This letter was addressed to R. Baruch Schneerson.

B”H, 18 Shvat, 5709

Greetings and blessings,

Your letter and the enclosure (the article in the newspaper HaYoman and the copy of the portion that was left out by the paper) arrived after some delay. And because of many involve­ments, my reply was also delayed. I ask for your forgiveness. No doubt, Rav Chanoch Havlin conveyed to you what I wrote in my letter to him and gave you the printed material from our pub­lishing house that I sent him for you. You will no doubt acknowledge your receipt of them. If you would write a critique of them or about the work of Kehotand Merkos L’Inyonei Chinuch in general and send us a copy, we [would be] very thankful [and] extend [such wishes] to you in advance.

With thanks to G‑d, I [can relate] that the preparations to publish the Piskei Dinim1 of the Tzemach Tzedek are finally com­pleted and the text is already being printed.

After thanking you for your praise and tribute to the activi­ties of Kehot in your article, I will respond point by point to the points you raised regarding several places in the Tzemach Tzedek’s [responsa].

a) I already explained in the beginning of my notes (at the conclusion of the Shaar HaMiluim) that I cited only the manu­scripts and the printed works which mention a new concept developed by the Tzemach Tzedek or one of his responsa. [My intention was] to show whether such a question was found in the works of those [Rabbis] close to the Tzemach Tzedek,in which case it could be said that their discussion of the matter had a symbiotic influence.

I did not intend to cite the opinions of [all] the later authori­ties concerning the issues on which the Tzemach Tzedek com­mented. I have several reasons, among them: A multitude of texts that collect responsa and halachic decisions have re­cently been published. Notes that would include [such information] would require separate treatment [in an independ­ent volume].

b) Your note to Shaar HaMiluim, Chiddushim, p. 33b, that the word she’eino is extra, is correct. What caused this editorial error is that there was only one manuscript for this text — and it was a copy, as I stated in my notes. I saw it now and it in­cludes the word sheaino.

c) [With regard to] your note to that section — [the same concept] is explained at greater length in the responsa of the Tzemach Tzedek: By mistake, a note was not added to the Chid­dushim to the tractate of Taharos like that which was printed in [the Chiddushim to] tractate Mikvaos (p. 33c). [There it states that]a comparison must be made with the statements in the miluim and those made in the Responsa and the Chiddushim to the Tal­mud with regard to Mikvaos.

c*) There2 (on p. 16b), [the custom of omitting the psalm] Miz­mor LeSodah on the day preceding Pesach is discussed. The Tzemach Tzedek justifies the custom of those who recite [the psalm on that day],3 citing [our Sages’ statement]4 : Whoever involves himself in the study of the laws of a burnt offering — even at night — is considered as if he brought that offering dur­ing the day. In your letter, you question that ruling based on Rif’s statement that it is forbidden to recite the Mussaf service a second time just as it is forbidden to bring two Mussaf offerings.

I don’t see the basis for the question. The Tzemach Tzedek offers support based on our Sages’ statement: “Whoever in­volves himself in the study of the laws....” Thus it is not related to Rif’s [statements] concerning the Mussaf prayers. (As is well known, the verses concerning the Mussaf offering are not of fundamental importance in the Mussaf prayers.) Accordingly, it is not neces­sary to make the distinction that you made in your letter: that the recitation of Mizmor LeSodah was not ordained by the Men of the Great Assembly.

If there is a question, it can be raised regarding [the recita­tion of] the passages that describe the sacrificial offerings. They are recited because “Whoever studies the laws of [an offering is con­sidered as if he brought that offering].”5 Nevertheless, the law is that they should be recited only during the day, as stated in the Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayim, sec. 1.6 Moreover, a ques­tion should have been raised with regard to Mizmor LeSodah itself: that seemingly, it should be recited on Chol HaMoed Pesach.7

It is clear, however, that the Tzemach Tzedek is citing as a mere support the teaching “Whoever studies the laws...” even at night, to remove the distinction between the performance of an act as an initial and prefatory measure and its acceptance after the fact.8 [Moreover,] all of this is merely to justify an exist­ing custom.

d) Your statements that a Todah offering could be brought on the day preceding Yom Kippur even though we do not cause sacrifices to be brought to a situation where they might become disqualified9 because children and the like can partake of it is not tenable — because the hesitation against bringing sacrifices to a situation in which they could be disqualified involves not only limiting the time or the place [involved], [i.e.,] when and where it is permitted to partake of them, but also limiting the individuals who are permitted to partake of them, as stated in Bechoros 60b; Rambam, [Mishneh Torah,] Hilchos Pesulei HaMuk­dashin 6:6. On the contrary, from the wording of the mishnah (Maaser Sheni 3:2), it appears that reducing the number of peo­ple who can partake of the offering is more serious than reducing the time in which it can be eaten.

Also, it is tenuous to say, as you appeared to imply, that the Tzemach Tzedek’s intent was referring to the fact that it is a mitz­vah to eat on the day preceding Yom Kippur.10 For if so, the fundamen­tal point would not have been stated so explicitly. Also, were that to be the case, the concluding statement — “There is a distinction between the day preceding Pesach [and the day preceding Yom Kippur], because on the former, it is permitted to eat [chametz]11 only until the fourth hour of the day — would be difficult to understand.

e) Your statement — that one should make sure that the con­sumption of the sacrifices at night is not forbidden [unnec­essarily] — is correct. [The principle] is explicitly stated by Ram­bam, [Mishneh Torah,] Hilchos Maaseh HaKorbanos 10:12, based on the Tosefta, Zevachim, ch. 10.

f) In my humble opinion, it is possible to resolve the state­ments of the Tzemach Tzedek [as follows]: The Tzemach Tzedek is attempting to resolve (and not to challenge) the question of why a Todah offering is brought on the day preceding Yom Kippur. (For in no place is it stated that such a sacrifice is not brought on that day.)

[The Tzemach Tzedek] is emphasizing that people did not re­frain from bringing sacrifices because the time in which they could partake of them at night would be reduced. A distinction can be made [in this regard between the day preceding Yom Kippur] and the day preceding Pesach, when part of the time during the day would also be reduced. He relied on the reader to explain the distinction.

It is possible to give two explanations for this [distinction]: 1) We find a rationale that the time of night is not significant with regard to bringing a sacrifice, as is the law with regard to the days following childbirth (see Kerisus 7b).12 In contrast, the mishnah in Zevachim (75b)13 speaks of an instance where the time [in which to partake of a sacrifice] during the day is reduced. No doubt this applies to the case at hand, bringing a Todah offering on the day preceding Pesach.

2) The reduction of the time in which it is possible to par­take of the sacrifice during the day certainly affects the law that applies to offering the sacrifice. For one should certainly not offer the sacrifice during the portion of the day when it is for­bidden. When the time in which it is possible to partake of the sacrifice is reduced during the night, by contrast, this in and of itself does not have an effect on the offering of the sacrifices.

The Tzemach Tzedek emphasizes that they would not refrain from offering sacrifices [in the latter case], for through this [ex­planation] the question from the Tosefta is resolved, as explained above.

g) On the surface, explanation is required regarding why the Tzemach Tzedek does not emphasize that on the day preceding Yom Kippur, it is a mitzvah to eat. It is possible to explain:

1) [There is an opinion] that the restriction against offering sacrifices when there are factors that could cause them to be dis­qualified is Scriptural in origin. (For we have found certain distinctions in Scriptural Law between what should be done as the initial preference {lechat’chilah} and what should be done after the fact {bedi’eved}. In particular, this applies regarding con­secrated articles. Some sources concerning this principle have been stated in Darkei Shalom by R. S. M. of Brezhen, sec. 71. This is not the place for further discussion of the issue.) [Ac­cording to that view, the resolution is obvious. For] the con­cept [that it is a mitzvah] to eat on the day preceding Yom Kippur is of Rabbinic origin (as stated in the [Alter] Rebbe’s Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayim, sec. 604). [Hence, the Scriptural Law cannot be affected by a Rabbinic prohibition.]

2) Even if one maintains that the restriction against offering sacrifices when there are factors that could cause them to be dis­qualified is Rabbinic in origin, [a resolution is possible]. For [although it is a mitzvah to eat on the day preceding Yom Kip­pur,] the mitzvah is to eat, not to eat prodigiously. Furthermore, in [the region of] Yehudah — and this includes Jerusalem — they would eat fowl and fish, but they would not eat large amounts of animal meat (Tosafos, s.v., ukedivrei, Chulin 83a). [This would also apply to sacrificial meat.]

h) It is still necessary to clarify [the following point]: On the surface, the Tzemach Tzedek should have made the following ob­vious distinction. If one would refrain from bringing a Todah offering on the day preceding Yom Kippur, the altar would not be used on that day for any sacrifices of which we partake. For if one would not bring sacrifices that are eaten for a day and the following night, one would certainly not bring the sacrifices that are eaten for two days and the night in between. On the day pre­ceding Pesach, by contrast, the restriction would apply only to the bread of the Todah offering.14 It is, however, possible to ex­plain that if this were the rationale, one could ask a question of the opposite nature: Why not derive permission to offer a Todah sacrifice on the day preceding Pesach from the fact that sacrifices that are eaten are offered on the day preceding Yom Kippur? Hence, [instead, the Tzemach Tzedek] makes the distinc­tion that reducing the time [that one may partake of the sacrifices] during the day is different [from reducing it at night].

Concluding with wishes for everlasting good in all matters,

Rabbi Menachem Schneerson

Since I do not know your address due to the moves you have been forced to make this year, I am sending my letter via R. Chanoch Havlin. Please advise me of your receipt of this letter.