Letter No. 260: Communication regarding the Rebbe’s mother; books sent for Lubavitch refugees in Europe; the significance of the name Naftali

This letter was addressed to R. Shalom Mendel Kalmanson, one of the members of the chassidic brotherhood who escaped from Russia with other families and remained in Prague to assist other refugees.

B”H, Tuesday of the week of Parshas Vayechi, 5707

Greetings and blessings,

We received your letter of Wednesday, [Parshas] Toldos at the appropriate time. Thank you for sending the letters from my revered mother Shlita. I am very surprised that you do not mention anything concerning her wellbeing and health, and whether the members of the chassidic brotherhood there are helping her in everything she needs according to their capacity. (Obviously, I will reimburse [all expenses].) Certainly, in your next letter, you will fulfill [this request] in detail.

As per your request, we have sent you some of our publications in a separate shipment. Please notify us that you received it. It is your responsibility to see that many use these texts, either by placing them in a public place (a synagogue, a reading room, or the like) or by lending them to others and then lending them out again. “Whenever one brings merit to people at large..., the merit of the many is dependent on him.”5

I heard that in your present setting, there are Chabad texts that were printed in Hungary, Czechoslovakia, etc., during the war and afterwards (by R. Rappoport?). Please notify me and send me one copy of each text at the address of Merkos L’Inyonei Chinuch or Kehot. Obviously, we will send other texts in their place as you direct us.

We have printed a new edition of the Siddur Tehillat Hashem together with corrections and additions according to the instructions of my revered father-in-law, the Rebbe Shlita. (It appears to me that your father was involved in this [project] when he was in Petersburg.) This was also sent to you as above. Please acknowledge receipt of all the packages.

I am awaiting your letter with good news concerning my revered mother; [may it arrive] as soon as possible. Note the interpretation in Targum Yerushalmi of the verse:1 “Naftali is a deer sent forth.” The Midrash,as quoted in the text Tzror HaMor,comments on this verse that Naftali was a man of peace who was appointed by his father and his brothers to give tidings of peace.

An association can be made between Naftali, swiftness, and good tidings based on the statements of the Tzemach Tzedek in Or HaTorah which explains that the name Naftali (נפתלי) shares a connection with תפילה, prayer. [It involves] a connection from the highest levels [of the spiritual cosmos] until the lowest levels. When [the influence] is drawn down speedily, it is expressed only in goodness and kindness,2 as is well known with regard to the [connection between] Aharon and almonds (as explained in Likkutei Torah, the conclusion of Parshas Korach).

With good wishes for all time,

Rabbi Menachem Schneerson
Chairman of the Executive Committee