This letter was addressed to the Kabbalist and sage, R. Meir Abuchatzeira, the chief Rabbi of Midlet who was in contact with R. Michael Lipsker, the Rebbe’s shaliach in Morocco.1

B”H, 5 Cheshvan, 5711,

Greetings and blessings,

Due to the many preoccupations of the month of Tishrei, I did not have the opportunity to write to you [then although] you certainly received my letter of 25 Elul. Even now, because of the limited time [available], I will write briefly.

I will begin with thanks for what the communal leader, Rabbi Michael Lipsker, wrote — that you gave him some holy texts to send to me. Thank you very much for this.

At the beginning of the new term of study, the school year of 5711, I will quote an adage of the Alter Rebbe, the compiler of Tanya and the Shulchan Aruch, who said: “Why is a Rav called mara d’asra (lit., “master of the land”)?2 Because from Above, he has been given the powers, the merit, and the obligation that he will serve as the master of his entire place.”

This also applies with regard to spiritual matters. Every Jew has been granted free choice and “everything is in the hands of Heaven, except the fear of Heaven.”3 Nevertheless, since inwardly, every Jew desires to carry out G‑d’s will through the study of the Torah and the observance of the mitzvos4— it is just that, occasionally, his yetzer hara molests him — it is within the power of the mara d’asra to, with a fitting amount of gentle effort, show his congregation the great and immeasurable good and happiness that is connected with the study of the Torah and the observance of the mitzvos. And as our Sages5 state: “Words that come from the heart enter the heart.”

This also applies in the matter at hand. It is my strong hope that you as mara d’asra will use your great influence to strengthen and increase the Talmud Torah in your pure community. It is clear that the people of your community will help you to strengthen the Torah and make it glorious, based on the above teaching of the Alter Rebbe that you are the mara d’asra. To a person such as yourself, further elaboration is unnecessary.

From the outset, I extend thanks if I will receive good tidings concerning the above. And the opposite is also true, for our Sages state:6Jerusalem was destroyed solely because they nullified the Torah study of young children.” Conversely, through increasing the places of Torah study for young children, we will speedily merit the coming of Mashiach and the true and complete Redemption. Amen.

May your health increase amidst composure and expansion of knowledge; awaiting good tidings,

Menachem Schneerson