By the Grace of G‑d
25th of Tishrei, 5721 [October 16, 1960]
Brooklyn, N.Y.

Blessing and Greeting:

I received your letter, in which you discuss the question of your husband's trip, which has entailed certain difficulties, and you ask my opinion whether it was justified.

Let me begin with some brief introductory observations:

In the view of our Torah, which is called Toras Chaim, the Law of Life and especially as emphasized in the teachings of the Baal Shem Tov, the founder of Chassidus, whose 200th anniversary we have recently observed, a husband and wife are not two separate entities, but are one. And, as in the case of the physical body, when any part is strengthened and invigorated, it automatically adds vigor and strength to all the other parts, so, and much more so, is the case with a husband and wife who have been married K'Das Moshe V'Yisroel, the benefit to one is a benefit to both. Therefore, there can be no question but that the benefit which your husband expected to derive from this trip, and I trust he unquestionably did drive it, will be fully shared by you and the rest of the family.

Another point is that the Jewish festivals in general, and those of the month of Tishrei in particular, have lasting benefits. Similarly, the Festival of Succoth, Shemini Atzereth and Simchath Torah, which are the Season of our rejoicing, are not intended to bring true joy and inspiration only during these days, and when they are over they are forgotten. But their purpose and intent is that the Jew should draw from them stores of joy and inspiration to last him throughout the year and every day of the year. The nature of such joy and inspiration, being connected with the Torah and Mitzvoth, is such that it truly permeates one's whole being and is the well-spring of a harmonious and happy Jewish life.

Add to this the fact that the state of mind is a powerful factor, not only in regard to one's spiritual life, but also one's physical and material life. For it is a matter of common experience that when one goes about his affairs in a happy frame of mind, with faith and confidence, he is bound to be more successful.

Applying all the above to your family Jewish life, it is well to bear in mind that at all times, and especially in our time, it is not a simple matter to set up a truly harmonious Jewish life. A young couple inevitably experiences certain difficulties, trials, and sometimes even crises.

But when one realizes that these are only trials designed to strengthen the foundations of the home, which is to be an everlasting edifice (Binyan Adei-Ad), and as the Torah states, "For G‑d tries you to make known your love," etc. (Deut. 13:4) one appreciates them in their true perspective. For, in sending these difficulties and trials, G‑d also provides the capacity to overcome them. Far from being discouraged by such difficulties one considers them as challenges to be overcome, in order to reap the benefits that are inherent in them.

Finally, human nature is such that when one has various problems to cope with, it is more difficult to cope with them in isolation, and it is much easier to overcome them by belonging to an atmosphere and society which is permeated with the same approach and the same way of thinking. (Incidentally, this is one of the reasons why certain things in Jewish life require the presence of at least a Minyan of ten people.)

After all the above observations, you should consider the fact that your husband has been given the very important function of being connected with the case of Chinuch Al Taharas HaKodesh and the general development of ---- which has great promise for the future. In addition, your recent settlement in ---- also requires special reserve of strength and capacities. The more one is equipped with faith in G‑d, confidence and joy, the better one can cope with all these problems. Your husband's visit here had brought him in personal contact with other young men similarly situated, and in some cases even with more difficult problems, and the mutual benefit derived from such contact is simply inestimable. Even if the trip entailed certain personal sacrifices on his part as well as on yours, they will be more than compensated by the benefits, and not only spiritual benefits but also in terms of material benefits, as indicated above.

I am sure it is unnecessary to elaborate further on this matter, knowing your background and understanding. I only want to emphasize again that the benefit from your husband's visit are bound to be shared equally by both of you, and your children, and may G‑d grant that these benefits be even greater than anticipated.

I will be glad to hear good news from you in connection with all the above.

With blessing,