The name of the recipient of this letter was not released.

B”H, 24 Elul, 5710

Greetings and blessings,

Surely you have duly received the kuntreis for Chai Elul and my letter enclosed with it. 1 Read also what I wrote in the margin of the letter.

Because of time limitations, I did not elaborate and I also thought that there is no necessity for elaboration, that brief words would be sufficient for you. However, since you remained silent and did not answer me concerning this, [I did not know what to think]. In the Talmud, silence is interpreted in two ways: a) “Since he remained silent, [that is a sign] that he acknowledged his [statements]” 2 ; or b) “He remained silent and thus negated his statements.” 3 Since there is room for doubt, I will elaborate slightly more.

This is the situation as I see it: My revered father-in-law, the Rebbe, הכ"מ, chose you and made you his shaliach to lead the congregation of Israel in your community. “A person’s shaliach is considered as the principal himself.” 4 One of the explanations of this [concept] is that the principal invests his powers in the agent. 5 This applies to people in general. In particular, it applies if a person is a pnimi, 6 and even more so, if the principal is an atzmi. 7 And there is a well-known adage of the Baal Shem Tov, “When you grasp a portion of the essence, you grasp it in its entirety” (cited in the maamar of Rosh HaShanah, sec. 2). 8 Thus when the principal invests his power in the shaliach, it is as if he is found there in his entirety.

For what purpose did my revered father-in-law, the Rebbe, הכ"מ, send you? It is clear that it was to lead your community in the paths of the Torah and its mitzvos and to assist them so each one of them can ascend the path that leads to the House of G‑d. It is obvious that to enable that [to happen], the shaliach must proceed, [making] one advance after another far more than the congregation over which he was appointed as head. Through which mediums can a shaliach ascend? For that, there is the way of the King, the King of the universe, a paved road, explained by our Sages in general, the Nesi’im of Chabad in particular, and especially by my revered father-in-law, the Rebbe, הכ"מ, [who clarify] through which means one can release himself from the lures of the yetzer hara which is called “the clever one.” These means include the approach of “turning away from evil” 9 and a path to ascend by following the approach of “doing good.”9

After all the above, if, Heaven forbid, the report I heard concerning your desire [to study] in college is correct, it will lead to several consequences:

a) A large portion of your time, which is in any case limited, will be spent on [other matters and not on] the fulfillment of your mission;

b) A certain amount of your time will be spent on matters that run contrary to your mission;

c) Your example will be noticed and followed, to an even greater degree, by the members of your congregation. They will say: if, after studying in yeshivah for several years, the shaliach of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, זצוקללה"ה, נבג"ם, זי"ע, הכ"מ, 10 finds it necessary to study the teachings of a college to become a menstch, why should we then live in error? Preferably, then, we should send our sons and our daughters to receive such an education at the outset;

d) And this is of greatest consequence: What do you have against the Rebbe that you must drag him into the college? For the powers of the Rebbe are invested in you. When your body goes to college, your G‑dly soul which is confined in your body must also go. And, as a result, the powers of the Rebbe which are enclothed in [your] G‑dly soul — for, as above, they are part of the essence — [must also accompany you]. And so you are, as it were, dragging the Rebbe along with you.

I do not want to elaborate any more, nor do I see a need to do so, for certainly the above is more than enough.

I do not know if this is such a severe challenge for you. Regardless, my hope and my trust is that you will withstand the challenge. Then you will certainly see that this is the nature of challenges: that they are really of no substance. 11 As is well known, there is a difference between the task of refinement and that of overcoming challenges. 12 You should add another session in Torah study in general and in particular in the teachings of Chabad [Chassidus], and especially in the teachings of my revered father-in-law, the Rebbe, הכ"מ. All this advice is to prevent you from being disturbed by thoughts which should be foreign to you, 13 [so that] you can fulfill your mission, the mission of your soul in this world, with composure.

I don’t know how your wife, the rebbetzin, feels about this question. Nevertheless, the choice is yours. It would, however, be proper to communicate the contents of my letter regarding this matter to her.

You will certainly notify me regarding the good decision you will make regarding this matter. Thanking you in advance.

I would be interested in knowing if there were positive consequences from the discussion we had while you were here, that you should establish a study session with your wife in the works of our sages that are most appropriate for her personality.

I will conclude with a blessing for a kesivah vachasimah tovah for you and your wife, that you merit to be a medium to enable the desires of my revered father-in-law, the Rebbe, הכ"מ, to be fulfilled in a complete sense and that you be able to bring them from potential to actual expression with tranquility of soul and of body, and out of prosperity in both a material and spiritual sense.

Awaiting good news,

Menachem Schneerson

Enclosed is the kuntreis for Rosh HaShanah together with an accompanying letter and also a communal letter in three languages. It would be proper for you to publicize the communal letter in an appropriate manner in different circles [in your city].