This letter was addressed to R. Meir Ashkenazi and R. Chayim, a ritual slaughterer who organized the printing of texts of Chassidus in Shanghai.

B”H, 7 Menachem Av, 5707

Greetings and blessings,

With happiness, we learned that the Divine task [entrusted] to you was successful and that you were able to gather together a portion of the resources necessary to print the texts of the Mitteler Rebbe and [that you] published these texts. Certainly they have already been sent here as was arranged. Without doubt, you are also trying now — to the fullest extent possible — to increase the sum of money gathered to complete at least another portion of what is lacking from the expenses.

To people such as yourselves, it is certainly unnecessary to explain — and certainly not to elaborate upon — the great merit associated with the matter. I only feel the need to emphasize your great reward — how it will protect and shine — both in this world and in the World to Come, for the soul and for the body.

This can be understood on the basis of our Sages’ statement (Sanhedrin 90a) that G‑d’s attributes are [expressed] “measure for measure” in [both] this world and in the World to Come. [To explain: It is said] (Kiddushin 39b): “There is no reward for a mitzvah in this world.” The rationale is that the reward for a mitzvah that one was commanded is G‑d’s infinite light which is unbounded. When one fulfills His will, one’s reward is also G‑d’s infinite light which is unbounded. Therefore it is impossible for it to be enclothed in this physical, limited world (see [Tanya,] Iggeres HaKodesh, Epistle 3).

There are, however, mitzvos through which the person fulfilling them has a direct effect on our physical world. Accordingly, in addition to the unlimited quality mentioned above, the fulfillment of these mitzvos also involves a material activity in this physical world (see Rambam’s Commentary to the Mishnah, Peah 1:1). Therefore its reward also has two elements: the principal that remains for the World to Come and a secondary dimension that is expressed in this world.

We see (Yevamos 96b; Bechoros 31a; Zohar I, 217b) the great extent of the desire of Israel’s spiritual leaders for their teachings to be repeated in this world while their souls are in the Heavenly academy.1 For in this manner, they will abide in two worlds: in the World to Come and in this world. Accordingly, the reward given to those who make this possible through assisting in spreading their teachings is measure for measure, in the World to Come and in this world, affecting the soul and the body.

Although the Torah and its mitzvos were given to the soul as it is enclothed in a body (Shabbos 88b), they are fundamentally related to and affect the soul which is spiritual and not the material body. [Frequently, it is explained that] the effect [of the Torah and its mitzvos] on the body is to break it, [to compel] it to go against its nature. The Baal Shem Tov, however, came and paved the way to serve G‑d with one’s body, with happiness, without breaking the body or self-mortification, [as stated in] the renowned teaching of the Baal Shem Tov on the verse:2 “If you see the donkey of your enemy...” (the sichos of my revered father-in-law, the Rebbe Shlita, as quoted in HaYom Yom, p. 23) and explained in many sources in the teachings of Chassidus.

Accordingly, when the teachings being spread are — as in the present instance — teachings of Chassidus, this connects the student to the Tree of Life, not through self-mortification, but through happiness. Therefore one’s reward is — measure for measure — a spiritual reward and a material reward, with abundant good in both realms.

With respect and with abundant blessing,

M. Schneerson