reveal something that existed even before, i.e., the interconnectedness of all Jews, whether of the Holy Land or of the Diaspora. It is this interconnectedness that spurred me to write the above words to you and your family.

Another factor that motivated me to write this letter is the tremendous inspiration that you aroused in the hearts of many of our Jewish brethren when you put on tefillin at the Western Wall, an act which merited great publicity and echoed powerfully and positively into the various strata of our nation, in places both near and far.

An element of solace—indeed, more than just an element—is expressed in the ritual blessing, hallowed by scores of generations of Torah and tradition among our people:

“May the Omnipresent comfort you among the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem.”

At first glance, the connection between the mourner to whom this blessing is directed and the mourners of Jerusalem’s destruction appears to be quite puzzling. In truth, however, they are connected. For the main consolation embodied by this phrase is in its inner content, namely: The grief over Zion and Jerusalem is common to all the sons and daughters of our people, Israel, wherever they may be (although it is more palpable to those who dwell in Jerusalem and actually see the Western Wall and the ruins of our Holy Temple than to those who are far away from it; nonetheless, even those who are far experience great pain and grief over the destruction). So too is the grief of a single individual Jew or Jewish family shared by the entire nation. For, as the Sages have taught, all of the Jewish people comprise one integral organism.

Another point and principle, expressing double consolation, is that just as G‑d will most certainly rebuild the ruins of Zion and Jerusalem and gather the dispersed of Israel from the ends of the earth through our righteous Moshiach, so will He, without a doubt, remove the grief of the individual, fulfilling the promise embodied by the verse, “Awaken and sing, you who repose in the dust.”1 Great will be the joy, the true joy, when all will be rejoined at the time of the resurrection of the dead.

There is yet a third point: In regard to Zion and Jerusalem, the Romans—and before them, the Babylonians—were given dominion only over the wood and stone, silver and gold of the Temple’s physical manifestation but not over its inner spiritual essence that is contained within the heart of each and every Jew—for the nations have no dominion over this, and it stands eternally. So too, regarding the mourning of the individual, death dominates only the physical body and concerns of the deceased person. The soul, however, is eternal; it has merely ascended to the World of Truth. That is why any good deed [performed by the mourner] that accords with the will of the Giver of life, G‑d, blessed be He, adds to the soul’s delight and merit and to its general good.

May it be G‑d’s will that henceforth you and your family should know no hurt and pain and that in your actions in defense of our Holy Land, “the land which G‑d’s eyes are upon from the beginning of the year to the end of the year,”2 and in your observance of the mitzvah of tefillin—and one mitzvah brings another in its wake—you will find comfort.

With esteem and blessing.

By the Grace of G‑d
25th of Elul, 5738 [September 27, 1978]
Brooklyn, NY

The Family Zippel

Milan, Italy

Greeting and Blessing:

In these days of Selichos and Rachamim, which bring the outgoing year to its end and prepare for the new year, I am addressing these lines to you, hoping they will bring you some comfort.

To begin with, there are many matters and occurrences that are hard for the human mind to understand. Among them also such that even if they can be understood intellectually, they are hard to accept emotionally. Specifically, in a case of bereavement.

Nevertheless, every Jew has been instructed by the Creator and Master of the world that the matters connected with avelus (mourning) must be limited in time, though during the proper time it is natural and proper to give vent to one’s pain and sorrow at the sad loss, in keeping with the nature which G‑d implanted in man.

However, when the various periods of mourning pass—the first three days profound grief and tears, the seven days of shivah, sheloshim, etc.—then it is not permitted to extend these periods beyond their allotted days. And since this is the instruction of the Creator and Master of the world, it is clear that carrying out these Divine instructions is within the capability of every Jew, for G‑d does not expect the impossible of His creatures, and provides everyone beforehand with the necessary capacity and strength to carry out its instructions as set forth in His Torah, called Toras Emes, because it is true and realistic in all its teachings and imperatives.

It follows also that those who think that the gradual lessening of mourning, as above, may cause the soul of the departed that is now in the World of Truth to feel slighted are totally wrong, for the opposite is true. Indeed, excessive mourning by relatives is not good for the soul in the World of Truth, seeing that it is instrumental in this improper conduct on the part of its relatives here on earth; improper—because it is not in keeping with the spirit and letter of the Torah.

Undoubtedly, there is also a rational explanation for the above. One explanation, as mentioned at length on another occasion, is that the soul is, of course, eternal, as is universally recognized. It would be contrary even to logic and common sense to think that a physical disorder to the body could effect the vitality and existence of the soul, which is a purely spiritual being. The only thing that a sickness or fatal accident can do is to cause a weakening or termination of the bond that holds the body and soul together, whereupon the soul departs from its temporary abode in this world and returns to its original world of pure spirit in the eternal world.

Needless to say, insofar as the soul is concerned, it is a release from its “imprisonment” in the body. For, so long as it is bound up with the body, it suffers from physical limitations of the body, which necessarily constrain the soul and involve it in physical activities which are essentially alien to its purely spiritual nature. Nevertheless, the departure and ascent of the soul to its Heavenly abode is mourned for a time by the surviving relatives and friends, because the person is no longer physically here on earth and can no longer be seen and heard and felt by the physical senses and is therefore sadly missed. However, the soul itself retains all its faculties and, as explained in our holy sources, reacts to the conduct and feelings of its relatives left behind, sharing in their joys and in their sorrows and benefiting from their good deeds, especially those done on behalf of the soul, and it prays and intercedes on behalf of its relatives here on earth.

In other words, the departure of the soul from the body is a great advantage and ascent for the soul, and the loss is only for the bereaved, and to that extent it is also painful for the soul, of course.

There is yet another point that causes pain to the soul after departing from the body. While the soul is “clothed” in the body, it can actively participate with the body in all matters of Torah and Mitzvot and good deeds practiced in the daily life here on earth. But since all this involves physical action and tangible objects, the soul can no longer engage in these activities when it returns to its Heavenly abode, where it can only enjoy the fruits of the Torah and Mitzvot and good deeds performed by it in its sojourn on earth. Henceforth, the soul must depend on its relatives and friends to do mitzvot and good deeds also on its behalf, and this is the source of true gratification for the soul and helps it ascend to even greater heights.

In summary, it is not surprising that the human intellect cannot grasp the ways of G‑d and why He should take away good persons who practiced good deeds all their life and helped spread G‑dliness on earth through spreading the Torah and Mitzvot, which they would have continued to do had they been spared more years. It is not surprising, because a human being is a created thing and limited in all his aspects, and no creature can possibly understand the Creator. By way of simple illustration: An infant cannot understand the wisdom of a very wise man or scientist, although the scientist was himself an infant at one time, and the present infant could in time become an even greater scientist than the other. If, therefore, this is not surprising even though the difference and distance between the infant and the scientist is only relative, how much less surprising is it, where the difference is absolute and quite incomparable, as between a created being and the Creator.

Secondly, knowing that G‑d is the Essence of goodness and benevolence, and “it is in the nature of the Benevolent to do good,” and “G‑d is just and equitable,” etc., which knowledge is one of the very basic tenets of our Faith, as explained at length in the Written Torah and Oral Torah—it is certain that all that G‑d does is for the good.

Thirdly, it is also certain that the Neshama in Olam HoEmes waits and expects that all the good deeds it had been doing while here on earth, and would have continued doing had G‑d given her more years in this world, would be continued on its behalf by all near and dear ones. Certainly it expects that the mourning periods will not be extended beyond the prescribed time, since this would be contrary to the teaching of the Torah.

Moreover, when it concerns persons who were brought up, and who brought up their children, in the way of the Torah, which is called Toras Chesed, a Torah of Lovingkindness, whose Golden Rule is V’Ohavto L’Reacho Komocho, making it the privilege and duty of every Jew to spread the Torah and Mitzvot to the utmost of their capability and to do all things of Torah and Mitzvot with joy and gladness of heart and who themselves personified all these qualities—all that has been said above is underscored with even greater emphasis.

Much more could be said on the subjects mentioned in this letter, but I am sure that the above will suffice, in keeping with the saying, “Give instruction to the wise person, and he will increase his wisdom still more” (Proverbs 9:9).

May G‑d bless each and all of you, in the midst of all our people, that henceforth only goodness and benevolence be with you always and inscribe and seal you all for a good and sweet year in the good that is revealed and obvious.

With esteem and blessing,

M. Schneerson

P.S. It is a timely, meaningful, and everlasting memorial to the souls of the dear departed that the holy book of Tanya was published these days in Milan and dedicated to them. May their souls be bound up in the bond of eternal life.

By the Grace of G‑d
14 Teves, 5730 [December 23, 1969]
Brooklyn, NY

Blessing and Greeting!

I received, on time, your letter—though circumstances have delayed my answer—in which you write of the passing of your mother, OBM, and your thoughts and feelings in connection with this.

The truth is that “none among us knows anything at all” concerning the ways of G‑d, Who created humans, directs them and observes them with a most specific Divine Providence. But certainly, certainly, He is the very essence of good, and, as the expression goes, “it is in the nature of the good to do good.” If, at times, what G‑d does is at all not understood by the human mind—little wonder: what significance has a limited, measured, finite creature in relation to the infinite and endless and especially in relation to “the absolutely Infinite and Endless” (beli gevul ve-ein sof ha-amiti)?

Nevertheless, G‑d chose to reveal a fraction of His wisdom to man, to flesh and blood. This He did with His holy Torah, called “the Torah of light” and “the Torah of life”—that is to say, it illuminates man’s path in life in such a manner that even his limited faculties may comprehend its light. Thus, also in the case of this occurrence and similar ones, one can find an understanding—at least a partial one—in accordance with what is explained in our (Written and Oral) Torah.

Actually, this understanding is to be found in two rulings of Torah law which address our actual conduct in these circumstances. At first glance, they seem to stand in contradiction one to the other, though they appear in the same section of the Code of Jewish Law. The section (Yoreh Deah 394) begins: “One must not mourn excessively (beyond what our Sages have instructed us); one who does so in extreme….” Yet at the section’s end, it is brought that “one who does not mourn as the Sages have guided us is a callous and cruel person.” Now, if in such a case it is natural to mourn, what’s so terrible about one who mourns more? Why the harsh rebuke mentioned in the law? And if to mourn excessively is so terrible, why is it cruel to mourn less?

The explanation lies in the concluding words of our Sages (as quoted from Maimonides): “One should fear and worry, search one’s deeds and repent.”

It is self-understood that the soul is eternal. Obviously, an illness of the flesh or blood cannot terminate or diminish the life of the soul—it can only damage the flesh and the blood themselves and the bond between them and the soul, that is to say, it can bring to the cessation of this bond—death, G‑d forbid. And with the severing of what binds the soul to the flesh, the soul ascends and frees herself of the shackles of the body, of its limitations and restrictions. Through the good deeds she has performed during the period she was upon earth and within the body, she is elevated to a higher, much higher, level than her status prior to her descent into the body. As our Sages expressed it: The descent of the soul is a descent for the sake of an ascent, an ascent above and beyond her prior state.

From this it is understood that anyone close to this soul, anyone to whom she was dear, must appreciate that the soul has ascended, higher even than the level she was at previously; it is only that in our lives, in our world, it is a loss. And just as the closer one is to the soul, all the more precious to them is the soul’s elevation, so it is with the second aspect—the intensity of the pain. For they, all the more so, feel the loss of her departure from the body and from life in this world.

Also, it is a loss in the sense that—it seems—the soul could have ascended even higher by remaining in this world, as our Sages taught in Ethics of Our Fathers: “One moment of repentance and good deeds in this world is preferable to the entire World to Come.”

Thus, since the occurrence contains these two conflicting facets—on the one hand, the freeing of the soul from the body’s shackles and her ascent to a higher world, the World of Truth; on the other, the abovementioned loss—the result is the two rulings. The “Torah of Truth” mandates that one mourn for the time period set by our Sages. At the same time, it is forbidden to mourn excessively (that is, beyond the set mourning period, and also in regards to the intensity of the mourning within these days).

As said, the primary cause for mourning such an occurrence is the loss on the part of the living. This is the object of the mourning period: The living need to understand why it is that they deserved this loss. This is why “one should fear and worry, search one’s deeds and repent.”

Through this, another thing is attained—the endurance of the bond between the living and the soul who has ascended. For the soul is enduring and eternal and sees and observes what is taking place with those connected with her and close to her. Every good deed they do causes her spiritual pleasure—specifically, the accomplishments of those she has educated and raised with the education that brings the said good deeds. That is to say, she has a part in those deeds resulting from the education she provided her children and the ones she influenced.

Since all of the above constitute directives of our Torah, the wisdom and will of G‑d, the fulfillment of these directives is part and parcel of our service of G‑d, of which it is said, “Serve G‑d with joy.” A directive of Torah also serves as the source of strength which provides the abilities to carry it out. Consequently, since the Torah addresses these instructions to each and every individual, it is within the capacity of each individual to carry it out—and, more so, to carry it out in a manner of “Serve G‑d with joy.”

All this applies to the entire family, but even more so, and with yet a greater supply of fortitude—as well as a greater degree of responsibility—in regard to those who are in a position to affect the other family members who will emulate their example. Therefore, the responsibility to implement all of the above falls first and foremost upon the head of the family and the senior child; in this case, I am referring to you and your father. The guarantee “If you have toiled, you will find” applies here as well.

In all the above also lies the answer to your question as to how you can lighten the load, etc.—through a behavior consistent with the above verse with a strong faith in G‑d that you will succeed in this endeavor.

May it be the will of G‑d that you have good tidings concerning all the above with open and revealed good.

With blessings for success in all your endeavors and good tidings,

[Signature: M. Schneerson]

Letter to a child of Holocaust survivors, who felt trapped by the questions and doubts raised by the Holocaust.

By the Grace of G‑d
23 Shevat, 5744 [January 28, 1984]
Brooklyn, NY

Greeting and Blessing!

This is in reply to your letter of January 23, 1984, in which you write that you were born in a DP camp in Germany, a child of parents who survived the Holocaust, and you ask why G‑d permitted the Holocaust to take place, etc. No doubt you know that there is substantial literature dealing with this terrible tragedy, and a letter is hardly the medium to deal adequately with the question. However, since you have written to me, I must give you an answer, hence, the following thoughts.

Jews—including you and me—are “believers, the children of believers,” our Sages declare. Deep in one’s heart, every Jew believes there is a G‑d Who is the Creator and Master of the world and that the world has a purpose. Any thinking person who contemplates the solar system, for example, or the complexities of an atom, must come to the conclusion and conviction that our universe did not come about by some “freak accident.” Wherever you turn, you see design and purpose.

It follows that a human being “also” has a purpose, certainly where millions of human beings are concerned. Since the Creator created the world with a purpose, it is also logical to assume that He wished the purpose to be realized and therefore would reveal to the only “creature” on earth who has an intelligence to understand such matters, namely, humankind, what this purpose is and how to go about realizing it. This, indeed, is the ultimate purpose of every human being, namely, to do his or her share in the realization of the Divine design and purpose of Creation. It is also common sense that without such “Divine revelation,” a human being would not, of his own accord, know what exactly is that purpose and how to achieve it any more than a minuscule part or component in a highly complex system could comprehend the whole system, much less the creator of the system.

The illustration often given in this connection is the case of an infant, whose lack of ability to understand an intricate theory of a mature scientist would not surprise anyone, although both the infant and the scientist are created beings, and the difference between them is only relative, in terms of age and knowledge, etc. Indeed, it is possible that the infant may someday surpass the scientist in knowledge and insight. Should it, then, be surprising that a created human being cannot understand the ways of the Creator?

It is also understandable that since every person has a G‑d-given purpose in life, he or she is provided with the capacity to carry out that purpose fully.

A further important point to remember is that since G‑d created everything with a purpose, there is nothing lacking or superfluous in the world. This includes also the human capacity. It follows that a person’s capacity in terms of knowledge, time, energy, etc., must fully be applied to carrying out his, or her, purpose in life. If any of these resources is diverted to something that is extraneous to carrying out the Divine purpose, it would not only be misused and wasteful, but would detract to that extent from the real purpose.

In the Torah, called Toras Chaim (“instruction of living”), G‑d has revealed what the purpose of Creation is and provided all the knowledge necessary for a human being, particularly a Jew, to carry it out in life. Having designated the Jewish people as a “kingdom of Kohanim [priests] and a holy nation,” a Jew is required to live up to all the Divine precepts in the Torah. Gentiles are required to keep only the Seven Basic Moral Laws, the so-called Seven Noahide Laws, with all their ramifications—which must be the basis of any and every human society, if it is to be human in accordance with the will and design of the Creator.

One of the basic elements of the Divine design, as revealed in the Torah, is that G‑d desires it to be carried out by choice and not out of compulsion. Every human being has, therefore, the free will to live in accordance with G‑d’s Will or in defiance of it.

With all the above in mind, let us return to your question, which is one that has been on the minds of many: Why did G‑d permit the Holocaust? The only answer we can give is: only G‑d knows.

However, [the very fact that there is no answer to this question is, in itself, proof that one is not required to know the answer, or understand it, in order to fulfill one’s purpose in life.] Despite the lack of satisfactory answer to the awesome and tremendous “Why?”—one can, and must, carry on a meaningful and productive life, promote justice and kindness in one’s surroundings, and indeed, help create a world where there should be no room for any holocaust or for any kind of man’s inhumanity to man.

As a matter of fact, in the above there is an answer to an unspoken question: “What should my reaction be?” The answer to this question is certain: It must be seen as a challenge to every Jew—because Jews were the principal victims of the Holocaust—a challenge that should be met head-on, with all resolve and determination, namely, that regardless of how long it will take the world to repent for the Holocaust and make the world a fitting place to live in for all human beings—I, for one, will not slacken in my determination to carry out my purpose in life, which is to serve G‑d, wholeheartedly and with joy, and make this world a fitting abode—not only for humans, but also for the Shechinah, the Divine Presence itself.

Of course, much more could be said on the subject, but why dwell on such a painful matter when there is so much good to be done?

With blessing.

[P.S. Needless to say, the above may be accepted intellectually, and it may ease the mind, but it cannot assuage the pain and upheaval, especially of one who has been directly victimized by the Holocaust. Thus, in this day and age of rampant suspicion, etc., especially when one is not known personally, one may perhaps say—“Well, it is easy for one who is not emotionally involved to give an ‘intellectual’ explanation….”

So, I ought, perhaps, to add that I, too, lost in the Holocaust very close and dear relatives such as a grandmother, brother, cousins, and others (G‑d should avenge their blood). But life according to G‑d’s command must go on, and the sign of life is in growth and creativity.]

By the Grace of G‑d
3rd of Nissan, 5738 [April 10, 1978]
Brooklyn, NY

Greeting and Blessing:

I am in receipt of your letter, in which you write about happenings in the family and ask why such untoward happenings did occur, though you find nothing in your conduct and activities that would justify them.

I surely do not have to point out to you that the question of “why do the righteous suffer and the wicked prosper?” is a very old one and was already asked by Moshe Rabbeinu,who received the Torahfrom G‑d and handed it over to each and every Jew as an everlasting inheritance for all times. As you probably also know, the whole book of Iyov (Job) is devoted to this problem, and it has been dealt with ever since.

The point of the answer given by our Sages, as it has often been explained at length, is by way of the example of a small child who does not understand why his father, who is such a wise and kind person, sometimes acts in a way which causes a child pain and tears. It would not surprise any person that the child is not in a position to understand the ways of his father, although, be it noted, only a number of years separate them in age and also in intelligence. At the same time, the child instinctively feels and knows that his father loves him, and surely everything is for his benefit and not for the benefit of any other child or for his own benefit, since it would be unthinkable that a father who has a one and only son would cause pain to his child for the benefit of a stranger or for his own benefit.

If this is so in the case of a child and his father, where the distinction between them is only relative in terms of age and intelligence, as mentioned above, how much more so in the case of a created being and the Creator, where the distinction is absolute and unbridgeable. Indeed, it would have been most surprising if a human being could understand the way of G‑d except to the extent that G‑d Himself, in His kindness, has revealed some aspects of His Divine Providence and in a necessarily very limited way. Moreover, our Torah, Toras Chayim and Toras Emes, assures us that when a Jew strengthens his bitochon and trust in G‑d, Whose benevolent Divine Providence extends to each and every one individually and Who is the essence of goodness, and it is the nature of the good to do good—this in itself opens new insights into a better understanding of G‑d’s ways and at the same time speeds G‑d’s blessings in the kind of good that is revealed and evident.

And, as mentioned earlier, this fact that Moshe Rabbeinu already pondered this question did not in the least affect his simple faith in G‑d and did not in any way affect his observance of the Torahand mitzvot in his daily life and conduct, and this is also what he bequeathed to each and every Jew in all future generations.

It is surely also unnecessary to point out that this question that might arise under certain circumstances in the life of an individual can just as well be asked in connection with the long-suffering history of our people in exile for the past 1,900 years and more. Yet here, too, despite the persecutions, martyrdom, and suffering, our people tenaciously clung to the Torahand mitzvot as their only way of life, and it has not weakened their belief in and confident hope of the ultimate true and complete geula through our righteous Moshiach,when it will become apparent that the whole long and dark exile was a blessing in disguise.

Much more could be said in this subject, but I hope that the above will suffice to help you regain fully your true Jewish perspective, especially as what has been written above is not intended to answer the question once and for all but merely to help minimize the doubts and questions which might distract a Jew from his innate, simple faith in G‑d and in His infinite lovingkindness and justice, which is an integral part of every Jew’s heritage.

At this time before Pesach,the festival of our liberation, I send you and yours prayerful wishes for a kosherand inspiring Pesachand a fuller measure of liberation from all distractions so as to be able to serve G‑d wholeheartedly and with joy.

With blessing.

A letter related to mezuzah:

By the Grace of G‑d
Rosh Chodesh Elul, 5736 [August 27, 1976]
Brooklyn, NY

To the Jewish mothers and daughters everywhere,
G‑d bless you—

Blessing and Greeting:

In view of the recent events—the hijacking and saving of the hostages held in Uganda and the subsequent attempt of the terrorists to perpetrate a vicious reprisal, G‑d forbid, in Kushta (Istanbul):

It should be understood that these events are an indication that Jews must, at the earliest possible, strengthen all aspects of their security and defenses—first and foremost in their spiritual life, which is the channel to receive G‑d’s blessings also in the physical aspect, namely, to know the right ways and means that have to be undertaken in the natural order of things and to fully succeed in these efforts, in accordance with the Divine promise, “G‑d, your G‑d, will bless you in all that you do”—to be protected and secured from enemies and to be spared any undesirable happenings, G‑d forbid.

The above events remind each and all of our Jewish brethren in general and Jewish mothers and daughters in particular—since every married Jewish woman is called akeres habayis, “foundation of the home,” and those not yet married are to be akeres habayis, for which they must prepare themselves from tender age—the following:

The present situation calls for the protection of every Jewish home. True protection is that which only G‑d provides, as it is written, “G‑d guards the city.” To ensure this Divine guardianship, the home has to be conducted in all aspects according to G‑d’s will.

Then the home is also an abode for the Shechinah (G‑d’s Presence), in accordance with His promise, “I will dwell among them.”

In addition to this, G‑d has given our people a special gift wherewith to protect the home, namely, the mitzvah of mezuzah. Our Sages declare explicitly that “the home is protected by it (the mezuzah).”

Moreover, this protection embraces the members of the household also when they go out of the house, as it is written, ‘G‑d will guard your going and your coming from now and forever.’ It is further explained in our holy sources that the Divine Name (Shin-Dalet-Yud) written on the back of the sacred mezuzah parchment spells out the words, “Shomer Dalsos Yisroel—Guardian of Jewish Doors.”

Let it also be remembered that inasmuch as all Jews constitute one body and are bound up with one another, every mezuzah is a Divine protection not only for the individual home, with everybody and everything in it, but each additional kosher mezuzah that is affixed on a doorpost of any Jewish home, anywhere, adds to the protection of all our people everywhere.

And considering—as mentioned above—that every Jewish housewife is an akeres habayis, and every Jewish girl a future akeres habayis, they have a special zechus (merit) and responsibility in the matter of mezuzah to see to it that not only a kosher mezuzah be affixed on every doorpost in their home that is required to have a mezuzah but that the same be done by their Jewish neighbors and friends and in all Jewish homes.

I hope and pray that you will do this with inspiration and joy, which, in addition to increasing the hatzlocho [success] in this effort, will also inspire many others to do likewise, and the zechus horabim [the merit you brought to the many] will further stand you in good stead.

The present time is particularly auspicious for this endeavor, as for endeavors in all matters of goodness and holiness, since we are in the beginning of the month of Elul—the month of spiritual stock-taking, to complete the deficiencies of the outgoing year and to prepare for the New Year, that it be a good and blessed year for each and all of us and for our Jewish people as a whole.

With esteem and blessing of kesivo vechasimo tovah,

[M. Schneerson]