This letter was addressed to R. Yaakov Katz, one of the initial supporters of Lubavitch activities in America.

B”H, 7 Adar, 5709

Greetings and blessings,

As per your telephone conversation, enclosed is a check for $5,000 as a loan. At the conclusion of your conversation yesterday, my revered father-in-law, the Rebbe Shlita, expressed the wish that you become a “graf,” which serves as an acronym for the Yiddish words meaning “good, rich, and frum.” (In Russian Yiddish, graf is a title of distinction which more or less corresponds to “earl” in English.) Since I was not sure if you grasped these words, I am writing them [to you]. You will no doubt try to be a medium for that blessing.

Please confirm receipt of this letter,

Concluding with wishes for everlasting good in all matters,

Rabbi Menachem Schneerson

Perhaps it is possible to explain the order of the blessing given by [my revered father-in-law, the Rebbe Shlita]:

Good [refers] to the Divine service of tzedakah. This is a preface and preparatory step for blessing.

Rich [recalls] our Sages’ comment (Taanis 9a) on the phrase:1 “You shall certainly tithe”; “Tithe so that you become wealthy.” [This refers] both to wealth in a simple, material sense and also, the inner dimension [of wealth, as is implied:] there is no one who is rich except one who possesses knowl­edge, as our Sages comment (Nedarim 41a): “If one possesses this quality (knowledge), he possesses everything.” This is a preparation for the blessing [to be]:

Frum. Because of one’s wealth of knowledge, one meditates in a desirable manner and comes to the love and fear of G‑d, as explained in Tanya at length. Then he wishes and desires to follow the ways of G‑d2 as explained by our Sages (Rambam, [Mishneh Torah,] Hilchos Deos 1:5-6): “‘And you shall walk in His ways.’3 [Our Sages] teach the interpretation of this mitzvah: Just as He is called ‘Compassionate,’ so, too, you should be compassionate.” Through [the possession of] wealth, according to its simple meaning, one can carry out his desire and wish for the above.