By the Grace of G‑d
29th of Tammuz, 5717 [July 28, 1957]
Brooklyn, N. Y.

Mrs. Rachael Altein
c/o Camp Gan Israel
Swan Lake, N. Y.

Blessing and Greeting:

During my recent inspection visit at the Camp, I was gratified to see how happy the children looked, and the evidence of the good care and attention that they are receiving. No doubt you have a substantial part in this, as Camp Mother. Although I know that your work at the Camp is motivated by the highest ideals, so that an expression of thanks may be superfluous, particularly as I know your education and background, as well as those of your husband. Nevertheless, I want to tell you about my feeling on visiting the Camp, as I hope that the knowledge of your success will redouble your efforts on behalf of the children and the Camp.

Although we are, at present, during the period of the Three Weeks, commemorating the sad historic events of the destruction of the BethHamikdosh [Holy Temple], it is well to remember that, like all matters of the Torah, the purpose of this observance is not to discourage the Jew or bring him into a state of inertia, but rather, on the contrary, to make him aware that it was only the physical sanctuary that was destroyed, but not the spiritual sanctuary, which is in the heart and soul of every Jew. Every Jewish child is a "little sanctuary." Keeping these "little sanctuaries" pure and holy in accordance with the Torah and Mitzvoth, will hasten the restoration of our great sanctuary in Jerusalem, through our righteous Messiah, speedily, in our time.

As G‑d's reward is in kind, your taking care of the children in Camp Gan Israel will bring you more than a corresponding measure of Divine blessing to your own children, with much Nachas to you and your husband and happiness, materially and spiritually.

With blessing,

M. Schneerson