This letter, sent to various individuals and personally addressed to each one, 1 accompanied and introduced the kuntreis for Shabbos Teshuvah.

B”H, Erev Shabbos, Shabbos Teshuvah, 5711,
Brooklyn, N.Y.

The kuntreis for the coming Shabbos Teshuvah Yom Kippur is being sent with this [letter]. You will certainly share it with all those in your surroundings. How good would it be if there would gather together [many to study it communally]!

See the sources mentioned in the introduction to the kuntreis 2 where the concept of teshuvah ilaah, the higher level of teshuvah (which constitutes the primary positive characteristic of baalei teshuvah, 3 as stated in [Tanya,] Iggeres HaTeshuvah, the conclusion of ch. 8) is explained. It involves gathering together all the soul’s faculties, in the spirit of the verse: 4 “You cause man to return.” These days are also characterized by the gathering together of the “complete stature” of the entire Jewish people, at all its diverse levels: 5 — “[From] the heads of your tribes... to the drawer of your water.” For “There will be a King in Yeshurun” 6 comes when “the heads of the nation gather, the tribes of Israel in unity.” 7

The uniqueness of the quality of this higher level of teshuvah is particularly [relevant] in the present age. In the era of the Sanhedrin, 8 when those liable for execution by the court repented, the earthly court did not forgive them. At present, when only the law of the four forms of execution remains, 9 and the person’s judgment is given over to the Heavenly Court, if he repents, the Heavenly Court forgives him and there remains no trace 10 of his previous deeds (Makkos 13b; see also the Responsa Nodeh B’Yehudah, Vol. 1, Orach Chayim, responsum 35).

Our Sages recognized limitations applying to the atonement generated by Yom Kippur, [stating that] it does not bring atonement for a partial measure (Kerisos 18b). 11 And according to some opinions, if a person is obligated to receive a punishment, but did not sin, Yom Kippur does not absolve him from the punishment (Tosafos, s.v. dichankasya, ibid. 7a). 12 In contrast, there is nothing that stands in the way of a baal teshuvah. 13

May it be G‑d’s will that each one of us merit the fulfillment of the blessing which my revered father-in-law, the Rebbe, הכ"מ, would grant those who approached him on the afternoon of erev Yom Kippur with a request for a blessing: 14 “May G‑d awaken [our people] with an arousal of true teshuvah springing from the innermost point of the soul.” May we merit the fulfillment of the prophecy: Since the Jewish people turn [to G‑d] in teshuvah, they will be redeemed immediately. 15

From one who blesses you and who seeks your blessing for a chasimah and a g’mar chasimah tovah, 16

Menachem Mendel ben Chanah Schneerson

I read your pan and that of the students at the gravesite on the day preceding Rosh HaShanah and, [again,] on Rosh HaShanah, in the chamber of my revered father-in-law, the Rebbe, הכ"מ. 17

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I received your letter. In the interim, you have certainly received my letter with the kuntreis for Rosh HaShanah.

With regard to what you write concerning ....: He should involve himself in [the study of] Chassidus, in particular, establishing [a study session] in the teachings of my revered father-in-law, the Rebbe, הכ"מ. Through disseminating these teachings, we are then carried on the Rebbe’s shoulders, as it were. He will then do what is necessary, if it is necessary.