This letter was sent to R. David Helman.

B”H, 23 Menachem Av, 5710

Greetings and blessings,

In reply to your letter of the Friday preceding Shabbos Nachamu which brought the news that you are settled in an appropriate position:

Thank you for the good news. May G‑d grant you the merit of always bearing only good news both regarding your individual situation and your surroundings.

[I mention “your surroundings” based on] the ruling of Rambam (Hilchos Deos 6:1) which states that: “Man’s inherent tendency is that his character and conduct are influenced by his friends and comrades.... Therefore a person should join together with the righteous and reside with the wise....”

There [Rambam] is speaking about a person’s character as a recipient, which is the first stage of his [development]. Immediately [thereafter], he must also become a source of influence for others, as my revered father-in-law, the Rebbe, הכ"מ, requested in his sichah printed in Kuntres Yud-Beis Tammuz, 5710, sec. 3:1 “See to it that you yourself are alive and make others alive.”

Since this [goal] is demanded of us, we are certainly given the potential to achieve it. If he would [only] desire, each one of us will be able to shine light within his surroundings. The meaning of “light” [in this context] is solely the Torah and its mitzvos, as it is written:2 “For a mitzvah is a candle and the Torah, light.”

Signing with blessings and with greetings,

Rabbi Menachem Schneerson