The text of the first part of this letter was sent to various individuals, personally addressed to each one.1 The portion following the Rebbe’s signature was addressed to a specific individual.

B”H, 21 Elul, 5709

Greetings and blessings,

I am writing with regard to a matter of present concern: to send my blessings for the coming year, that you and your entire household be granted a kesivah vechasimah tovah in all [facets of life].

Enclosed is the kuntreis for Rosh HaShanah that was just published. In these days, when [the spiritual power of] every individual is comparable to [that of] an entire community during the remainder of the year (Rosh HaShanah 18a),2 you will no doubt make an effort that every individual who is in your circle of influence will contemplate this kuntreis, [either] in its entirety or at least partially. “The hearts of the Jewish people are awake.”3 In particular, this is true [at the present time,] when the Source of Light draws close to the spark4 (Kuntreis HaAvodah, sec. 5).

This year, the first day of the Rosh HaShanah holiday falls on Shabbos. It is well known that the first day of Rosh HaShanah is a day of severe judgment (Pri Etz Chayim, Shaar Rosh HaShanah, ch. 4, et al.).5 Through the sounding of the shofar, [these harsh judgments] are nullified. In Likkutei Torah and in other sources, our Rebbeim explain that on Shabbos, the sounding of the shofar is not necessary, because at this time all of the influences [that are normally] produced by the sounding of the shofar are brought about from Above. It is self-understood that this also applies to the spiritual dimension of the sounding of the shofar, the concept of teshuvah, as stated by Rambam6 and explained in the enclosed kuntreis. All of this is accomplished through [an arousal] from Above [although] in years [when the first day of Rosh HaShanah doesn’t fall on Shabbos], it is accomplished through an arousal from below.7

In general, [spiritual achievements] that are brought about through an arousal from below have an advantage, for their effect endures. The lowly plane is refined in a manner that fulfills the Sublime intent [for Creation]: that there be Divine service from below, as [expressed through] the Torah and its mitzvos.

The advantage of [influence generated] through an arousal from Above is that it is on a high level, incomparable to [the rung of the recipient] because it is given from Above. These concepts] are all explained in other sources.8

Based on the above, it can be explained that when Rosh HaShanah falls on Shabbos, the positive dimensions of both approaches are expressed. See the maamar entitled LeHavin Inyan HaTaam LeMah SheIsarusa DeLeEilah in Likkutei Torah, Shir HaShirim, [p. 22b,] which explains the great advantage in this.

To explain further: That maamar and the maamarim entitled Rani VeSimchi in Torah Or and Shaarei Orah speak about the Ultimate Future.9 Therefore, it is not necessary for the arousal from Above to have any connection to an arousal from below. In contrast, with regard to the instance under discussion, the time before the era of the Ultimate Future, it is then necessary that there be at least a connection to the arousal from below. For that reason, the fact that we do not sound the shofar when Rosh HaShanah falls on Shabbos — because [this spiritual advance] is brought about through an arousal from Above — comes as a result of [our observance of] the Torah’s commandments: i.e., carrying out our Sages’ decree.10 [This is sufficient] even though it involves a restriction; [we are] not [performing] a mitzvah, but merely [observing] a decree and a safeguard. This is not the place for further discussion of this matter.

With a blessing for a kesivah vechasimah tovah for all those who seek our welfare,

Rabbi Menachem Schneerson
Chairman of the Executive Committee

The kuntreis for Chai Elulwas sent to you and to R. Mordechai Perlow according to the address at the hall. Request it from there.

I conveyed the content of your letter of 12 Elul [to my revered father-in-law, the Rebbe Shlita,] and it was received with a smile of satisfaction.11