This letter was addressed to R. Efraim Eliezer HaKohen Yallis, a leading Rabbi from Philadelphia.

B”H, 28 Elul, 5709

Greetings and blessings,

Your letter from the anniversary of the creation of the world1 was received. As per your request, I mentioned your name in the chamber [of my revered father-in-law, the Rebbe Shlita], together with the kvitel and the pan of four dollars.2 Enclosed is a receipt for the fifth [dollar] which was given for the purchase of kuntreisim of Chassidus.

By free association, [reference can be made to the verse]:3 “And you shall give the fifth portion to Pharaoh.” [The spiritual counterpart to Pharaoh] is “the unchecked expression of all lights,”4 the revelation of G‑d’s infinite light through the teachings of Chassidus. This enables “the four portions to be for you,”31 i.e., for your needs, [that you be granted] ample [blessings for] children, health, and sustenance.

This [allusion] is based on the statements of Etz Chayim, Shaar 31, ch. 7; the AriZal’s Likkutei Torah, Parshas Vayigash;the Alter Rebbe’s Likkutei Torah, Shir HaShirim, the second maamar entitled Shechorah Ani, sec. 2.

With regard to your note that the Tosefta at the conclusion of [tractate] Kiddushin states that the motivating rationales for the Torah were revealed to Avraham [our Patriarch], and yet [from other sources] it is known that the motivating principles for the Torah have not been revealed:

It is possible to resolve [the contradiction] in several ways: a) In Sanhedrin 21b, it is explained that the reason the motivating rationales of the mitzvos were not revealed is that in those instances where [the motivating rationale] was revealed, [the revelation] led to the observance of the mitzvah being compromised.5 [Hence, the revelation of these rationales to Avraham does not present a problem, because] there was no need for such a concern before we were commanded [to observe] the Torah and its mitzvos. [We do not fear that Avraham would have communicated the matter to his descendants,] for there were several chapters [of teachings] concerning [the worship of] false deities that Avraham knew6 and yet which did not reach us.

b) As apparent from Rashi’s commentary to Sanhedrin, [that passage] speaks only about the rationale for the chukim.7 Nor does the Tosefta say that the motivating rationales for all the mitzvos were revealed to Avraham.

c) The motivating rationales for the mitzvos will be revealed in the Ultimate Future, as Rashi explains in his commentary to Shir HaShirim 1:2. [Since] the Patriarchs were given a foretaste of the World to Come (see the conclusion of the first chapter of Bava Basra; see [also] Tosafos),8 [they were granted the comprehension of the motivating rationales for the mitzvos as part of this foretaste]. This is not an appropriate time for further elaboration.

I conclude with a matter appropriate for the present day: that you and all your household be written down and sealed for a good and sweet year in all matters.

Rabbi Menachem Schneerson

My letter concerning the note in Torah Or no doubt reached you. Enclosed is the kuntreis [for Rosh HaShanah].