This letter was addressed to Rabbi Y.

B”H, 9 Tishrei, 5709

Greetings and blessings,

With regard to your letter of 24 Elul, in response to your question with regard to the congregation’s reading of the phrases zochreinu... u’besefer...when the sheliach tzibbur repeats [the Shemoneh Esreh].

Our custom, as verified explicitly by my revered father-in-law, the Rebbe Shlita, is that the congregation recite u’chsov... and u’chsom...1and u’besefer on Shabbos and festivals as well.

You write that there are those [who follow the custom that the congregation] also repeat zochreinu... and mi chamocha...and that it appears to you that this practice should be followed, for what reason is there to differentiate between [these refrains] and u’chsov...?

I have heard about this custom and I have always wondered why the phrase mi chamocha... is repeated, for this is not a request for mercy, but instead a recounting of G‑d’s praise.

The rationale for our custom not to repeat zochreinu...2is that the request “Remember us for life” is a lesser request.3 Therefore the congregation does not repeat it after they have already asked:4 “Write down... for a good life.” The sheliach tzibbur, by contrast, [recites zochreinu despite the fact that he has said u’chsov, because he recites] u’chsov5[only] in order to prepare for the recitation of his [public] prayers.6

With regard to sending the publications of Otzar HaChassidim and Merkos L’Inyonei Chinuch to your community: Inform me of the number of copies of each [publication desired].

I have asked several times whether anyone is in possession of the explanations of Rav Shmuel Gronem Esterman on the Tanya.7 ([I am asking to borrow them] with the intent that they will be returned.) I have not received a clear response.

I conclude with blessings for a chasimah and a g’mar chasimah tovah,

Rabbi Menachem Schneerson