This letter was addressed to Rabbi Yitzchak Dubov, one of the leading Lubavitch Rabbis in Manchester.

B”H, 20 Kislev, 5708

Greetings and blessings,

Enclosed is a kuntreis that just yesterday was brought from the printer. Similarly, we sent it to your colleagues, the ritual slaughterers, R. Avraham Sender and R. Shmuel.1 Certainly, you will share the text with many others in an appropriate manner. [In this way,] the merit of those many [others] will be dependent on you.

I suspect that you have objections against me because I did not answer your letters until the present. But what can I do when the urgencies increase from day to day! Know that I am keeping your letters in a secure place and I do not despair of answering them one after the other over the course of time, relating what appears [correct] to me. But even with regard to your [own interest], the publications receive first priority, for they reach you as well as others, as opposed to the letters. In this letter, I will comment on the points you raised concerning what I wrote2 in Kovetz Lubavitch.

a) You raise a question concerning what I stated there, issue 8, that in order for the encompassing light (or makif) to rest on [the realm of] Atzilus, [the realm of] Beriah must be brought to a perfect state. [You ask: Why is that necessary?] Beriah is separate and distant from Atzilus. Only a secondary light is drawn down into it.

This does not present a difficulty in relation to my statements, for the encompassing light must be drawn down into Beriah and to [even] lower levels, [descending] even to our material world (see Tanya, ch. 46, et al.). Therefore, [Beriah] must be in a perfect state.

b) You note that the performance of the mitzvah of putting on the head tefillin — which also relates to the realm of Atzilus — is more appropriate to be “a perfect state” for the encompassing light of Atzilus.3To clarify this, I wrote there, in the Kovetz: “It is understood that the state of perfection that enables this encompassing light to rest must have a connection to [the encompassing light], for it makes it possible for the encompassing light to rest.... This4 is brought about by the fact that previously... the encompassing light of the realm of Beriah was drawn down....”

Several examples for this can be found with regard to [different expressions of] encompassing light. (For example, [when a person who is] a limited entity [serves G‑d] “with all his might,” [interpreted by Chassidus as an unlimited commitment,] this draws down G‑d’s unlimited light.) Needless to say, with regard to an internalized light (or p’nimi), the receptor must be appropriate for the light.

c) You say that the concept resembles the idea that the different levels of Kesser have their own process of chain-like descent.5 According to my humble opinion, the chain-like descent of the different levels of Kesser is a concept of a wider scope. The idea that the one who is drawing down the light must be representative of the quality he is drawing down applies also with regard to an internalized light. On the contrary, this concept applies primarily with regard to the internalized light that is limited and enclothes itself [in the recipient].6 With regard to the chain-like descent of the different levels of Kesser, [by contrast,] in certain ways, [the interrelation is not as close, for] the Kesser of the lower partzuf is higher than the internalized light of a higher level. Indeed, the maamar entitled Shuvah, 5673, states an even greater concept: that this chainlike descent is not gradual. Instead, the essential nature is drawn down and [all the Kessarim] are one essence. This is not the place for further discussion of the matter.

d) You raise a question about the example I give to illustrate [the concept that] an arousal from Above will dwell only in a perfect place: [i.e.,] Rambam’s statements regarding prophecy7 and not the statements in Tanya concerning this subject. There are two reasons [for my choice]:

i) The intent of the Kovetz is to draw close to the study of Chassidus even those who are at present distant from this discipline, and show them that even the revealed teachings of Torah law compel us [to appreciate] and allude to concepts [explained] in the teachings of pnimiyus haTorah. For this reason, I cited Rambam’s [statements].

ii) The wording of the Mishneh Torah:8 “focusing their minds... seeking,” is appropriate to illustrate the particular points mentioned in the Kovetz, as stated there.

Nevertheless, in note 3 [of that text], I cited a source in Chassidus, the maamar in Likkutei Torah, which in my humble opinion is the fundamental source concerning these matters.

See also sec. 12 in the maamar entitled BeChof-Hei BeKislev in Or HaTorah by the Tzemach Tzedek9 which elaborates concerning the difference between saba and saba disabbin and states: “It is possible to find a source for this in the Torah itself” and then cites the Mishnah and the Mishneh Torah.

With wishes for [the actualization of the theme of] Hallel on Chanukah — “the revelation of a hidden light that shines with increased luminance and greater brilliance” (Shaarei Orah, the maamar entitled BeChof-Hei BeKislev, sec. 43).

Rabbi Menachem Schneerson
Chairman of the Executive Committee