By the Grace of G‑d
Rosh Chodesh Adar II, 5738 [March 10, 1978]
Brooklyn, N.Y.

To All Participants in the Melava Malka
Sponsored by "R.S.B.S.T.N.L.G."
Oceanside, Long Island, N.Y.

Greeting and Blessing:

I was pleased to be informed of the forthcoming annual Melava Malka on Motzoei Shabbos-Kodesh Parshas Zachor. And though pressure of duties make it difficult to send individual messages to all similar events, I do wish to associate myself, by means of this message, with all of you gathered on this occasion - in tribute to the good work of your group in strengthening Yiddishkeit among yourselves and in your region.

As you surely know, Parshas Zachor, which is read on the Shabbos before Purim, contains the commandment to remember what Amalek, the archenemy of our Jewish people, did to our people when they were on their way to receive the Torah at Sinai. Amalek's unprovoked and sneaky attack was calculated to shake their belief in G‑d and dampen their enthusiasm for His Torah and Mitzvos.

Haman, a direct descendant of Amalek, was driven by similar hatred of the Jews, because "their laws were different from those of any other people," as the Megillah states. Likewise all subsequent Amalekites and Hamans of all ages.

But "Amalek" - in a wider sense - represents all obstacles and hindrances which a Jew encounters on his, or her, way to receive and observe the Torah and Mitzvos with enthusiasm and joy in the everyday life. And so Parshas Zachor comes to remind us, and never forget, that "Amalekites" exist in every generation and in every day and age, and that we must not allow ourselves to be deterred or discouraged by any Amalekite in any shape or form.

If the question be asked, "Why has G‑d done thus?" Why should a Jew be confronted with such trials and difficulties? - the answer is that every Jew has been given the necessary powers to overcome all such "Amalekites," and he is expected to use them, in order to demonstrate to himself and others that nothing will deter him, nor dampen his fervor, in the observance of the Torah and Mitzvos in accordance with G‑d's Will. And once he recognizes that whatever difficulty he encounters is really a test of his faith in G‑d, and resolves firmly to meet the challenge, he will soon see that no "Amalek" of any kind is a match for the Divine powers of the Jewish soul. Indeed, far from being insurmountable obstructions, they turn out to be helpers and catalysts for even greater achievements, having been instrumental in mobilizing those inner powers which would have otherwise remained dormant.

This is also forcefully brought out in the Megillah, in the example of Mordechai the Jew, who "would not bend his knee nor bow down" before Haman. As a result of this indomitable stance, not only was Haman's power totally broken, but many enemies became friends, as the Megillah tells us that "many of the peoples of the land were turning 'Jewish,' for the fear of Mordechai fell upon them!"

May G‑d grant that each and all of you should go from strength to strength in emulating Mordechai the Jew, advancing in all matters of Yiddishkeit, Torah and Mitzvos, with joy and gladness of heart, and may you all be blessed with a full measure of "light, joy, gladness, and honor," both in the plain sense as well as in the inner meaning of these terms in accordance with the interpretation of our Sages - "Light - this is the Torah... honor - this is Tefillin," - since the Torah and Mitzvos, though a "must" for their own sake, are the channels and vessels to receive and enjoy G‑d's blessings in all needs, materially and spiritually.

Wishing each and all of you a happy Purim, and may the inspiration of it be with you every day throughout the year,

With esteem and blessing,
M. Schneerson