By the Grace of G‑d
2 Adar II, 5719
[March 12, 1959]
Brooklyn, N.Y.

Greeting and Blessing:

The general message of Shemittah is the abrogation of the notion of dualism of matter and spirit. The Torah teaches us, on the contrary, that there must be no separation between the spiritual and the material; that there is no area in either nature or in human life from which G‑d can be excluded.

This is the deeper significance of the Divine Unity which we Jews proclaim daily (in the Shema) and which are enjoined to teach to our children. The basis of true Jewish education is to instill into the children this faith, conviction and feeling in G‑d’s Unity.

And a more specific point:

The Shemittah aspect in human life applies especially to the earliest period of man’s development, i.e., to his infancy and youth, where the laws of nature apparently play a most conspicuous part. From birth the infant is catered for primarily physically, and some parents, unfortunately, got the idea that is all that matters. And when the child reaches the age of education, some misguided parents think that a minimum Torah education is the maximum that can be expected of them. Yet, they forget that we Jews are not subject to the laws of nature in the same ways others, for by attaching ourselves to G‑d we can defy the laws of nature.

Applying the message of Shemittah—the Torah teaches us that even in this period of infancy we must bring holiness into his life, by taking great care regarding the Kashrus of his feeding, etc., and by giving the infant and child a truly kosher Jewish education he will not only prosper spiritually, but also physically.

You, instructors and leaders of the Release Hour and other child educational activities, who come in contact with children of such misguided parents, must be surely filled with great compassion for them. It is your great privilege and duty to be those who are to instill into them true Yiddishkeit in such a way as not only to provide a temporary remedy, but to fulfill the ultimate objective of your organization—to lead them to their true and full happiness by bringing them under the wings of a complete and Torah-true education. When this is done sincerely and resolutely, the success goes even further, as it is written (end of Malachi), “And he shall bring back the hearts of parents ‘toward’ children”—which Rashi explains—“through the children,” “by telling the children to go to their parents and urge them to abide by the ways of G‑d.”

May G‑d grant that through such dedicated work, the other part of the prophecy mentioned there will be fulfilled, namely: “Behold, I send unto you Elijah the prophet,” to herald the True and Complete Redemption, speedily in our time.

With blessing,

(Excerpt from a letter)