This letter was addressed to R. Chanoch Hendel Havlin, one of the members of the Lubavitch community in Jerusalem.

B”H, 27 Menachem Av, 5709

Greetings and blessings,

a) My letter of 3 Menachem Av1 no doubt reached you. It is surprising that you have not acknowledged receipt of it. Nevertheless, I am certain that you carried out my requests contained within it, particularly those associated with the yahrzeit.2 [Please] notify me concerning this.

b) I will once again repeat [my request] for zealous efforts with regard to the notes to the Tanya...3 and everything that relates to the Sdei Chemed, as I wrote in the above letter. I offer my thanks in advance.

c) After researching the matter, I received a letter from Warsaw, from a person who signs his name Mordechai Unrad.4 He writes that he was together with my sister-in-law,5 my brother-in-law, and his mother, may G‑d avenge their blood, in Treblinka. The yahrzeits are: that of [the elder Mrs. Hornstein, who was] the Rebbe Rashab’s sister, 14 Elul; her son, my brother-in-law, 25 Cheshvan; and his wife, my sister-in-law, the second day of Rosh HaShanah. I am not aware of the state of the Landau family’s health.6 Rely on your own knowledge in making the decision whether to notify them about this or not. If you do tell them, please notify me that you did so.

d) I am continuing my investigations regarding the above. If I do not write otherwise, please arrange that the customs appropriate for a yahrzeit be observed for them on those dates. Do this without publicizing the matter, because the household of my revered father-in-law, the Rebbe Shlita, knows nothing about this.

e) If you reveal the matter to the Landaus, please add that they should not mention it in the letter they write here for the above reason.

To conclude with a brief [mention] of matters concerning the present season — according to what I said at the farbrengen last Shabbos, Shabbos Mevarchim Elul7 — [regarding the four phrases] whose first letters form an acronym for the name Elul, as cited in the writings of the AriZal and in texts of Mussar:

In general, this month is a month of stocktaking and preparation for teshuvah, [centering on] Divine service of or chozer,8 from below upward. [This is intimated] by the verse:9Ani L’Dodi V’Dodi Li — I am my Beloved’s and my Beloved is mine.” This [is expressed through] the particular dimensions of Divine service in the three vectors [of Torah observance]: giving a coin to charity and then praying;10 then “proceeding from the synagogue to the house of study.”11 [These three paths of service are alluded to by the verses:]

a) “Ish Lerei’eihu V’matanos L’evyonim — [sending portions of food from] a person to his friend, and presents to the poor.”12 ([This represents] the vector of gemilus chassadim which includes deeds of kindness that are also performed for the wealthy, and tzedakah, [given only to the poor,]which is on a lesser rung than deeds of kindness and follows it).

b) “Es Levavecha V’es Leivav — [G‑d...will circumcise] your heart and the heart of [your descendants]”:13 this refers to “Divine service within one’s heart — prayer.”14 The order is first to “correct yourself”15 — “your heart” — and then [focus on] “the heart of [your descendants].”

c) “Ina L’yado V’samti Lach — [G‑d] caused it to happen through his hand. I will provide for you a place,”16 [which refers to the establishment of Cities of Refuge and can be understood as a reference to Torah study;] (for “the words of Torah serve as a refuge” — Makkos 10a — for every sinner is “one who slays the soul” — the spiritual man — but does so “inadvertently.”17 For “a person will not sin unless a spirit of folly enters him.”18 The above constitutes true teshuvah, which is identified with Torah study, as stated in [Tanya,] ch. 8.) One can elaborate on all the above, but this is not the appropriate place.

With wishes for everlasting good in all matters and with greetings to all those who seek our welfare,