This letter was addressed to the members of the chassidic brotherhood in France and in particular to the leaders, R. Nachum Shemaryahu Sossonkin and R. Betzalel Wilshansky.

B”H, 18 Menachem Av, 5707

Greetings and blessings,

a) Your two letters, with the names of the books and the names of the participants in the Sefer Torah [campaign],1 arrived at the appropriate [time];

b) You will receive other books — by mail, from R. Shneur Zalman Butman, and from R. Eliyahu Shmuel Kahanov. Please have receipt of them confirmed and notify us of the names of the books.

c) During the coming days, we will assign the letters in the Torah scroll [of Mashiach] and we will notify [all those involved].

d) With regard to your statement that I demand eagerness: I did not come to make demands, but merely to wake up [others]. The matter itself demands [eagerness]. The proof of this is that so many obstacles and impediments are arising; the greatest among them being that even within the realm of holy logic, one can find reasons not to be eager.

e) With regard to your statements pertaining to this matter concerning the advantage of humans over angels, that the angels do not perform two missions:2 On the surface, the concept is not relevant in this context. With regard to the angels, the idea is that [they cannot perform two activities] if the missions are different. This is not true when [both activities] share the same purpose (as in this instance, [when both involve] a connection to the Tree of Life),3 as stated in Tosafos (Bava Metzia, p. 86b; it is apparent that all of the statements of Tosafos are intended to serve as a single resolution).

On this basis, a resolution can be offered to a question that occurred to me a long time ago. In several sources in Chassidus, support for the above concept has been brought from Rambam’s statements in his Introduction to his Commentary on the Mishnah where he writes that all [creations other than man] have one function or two functions. On the surface, it is difficult to understand: How is it possible for them to perform two functions?

It is possible to explain that in the present [spiritual time frame], the animals represent Tohu shebeTikkun.4[Thus there is a limited amount of interrelation between their qualities and they can perform two functions.]This explanation can, however, also be applied with regard to the angels. Why then can they not perform two missions? According to the above, a resolution [can be offered:] They do not perform two activities of a different nature.

See the beginning of the explanation of the maamar entitled Veheinif (Likkutei Torah, Parshas Emor)5 which emphasizes this point, stating that a cruel raven does not possess mercy and a merciful eagle does not possess cruelty.

With the blessing, “Immediately to teshuvah, immediately to Redemption,”

Rabbi Menachem Schneerson
Chairman of the Executive Committee