This letter was addressed to Mr. Elchanan Cohen.

B”H, 27 Elul, 5706

Greetings and blessings,

On the threshold of the New Year, on behalf of Merkos L’Inyonei Chinuch and on my own behalf, I wish you a kesivah vachasimah tovah in both material and spiritual matters.

[I would also like to] use this opportunity [to share] a concept relevant to the present time. We can derive many insights from every matter [we encounter], particularly from those matters that are associated with the Torah.

[To focus on one point:] The Torah did not distinguish the day of the world’s creation from all the other days of the year [by calling it the New Year].1It did, by contrast, establish Rosh HaShanah on the Sixth Day of Creation, the day of the creation of man.

To summarize the insight this provides: Creating this physical world is not a reason for celebration or for the institution of a festival. On the contrary, it involves a descent in the downward progression of the spiritual realms. [With this downward progression,] the G‑dly light is enclothed in another garment, and that garment conceals and hides. It is a doubled and redoubled darkness to the extent that it allows the possibility for a false impression that there are two powers: [G‑d and nature]. Moreover, there is even the possibility that one will think: “I exist and there is nothing aside from me.”2

Therefore, as the day of the creation of man approaches, [we should focus on our mission. Man] was given the potential to illuminate the world through conducting himself according to the Torah’s guidelines. Moreover, his deeds in this world will elevate all the worlds in the entire creation. [Therefore,] on that day, we establish “a day of remembrance for the work of creation.” [On that day,] a person accepts G‑d’s Kingship upon himself and crowns Him over the entire creation, as Adam the first man did on the day of his creation (Pirkei deRabbi Eliezer, ch. 11; Zohar I, 221b). In response, the Holy One, blessed be He, grants the person a good and sweet year in material and spiritual matters.

Wishing you and yours again a kesivah vachasimah tovah, with the blessing “Immediately to teshuvah, immediately to Redemption,”

Rabbi Menachem Schneerson
Chairman of the Executive Committee

P.S. I have enclosed a copy of my letter to our [mutual] friend, Mr. Stulman.