The repayment of a mortgage signifies that the mortgagee has fully discharged his debt to the bank and is now in complete possession of the property.

Parallel with this type of mortgage is another kind a spiritual and moral “mortgage” incumbent upon every human being, in terms of his obligations to the Creator and Master of the World and to his fellow humans. For Jews, this “mortgage” encompasses every aspect of daily life, as our Sages declare: 1 “I was created to serve my Creator.”

This “mortgage” goes back to our first Patriarch, Abraham, as recorded in the Torah: “I have known (chosen) him because he will command his children and his household after him, that they keep the way of the L-rd, to do righteousness and justice.”2

As descendants of the first Jew, our children and indeed our entire future are obligated by this mortgage. It therefore follows that everyone who is actively engaged in Jewish education the kind of education that teaches our children and grandchildren “to keep the way of the L-rd” is doing a very good job of “mortgage repayment.”

From a letter of the Rebbe to an institution on the
repayment of its mortgage, Rosh Chodesh Kislev,5743