By the Grace of G‑d
13th of Teves, 5726
[January 5, 1966]
Brooklyn, N.Y.

Greeting and Blessing:

I am in receipt of your letter of the 4th of Teves, in which you write about the problem of laziness, etc., and you ask how you can overcome it.

One of the effective ways of overcoming this difficulty is by thinking deeply on the fact that G‑d is present everywhere and always, as the Alter Rebbe explains in the beginning of Chapter 41 of the Tanya:

“And, behold, G‑d stands over him,” and “the whole world is full of His glory,” and He looks upon him and “searches his reins and heart” (to see) if he is serving Him as is fitting. Therefore, he must serve in His presence with awe and fear like one standing before the king.

The point is to remember that inasmuch as G‑d gives one the great gift of time and mental ability, etc., one must not waste these great gifts given by G‑d. By way of illustration: Suppose a great and majestic king personally and graciously gave you a gift, and he stands by you, watching what you will do with it; what would it look like if you would drop it with complete disregard, and go out for a walk or engage in some other pastime, etc.? Surely it is unnecessary to emphasize to you this idea at greater length.

I will only add that the Yetzer Hora is never lazy, and is very busy and industrious in his efforts to distract a Jew from his service to G‑d. Therefore, you must have a ready weapon with which to combat him. For this reason, I suggest that you should study well, and learn by heart, the beginning of Chapter 41 to which I referred above, until those sacred words are engraved upon your mind and memory, so that you will always be able to recall them and think about them whenever the need arises to overcome a temptation, etc.

May G‑d grant that you should have good news to report.

With blessing,