By the Grace of G‑d
9th of Sivan, 5739 [June 4, 1979]
Brooklyn, N. Y.

Mr. […]
Manchester, Eng.

Greeting and Blessing:


Inasmuch as everything is by Divine Providence, and I note from your stationery that you are a chartered accountant, I want to call your attention to the well known teaching of our Sages, based on the principle of "Know Him in all your ways." In light of this, I trust that you are utilizing your professional contacts with Jews to encourage them in the matter of Cheshbon Tzedek [honest introspection], which every Jew is expected to make from time to time, in order to ensure that his everyday life and conduct is fully in keeping with the Torah and Mitzvoth [Divine commands].

There is the well known saying of the Baal Shem Tov [the founder of Chassidism] that everything in a Jew's life is instructive as to how to serve G‑d. Thus, there is a special and basic instruction that one can derive from accountancy, namely, that where there is a discrepancy even of only a penny, it indicates a basic error in the bookkeeping, as though it involved a very substantial amount, which is not the case in ordinary business transactions, where a discrepancy of a penny would be of no consequence. This helps to understand better the imperative, "Be careful with a small Mitzvo [precept] as with a stringent one." At first glance it is difficult to understand how one can compare a small Mitzvo with a stringent one, especially as the Torah itself terms one small and the other stringent. But in the light of the above, if one truly makes a Cheshbon Tzedek, one must realize that all Mitzvoth come from the same Source, and each one of them "sanctifies us with His commandments." Therefore, a transgression of even a "small" Mitzvo is basically as deplorable as transgressing a stringent one. There is surely no need to elaborate to you any further.

I trust you had a joyous and inspiring Yom Tov of Mattan Torah [holiday of Shavuot], and may the inspiration be with you and yours throughout the year.

With blessing,

M. Schneerson