This letter was sent to Doctor Chayim Bloch, a researcher of Torah texts.

B”H, the first day of Rosh Chodesh Adar, 5709

Greetings and blessings,

In response to your letter:1

a) Regarding my statements in my previous letter that there are several compendiums of references to the statements of our Sages in the Talmud in contrast [to the lack that exists regard­ing] the adages from the [Rabbinic] literature of the Middle Ages: My intent was only [to say] that [making] an index to the statements of our Talmudic Sages merely involves an increase and the application of finishing touches to existing works. An index to the [Rabbinic] literature of the Middle Ages, by contrast, would be an entirely new matter and would fill a noticeable void which, as it appears to me, no one has begun working on.

b) It appears that you interpreted my letter as implying that I questioned why you cite quotes in your index which have already been cited in previous indices. On the contrary, my opinion is that every text that serves the purpose of an index should be complete so that a person is not forced to look in other texts and it should not contain anything but its subject of focus. [To summarize my conception of what is appropriate] for your text, the Heichal, after asking for forgiveness for my critical assessment, is:

1) It should include all of our Sages’ adages from the Talmud including those that were already listed previously [in other texts];

2) [Your] Kuntreis HaHaganah which makes up one-sixth of the text has no place in the Heichal which is a text of [popular] use;

3) At the conclusion of my previous letter, a note was omit­ted concerning the source of our Sages’ statement: “ ‘A plague not written in the Torah’2 — this refers to the death of the righteous.” The Nitzutzei Zohar by R. Margolious, at the conclu­sion of the Zohar II, cites the Responsa of the Ateres Tzvi, Yoreh Deah, Responsum 38, which finds such a statement, in Aramaic, in the Zohar II, p. 10b.

Concluding with wishes for everlasting good in all matters,

Rabbi Menachem Schneerson