This letter was addressed to Rabbi Ben Tzion Shemtov, one of the leading members of the chassidic brotherhood.

B”H, 9 MarCheshvan, 5708

Greetings and blessings,

In response to your letter:

You have certainly already received the answer of the committee: that you can print temporary receipts without an address and afterwards show a receipt from the office of the committee.

Several printed materials were sent to you as you requested, including, by airmail, the biography of my revered father-in-law, the Rebbe Shlita, in English, which is appropriate for the purpose concerning which you inquired. You will certainly acknowledge your receipt of them.

In general, there is no need to be so stringent and make such extensive inquiries before speaking about the matter of nifneh.1In particular, this applies since in the last [few] years, it has become emphasized more and more that [the Rebbe] is the leader of the entire Jewish people. [His] activities, by and large, are in matters applicable to all, and sometimes, are particularly relevant to those [presently] removed from the Torah and its mitzvos. On the other hand, one should not speak about this matter with everyone. Obviously, one should be careful with regard to those who will afterwards proclaim: “I made Avram wealthy.”2

There are two relevant points:

i) It should be [given] as an expression of honor by the donor {i.e., it is even greater than [supporting] an ordinary Torah scholar which our Sages (Kesuvos 105b) compared to offering bikkurim rather than giving terumah and the like}. It is not at all comparable to [gifts] given to an ordinary charity collector.

The explanation should be that since not everyone can participate in the holy work of my revered father-in-law, the Rebbe Shlita,which in truth is incumbent on the entire Jewish people, [they should try to compensate] through giving nifneh. [In this way:]

a) One removes [financial] difficulty from [the Rebbe] so that it will not disturb him in his efforts;

b) Most fundamentally, through this one receives a share in the Rebbe’s holy work. Accordingly, one should give in a totally different manner and give sums [that are much greater].

[ii)] If it is possible, one should take an interest in drawing the giver and the members of his household to the general concept of a Rebbe and a leader of the Jewish people, either through speaking intimately, or through providing printed matter (the Memoirs, the sichos).

With regard to your inquiries into the situation regarding Jewish education in the places where you are located: This is one of the purposes of your mission. You should not, however, forget the fundamental purpose of your journey.

You can send [the sums] that you have already collected — without waiting for an additional amount — to Rabbi Moshe Gurary in Tel Aviv. It is possible that in the near future, the composition of the Torah scroll to greet Mashiach will be completed. It is appropriate that all those who wish to participate in the writing of this scroll hurry to do so.

Please encourage Rabbi Yerachmiel Benjaminson and Rabbi A. Cohen to respond to the questions that Merkos asked them with regard to what is being done to distribute [our texts].

With good wishes to all those who seek our welfare and with wishes for everlasting good in all matters,

M. Schneerson

You will certainly use the days of chassidic celebrations — the 20th of MarCheshvan and the 10th and 19th of Kislev to benefit your mission.