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

B”H, 22 MarCheshvan, 5711

Greetings and blessings,

In response to your letter of 14 MarCheshvan: It is somewhat amazing to me: When your daughter, Ms. ..., visited me, she spoke about the entire matter and promised me that she would write to you and her mother about the subject of our discussion, and yet, the content of your letter is not at all appropriate in light of the subject of our discussion. [To focus on] the issue:

a) In general, my approach is not to give orders except in certain exceptional situations. It is only that when I am consulted, I express my opinion as I see the situation. This is what took place in the present instance as well. Previously, in the middle of the summer, ... your future son-in-law spoke to me, and I clarified to him my opinion of how he should establish himself in life in an appropriate manner, both materially and spiritually. This was the suggestion — not an order — that I made now to him and to your daughter.

b) The intent of my suggestion is not necessarily [for them] to establish [their home] in Brooklyn, New York, or the U.S., but in a place where he — and your daughter — can use their energies in a full sense. There are now two or three places that I hope are appropriate to achieve that goal.

c) When I spoke with your future son-in-law and your daughter and explained to them that, in truth, even if there will be difficulties involved, even if it requires a certain “recklessness,” to employ the wording you use in your letter, and even a certain degree of mesirus nefesh (self-sacrifice), from whom can these qualities be expected if even a tomim,1the son of a tomim, and a temimah, the daughter of temimim, do not relate to this?,However,

d) Success shined its face towards your future son-in-law and your daughter, for this proposition is, in my opinion, as good for them in a material sense as it is spiritually. My rationale for this is that experience has shown what would [ordinarily] be the future for someone who wishes to establish himself in America or in ... and how much success young men of his background have had in establishing themselves in such places. I do not want to elaborate on this, but inasmuch as you are local, you certainly know the fortunes of the young men in your community.2 During the time you were in Brooklyn, you certainly contemplated what occurred to the young men who are in similar situations as your future son-in-law and your daughter and how they established themselves in Brooklyn and in New York.

In contrast, if my suggestion will be acted upon and they will travel to one of these places, there is hope that the blessings of my revered father-in-law, the Rebbe, הכ"מ, will accompany them on their journey in life and that in a brief amount of time, [your future son-in-law] will be able to establish himself as befits a leader of a community in Israel. I use the expression “leader” and not Rabbi because, as I see it, he could arrange that under his leadership there will be a Rabbi, a teacher, a ritual slaughterer, and [other] different institutions. In addition to this, with the proper [investment of] energy, your daughter will also be able to find a position in life similar to this.

e) In addition to all the above, and this is of primary importance: My revered father-in-law, the Rebbe, הכ"מ, had a powerful desire to establish hub communities for the chassidic brotherhood throughout the world. This was his intent in sending some members of the chassidic brotherhood to Australia and others to Canada, and [he spoke] several times regarding South America and South Africa. And we have seen — and you have also seen — that those who accepted the Rebbe’s shlichus were saved by him from all difficulties and distress and were established in a ray of light both materially and spiritually, even if it was necessary for the success to come beyond the natural order. In particular, [this applies] in this instance, when even according to the natural order it is possible for [him] to be established successfully. And the blessings of my revered father-in-law, the Rebbe, הכ"מ, will add to [this success] several fold.

f) Your future son-in-law, ..., agreed to all of this in the middle of the past summer. Then, however, the matter was not yet relevant, because I did not want to make a suggestion before the engagement with your daughter was concluded. If so, at present, the situation is that you, your wife, and your daughter do not approve of and do not desire the suggestion that your future son-in-law already accepted — i.e., to be one of the representatives of my revered father-in-law, the Rebbe, הכ"מ — who is now, as well, the Jewish leader in general and the leader of the chassidic fellowship in particular.

g) A proof of the above is the story you cite at the end of your letter (proving the opposite point that you intended). You write that my revered father-in-law, the Rebbe, הכ"מ, told you that it is not necessary to seek out a tomim1 as a match for your daughter.... You told my revered father-in-law, the Rebbe, הכ"מ: “For us (presumably you and your wife), the thought that we would have to marry our daughter to someone who is not a tomim makes our lives no longer life.” The blessing of my revered father-in-law, the Rebbe, הכ"מ, enabled you to be successful in finding a tomim as a match for your daughter and now you are endeavoring that the tomim cut himself off from the work of my revered father-in-law, the Rebbe, הכ"מ, and from being a shaliach to carry out his holy desires. Instead, [you seek] to remain satisfied with the positive qualities he possessed until now.

h) After asking for your forgiveness, you will surely not be upset by the following words: You certainly know the Rebbe Rashab’s adage that the temimim are “candles to illuminate.”3 And you are certainly aware of the seriousness of our Sages’ words regarding:4 “Load a camel according to its capacity,” that if one does something, but not according to his capacity, it is considered a deficiency.

The parents of the groom as well as the parents of the bride are temimim. Therefore the adage of the Rebbe [Rashab] applies to them and they must also shine light at present as well. I do not know if they have fulfilled this mission to its fullest. Regardless, the charge to illuminate also includes their descendants; i.e., that the temimim must shine forth light through their descendants.

Now think of the light that will shine forth when your daughter and your future son-in-law establish themselves in ... [as you suggest] or when they establish themselves in one of the places [of shlichus] mentioned above.

i) Again, I repeat my above-mentioned words: this is not an order, but rather an answer [given] when I was asked for my advice how to establish oneself in life. I can only answer as I see the matter. I would, however, like to add that I do not see this as a doubtful matter, but something that can be hoped for from the outset. The vastness of the good fortune that will result if they accept this offer, including good fortune in a physical sense, is obvious to me.

j) You conclude your letter [stating] that you, your wife, and your daughter consider the matter “a happy event that was disturbed.” I was shocked to read such things. What is involved here? That they will travel to a city where there are tens of thousands of Jews, כ"י,5 where they can observe the Torah and its mitzvos in a very lofty manner, journeying on a mission from my revered father-in-law, the Rebbe, הכ"מ, and carrying out his will. As a consequence, “a person’s agent is like the principal himself,”6 and he proceeds with [the principal’s] powers. He will come there with a position and an [opportunity for] self-expression. There he will spread the light of Torah and of Yiddishkeit and the wellsprings of the Baal Shem Tov’s teachings and the teachings of Chassidus among our brethren, the Jewish people, who at present are unaware of these matters or know only a small amount.

For reasons that are unknown to me, or to you, and to others like us (see [Tanya,] Iggeres HaKodesh, the end of Epistle 7),7 so-and-so, the son of so-and-so, and so-and-so, the daughter of so-and-so, were chosen for this purpose, although they did not work for this or labor for it. Not only that, they try to release themselves from the burden. And still, we stroke them and accommodate their wishes; we give them sweets. This is what you call “a happy event that was disturbed”! I am amazed!

You conclude your letter by asking my forgiveness. I don’t know why you are asking my forgiveness. This is not my personal issue any more than it is yours. Certainly, inside, each and every one of us desires to fulfill the will of my revered father-in-law, the Rebbe, הכ"מ. And certainly, you and your wife know — had you not been unsettled because it is your daughter who is involved — that the will of my revered father-in-law, the Rebbe, הכ"מ, is fulfilled through these type of efforts in .... What am I and who am I that my forgiveness has to be asked for this?

Regardless, since it is impossible to postpone the work and the spreading of the wellsprings in .... for an extended time, I implore you to inform me of your decision in this matter at the earliest possible opportunity. It would be desirable [to do so] by telegram. As stated above, I am not giving an order, Heaven forbid. This is only a suggestion. Except that since this matter has come into my hand, I am looking for the appropriate people for [the position]. And then,8 “I will turn to the right....”9

With blessings and greetings to all who seek our welfare,