This letter was addressed to R. Meir Ashkenazi, the Rabbi of Shanghai, who was entrusted with the printing of several texts of Chassidus.1

B”H, 27 Elul, 5707

Greetings and blessings,

With happiness and great thanks, I can inform you that we received the texts Toras Chayim on Shmos, Shaarei HaTeshuvah VehaTefilah, and Derech Chayim. Similarly, $1143 reached us today, $620 of which we are giving to maamad, as per your letter to R. DovBer Chaskind. Certainly you will do everything within your potential to increase the above-mentioned sum, both with regard to maamad and with regard to Merkos L’Inyonei Chinuch, for it is impossible to appreciate how much this is necessary.

There are not sufficient words to explain the great merit you have in bringing all this about. I would only like to notify you that your merit converged with meritorious days. For the books were received — and I brought them to my revered father-in-law, the Rebbe Shlitaon the days of 13-18 Elul (the fiftieth anniversary of the wedding of my revered father-in-law, the Rebbe Shlita; may he merit long and good years).

I am enclosing also a maamar that was presented by my revered father-in-law, the Rebbe Shlita, today.2 You will certainly acknowledge its receipt.

I will conclude with subjects of contemporary relevance which I wrote to another person: At the farbrengen of Chai Elul,3 my revered father-in-law, the Rebbe Shlita, related that the early chassidim would say: “Chai Elul injects vitality into the Divine service of ‘I am my Beloved’s and my Beloved is mine.’”4 ([The first letters of the words of that verse] combine to form the name Elul.)

It is possible to explain that a living person and a person who is not alive both possess all 248 limbs. [The difference is that] a living person also possesses a soul that enables the body to grow from childhood to maturity and [enables him] to move from place to place.

Our Rabbis (Tanya, ch. 38) explain that the intent of the mitzvos — to cling to G‑d — resembles the soul for the body of the mitzvos. This comes through generating or uncovering one’s love and fear of G‑d. This comes through the study of pnimiyus haTorah in general, and in particular through the study of Chassidus, as explained in several sources.

Through the intent of clinging to G‑d, [one comes] to the greatest growth and movement possible. Indeed, this alone represents true movement, as is well known with regard to the concept of “one who progresses” and “those who stand.”5 This [progress] comes about when a limited created being clings to the Creator who is unlimited, as it is written:6 “And you who cling to G‑d, your L‑rd, are living....”

This is the interpretation of the adage that Chai Elul, the birthday of the Baal Shem Tov, the day when his teachings were revealed, and the birthday of the Alter Rebbe, injects vitality into the Divine service of “I am my Beloved’s and my Beloved is mine,” i.e., enabling the created beings to cling to the Creator.

On a deeper level, it is possible to explain [as follows]: Even a limb that is not alive has flesh, sinews, and bones. [All of these serve as analogies within our Divine service.] The bones refer to the Divine service of the mind, the flesh, to that of the heart and the sinews, to the connection between the two, as explained in Likkutei Torah, Parshas Pinchas, the second maamar entitled Tzav... Korbani Lachmi. Nevertheless, as they exist in their own right, they do not represent true vitality. That is achieved only through the preface of kabbalas ol, the acceptance of [G‑d’s] yoke. In particular, this refers to the kabbalas ol of Rosh HaShanah. See the maamar [published for] Rosh HaShanah this year with regard to the concepts of individual life-energy, general life-energy, vitality that exists to grant life to others, and essential vitality.

With wishes for a kesivah vachasimah tovah,

Rabbi Menachem Schneerson