The text of this letter was sent to various individuals, personally addressed to each one.1

B”H, Erev Rosh Chodesh Sivan, 5710
Brooklyn, N.Y.

Greetings and blessings,

In preparation for the upcoming Shavuos festival, the season of the Giving of the Torah, we are sending the [enclosed] kuntres that was just published. Certainly, you will share it — either partially or in its entirety — with people at large, for the heart of every member of the Jewish people is awake towards the Torah and its mitzvos, as our Sages testified,2 commenting [on the verse]:3 “I am sleeping” — in exile — “but my heart is awake” to the synagogues (prayer), the houses of study (Torah), to mitzvos, and to tzedakah (Pesikta deRabbi Kahana, Piska HaChodesh). In particular, this applies to the days from Rosh Chodesh Sivan to the 12th of the month: the days of preparation for the Giving of the Torah,4 the days [commemorating] the Giving of the Torah, and the days of compensation for that holiday.5

There are several dimensions associated with the study of the Torah. [They in turn have several aspects. Among them:]

A person’s obligation to study: a) Torah study is one of the 248 positive commandments, except that it is greater than the others; and b) Torah study is equal to all the positive commandments, because it leads to deed.6 On the surface, it is possible to say that these two points parallel the two mitzvos connected to Torah study: the mitzvah to “meditate upon it [day and night,]”7 and the mitzvah of knowing the Torah; the latter being the aspect that leads to deed.

(See [details regarding] all of the above in the Alter Rebbe’s Hilchos Talmud Torah 4:2ff.; the Kuntres Acharon to the beginning of loc. cit., ch. 3, and the sources mentioned there; the maamar entitled Amar Rabbah;... Kol Adam Sheyeish Bo Torah, 5702.8)

Its effect on a person: a) the 248 positive commandments represent the vitality of the 248 limbs of the soul. Without the mitzvos, they have no continuity or vitality. The mitzvah of contemplating the Torah is similar to all the other mitzvos, although it is greater than the other mitzvos. It is comparable to the inner organs upon which a person’s vitality depends.

b) the mitzvah of knowing the Torah. It is identified with Chochmah, the brain, which is above the limbs, just as the soul of a person that fills all 248 limbs of the body has its fundamental resting place in the brain.

(See [details regarding] all of the above in the maamar entitled Ki HaMitzvah HaZos, sec. 2, in Parshas Nitzavim in Likkutei Torah;the maamar entitled Lo Hibit, the conclusion of sec. 3, in Parshas Balak (ibid.); the maamar entitled Mai’ein Ganim, 5702;9 Tanya, the beginning of ch. 51.)

[There is a rung] above all these levels, as Scripture states:10 “And you who cling to G‑d, your L‑rd, are” — as a consequence — “all alive today.” Our Sages explain11 that the Jews connect to the Torah and the Torah connects to the Holy One, blessed be He. Thus the totality of the vitality of the soul — both the ray of the soul enclothed in the body and the mazal12 of the soul above — is drawn down through the medium of the Torah.

Behold the Nasi and the leader of thousands of myriads of the Jewish people is the head and the brain for all of them. He is the collective soul for all these individual souls. From him and through him come all influences and flow [of Divine energy], in both a general and a particular way, to all those who share a connection with him. And all influences and downflow [of Divine energy] come through the Torah, as stated above.

(See sources for all the above in Avos deRabbi Nasan, the conclusion of ch. 34; the maamar entitled Vayidaber Elokim in Likkutei Torah, Parshas Bamidbar, sec. 3;the maamar entitled Amar Rabbi Akiva Ashreichem, in the series of maamarim entitled Yom Tov Shel Rosh HaShanah, 5666;13 the maamar entitled Oteh Or, 5700;14 and Tanya, ch. 2.)

On this basis, we can understand the statements of my revered father-in-law, the Rebbe, הכ"מ:15 “The great desire for bonding [with the Rebbe] can only be satisfied when one studies the maamarim of Chassidus that the Rebbe delivers and writes.” [And,] “True bonding is through Torah study.”

It is understood that even though a person should study only a subject that his heart desires,16 it is necessary that one study — at fixed times — the teachings of the Nasi, my revered father-in-law, the Rebbe, הכ"מ. In particular, this study is necessary: a) as preparation for any matter or event of general importance; and b) [in connection] with times of general importance.17

May G‑d enable us to merit true bonding with the Tree of Life, and on the festival of Shavuos, which is the season of the Giving of the Torah for the entire year as a whole, may we merit to receive the Torah with joy and inner feeling.

M. Schneerson

* * *

Your letter from 25 Iyar was received. See the words of the master [quoted] above, in the introduction to the enclosed kuntres,18 [which emphasize] how important it is that there be no weakening in studies, farbrengens, and the like.

* * *

I received your letter from 10 Iyar after a delay. As you requested, I read your pan while I was at the gravesite that day. The kuntres for the Pesach holiday was sent to you already....

Certainly, you will continue your holy work as a shadar19and also share information regarding the students and [their] studies.20

* * *

Your letter — which did not include the date on which it was written — was received. Thank you for the information regarding the women’s organization, publicizing the kuntres, etc., and for the note concerning what I wrote regarding the text of R. Avraham Stern.21 See the responsa of the Chasam Sofer, Vol. VI, responsum 98. Thank you for the information regarding the improvement in your father’s health.

* * *

It is our custom to recite Barchu before the Evening Services on the night of Shabbos. As a consequence,the passage velomar22is recited when praying alone. It does not matter whether one heard Barchu beforehand or not. See the Zohar II, p. 135b, [which states]: “To recite Barchu... in order to begin with blessing to [Malchus]....”

* * *

Your letter of 21 Iyar was received.23 Surely you will continue [writing] your notes and memoirs. [You write that] you are afraid to say zol gezunt zain24 with regard to [the Rebbe,25 because] {it is not} customary to do so.

Why are you afraid? It is explained in [Tanya,] Iggeres HaKodesh, Epistle 27, that the life of a tzaddik is faith, love, and fear. If so, he is very healthy. This is sufficient for a person of understanding.