By the Grace of G‑d
Eve of Rosh Chodesh Shevat, 5734 [January 24, 1974]
Brooklyn, N.Y.

Greeting and Blessing:

I was pleased to receive your letter of January 10th, following the personal regards which I have received through mutual friends, as well as the reports about your involvement with Lubavitch and Chabad teachings, etc.

All of this is especially pertinent at this time in our Jewish calendar, the period between Chanukah and Yud Shevat. Coming from Chanukah, the festival of Lights, which symbolizes the light of the Torah and Mitzvot, we are reminded of the Chasidic emphasis on inspired joy and brightness which should permeate the life and activity of every Jew. Moreover, as in the case of light which is of immediate benefit not only to the one who lights it, but also to many others at the same time, so a Jew has to illuminate his personal life as well as his surroundings with the light of Torah and Mitzvot. This is also emphasized by the special requirements that the Chanukah lights be seen outside, so as to illuminate those who might still be walking in darkness.

Similarly, Yud Shevat, the Yahrzeit of my father-in-law of saintly memory, brings to mind his dedicated efforts in the course of the last decade of his life in this country, to spread the principles and teachings of Chassidut to many who were "outside." Thus, many "outsiders" became "insiders," whose lives were brightly illuminated with the light, vitality and warmth of Chassidut, and who in turn became "shining lights" illuminating others.

Your joining this ever-growing Chasidic family which has found a new meaning in life and, with it, peace and happiness, has a special significance in that you are a Kohen, and also in that Divine Providence has given you a gift of song and melody. For this is a medium that directly communicates with the heart and the inner aspects of the soul, unlike prose which speaks to the intellect and only then can probe deeper. Through the medium of song and melody one can touch directly upon the heartstrings of the listener and inspire his inner soul which is the reason why song and melody have such a prominent part in Chassidut in general, and in Chabad in particular.

In the light of the above, I extend to you both my prayerful wishes to utilize to the full the capacities and opportunities which G‑d has given you in the above-mentioned direction, and to do this in the Chabad way—with complete trust in G‑d and with inspiration, and may G‑d bless you with success to go from strength to strength in all the above, in good health and with gladness of heart.

With Blessing,