By the Grace of G‑d
8th of Tammuz, 5738 [July 13, 1978]
Brooklyn, N.Y.

Mr. ----
South Africa

Greeting and Blessing:

This is to acknowledge receipt of your letter of the 13th of June, in behalf of yourself as chairman of the committee.

I was gratified to read in your letter about the favorable impact of Lubavitch in South Africa, and in your city and congregation in particular. I trust that this good influence finds the fullest expression in actual deeds, namely in promoting of matters of Yiddishkeit [Judaism], Torah and Mitzvoth, in your community, in accordance with the saying of our sages that, "The essential thing is the deed." And in matters of Torah and Mitzvoth even one good deed is very important, since "one Mitzvo [mitzvah] leads to another Mitzvo." Even more important it is where Jewish education is concerned, especially as I note that your Shul [synagogue] is situated on the campus of, and used by, a Jewish Day School of approximately 1,000 children and where your congregation has been blessed with many families, adults and children – may their number grow. For, as I have had occasion to emphasize this many times, every beneficial influence on a child is like the benefits and care given to a young seedling, which multiplies in due course many times over, when the seedling becomes a full-grown fruit-bearing tree.

As we are approaching the auspicious anniversary of the liberation of my father-in-law of saintly memory on the 12-13th of Tammuz, I trust that you know the history and significance of this date.1 The main point of it is that he has shown what a Jew can achieve when he is absolutely determined to live up to his commitment to Torah and Mitzvoth regardless of the circumstances. And there is no need to spell out what these circumstances were under the Communist regime 50 years ago. And although who can compare to his stature, nevertheless having accomplished what he did, he has made it easier for all those who would follow in his footsteps. Certainly those of us who are privileged to live in incomparably happier circumstances, where one does not have to endanger his life, G‑d forbid, to observe the Torah and Mitzvoth, and whatever difficulties there may be are for the most part imaginary and can certainly be overcome, so that in the final analysis it is mainly a matter of one's own will and determination. This makes it the duty and privilege of every one of us to do all one can, by example and precept, to spread Yiddishkeit, Torah and Mitzvoth, in one's surroundings, and it is certain that every such effort is bound to be blessed by G‑d with Hatslocho [success].

With blessing,
M. Schneerson

P.S. With regard to your writing about your desire to visit me with a group from your congregation, I regret that for the present "Yechidus" [private audiences] has been suspended for reasons beyond my control.2 I trust, however, that before long it will be resumed, and it will then certainly be a pleasure to meet with you personally.