By the Grace of G‑d
Rosh Chodesh Cheshvan 5735 [October 17, 1974]
Brooklyn, N.Y.

Sholom uBrocho:

Your letter reached me with considerable delay. In it you write about your work and family, and conclude with some questions.

There is surely no need to emphasize to you how vital Chinuch has been in Jewish life throughout all generations, and how particularly vital it is in our present confused generation. Hence, one who has been active in Chinuch, has special G‑d -given gifts and capacities for it, and whose qualifications go hand-in-hand with his total commitment to Torah and Mitzvos - is obviously duty-bound to continue to carry on this great responsibility, which is also a great Zechus. As for the fact that many of the students come from non-orthodox background, and the problems which this creates, surely this should be viewed as a special challenge and opportunity. And it is a matter of human nature and experience, when one faces up to a challenge and utilizes all his capacities to the maximum efficiency, it is a source of personal satisfaction, and - in the present case of Chinuch - also a source of Divine blessings in every respect.

With regard to the tragic occurrence about which you write of some years ago, which you think might be connected with a lack of meticulous observance - there is, of course, the well-known rule of Toras-Chayim that nothing stands in the way of Teshuvah. And Teshuvah, too, must be done with joy, in full Bitochon that G‑d has accepted the Teshuva. Indeed, the Alter Rebbe in his Iggeres Hateshuva (ch. 11) proves Halachically that Teshuvah is accepted, from the fact that we conclude the prayer "Slach lonu" in Shmone-esrei with a blessing - "Chanun hamarbeh lislo'ach." And were there any doubt about it, no blessing could be made, since "sofek brochos lehokeil." (And to add in a lighter vein - if one has any doubt about it, this in itself calls for Teshuvah), At any rate, for an added measure, I would suggest that you use your influence to induce…, who have not been meticulous in this area, to be more observant, which would make up for any past deficiency on your part.

Enclosed is a copy of a message, which I hope you'll find useful.

With blessing,