By the Grace of G‑d
17 Menachem Av, 5737 [August 1, 1977]
Brooklyn, N.Y.

Greeting and Blessing:

I received your letter and will remember you in prayer for the fulfillment of your heart's desires for good.

On the basis of your writing it is surely unnecessary to emphasize to you at length the need to make additional efforts in matters of Torah and Mitzvos, especially as I see that in certain matters you have already made important strides. Needless also to say that there is always room for advancement in all matters of goodness and holiness, Torah and Mitzvos, which are infinite, being derived from and connected with the infinite. And every additional effort in this direction also brings additional Divine blessings.

I would like to point out that in taking upon oneself an additional effort in Torah and Mitzvos, it should be bli-neder.

With general reference to your request for guidance as to how to fulfill your purpose in life, particularly in light of the Chasidic teachings which you cite in your letter, the general guideline has already been given in the Mishnah: אני נבראתי לשמש את קוני- "I have been created to serve my Maker" - such service being the study of Torah and fulfillment of its Mitzvos; or, in the words of the Tanya (which amounts to the same thing): לעשות לו ית' דירה בתחתונים - "to make for Him, blessed be He, an abode in the lower world," as explained there and in Chasidic discourses at great length.

It is very helpful, indeed necessary, as our Saintly Rebbes have urged, and this is also based on the teaching of our Sages in the Mishnah, to have a companion with whom to discuss matters of Yiddishkeit from time to time. The text in the particular Mishnah is קנה לך חבר - "acquire for yourself a companion," which immediately follows the words עשה לך רב -"make (appoint) unto yourself a teacher." Thus, in regard to a companion the emphasis is on acquisition, implying "at a cost" whatever form such "expense" may require. Of course, such companionship is not binding, and if the companion turns out to be not after one's heart, a more suitable one can be acquired.

With blessing for Hatzlocho in all above,