This letter was sent to R. Shlomo Chayim Kesselman, the spiritual mentor of the Lubavitcher Yeshivah in Tel Aviv.

B”H, the Seventh Day of Chanukah, 5711,
Brooklyn, N.Y.

Greetings and blessings,

Enclosed is the kuntres for Chanukah1 whose publication was delayed because of [my] many preoccupations. In response to your question regarding my opinion of your thought to move the yeshivah from Tel Aviv to Lod: Your logic and rationale are sound: to prevent the turmoil of the city of Tel Aviv from disrupting [the students’] diligent studies, and you are also concerned with the loss of time going from one building to another, etc.

In my opinion, [the move] is very much the correct thing to do. On several occasions, my revered father-in-law, the Rebbe,הכ"מ, spoke [See Sefer HaSichos 5704, p. 73; Sefer HaMaamarim 5709, p. 322.] about how “dwelling in large cities is difficult”2 and excessively praised the advantage the yeshivah possessed in Lubavitch. There the yeshivah was of fundamental importance and the other matters of the town were of no importance at all. They [did] not disturb the students who were of lesser intellectual stature, and not even those of greater stature. This is not the case in New York.

How much more so does this apply in your situation! It can be hoped that there will be a great benefit from the yeshivah being in a place where it will be of fundamental importance and the other aspects of the place will be secondary or of no importance at all.

Nevertheless, according to my opinion, a class or a division should also be left in Tel Aviv so that it will be an intermediary and a channel through which it will be easier to draw children from Tel Aviv and its surroundings to the yeshivah in Lod.

It is understood that [my answer] addresses your question based on your description of the present situation. It is possible that due to the situation of the place, the people, and the times about which you did not inform me, there are matters that must be clarified.

With regard to your question concerning the study of Chassidus: I cannot elaborate on the matter without knowing more particulars about the abilities of the students and the talents of the mentors. There are, however, two general points regarding the study of the teachings of Chassidus that should be present in all Lubavitcher yeshivos:

a) the students should be prepared, so that, in a short amount of time, they should be able to review maamarim of Chassidus [in public] in such a way that it will have an effect on the listeners, even those who are not gifted in the understanding of the teachings of Chassidus;

b) [they should develop a] broader knowledge of the teachings of Chassidus. Regrettably, there is a great lack with regard to this matter. [This applies] even to students who have studied the teachings of Chassidus for several years and know several concepts in depth. They, however, know only a few concepts. Were I to have the power, I would institute not only the study of Chassidus in depth, but also have it studied in breadth simply to know [many different] concepts (even though Chabad demands internalization).3

With greetings to all members of the fellowship and [wishes for] success in your influence over the students, that they be able to proceed and shine, beaming forth the light of Chassidus, and shining it outward.

This reflects the theme of Chanukah: kindling light, continually increasing light4 and holiness and decreasing [the influence of] the opposing forces. [The purpose of] the kindling is to rid the marketplace of the Tarmudites,2 as explained in Chassidus.5 In our days, this is accomplished through efforts in spreading Chassidus outward.

With blessings and greetings,

M. Schneerson

You will certainly inform [us] of good news concerning your grandsons.

I read the pan6 at the gravesite7 on Yud-Tes Kislev and on the day preceding Rosh Chodesh.