This letter was addressed to R. Moshe Leib Rodshtein who was serving as the director of Agudas Chassidei Chabad in Chicago at this time.

B”H, Tuesday, 26 Adar, 5704, Brooklyn

Greetings and blessings,

a) Your letter (enclosed in the letter sent to my revered father-in-law, the Rebbe Shlita) arrived. We do not know whether to wait to send a thank-you letter until the matter is actually brought to fruition or [to respond earlier]. It appears — as evident from [the information] received recently from you — that your opinion is that it is appropriate to send the letters immediately. [Hence,] copies of letters to [Reb Yosef] Flier and the Wiesman children1 are enclosed.

b) With regard to the printing of the text: My revered father-in-law, the Rebbe Shlita, promised to provide us with his records of the talks in Chicago. As soon as we receive that, we will add that to what has already been typeset and begin publication.

c) It does not seem appropriate to me to include a picture of [the person in whose memory the text is being printed]. Nevertheless, I inquired of my revered father-in-law, the Rebbe Shlita, regarding the matter, but he also answered in the negative.

d) I am sure you will provide us with information — [facts] concerning which you are certain — regarding [the person in whose memory the text is being printed].

e) We received a letter from a business concern in Chicago. Since we are not aware of the local situation [and] in order that there be no contradiction between what you said and our answer, we replied as can be seen from the copy enclosed. Together with [our reply, we have enclosed] the letter we received. (Please return the latter to us.) We would appreciate if you would notify us concerning the outcome.

f) We would be interested in knowing whether you spoke to Reb Yosef Flier concerning writing a newspaper article about our publications (the Pocket Encyclopedia, the Shmuessen, and Sifreinu) and if there were any consequences from that.

g) I am certain that you already received Kuntreis Chai Elul, and Sifreinu, Vols. II and IV. Surely, you will endeavor to the fullest degree possible to disseminate them. Enclosed is also what we printed here.

h) In the coming days, we are planning to publish a bulletin2 which will speak of events in the Chabad world from Yud-Tes Kislev, 5704, until 9 Adar, 5704. If you will be able to provide us — as soon as possible — with information about the activities in your community (e.g., the appointment of a Rabbi, the opening of a Talmud Torah, or the establishment of a study session), it is our hope that it will be able to be included in this bulletin. It is self-understood that it is preferable that you provide us with much information and we abridge it rather than the opposite.

i) I was urged to mention that perhaps it would be possible for you to speak to the editorial board of Pardes [and encourage them to] print essays or short summaries concerning the texts already published and our future publications. Raise a vociferous clamor to the editor: “You.... Why hasn’t this been done already?...”

If, as I have heard, the matter is dependent on payment, rely on your own judgment whether or not it is worthwhile.

j) Since the Morgen Journal wrote about [the publication of] Kuntreis U’Maayon and HaYom Yom (without taking payment), it is possible that the [Chicago] Courier would do the same either with regard to these texts or some of other publications. With regard to payment, if it is otherwise not possible, do as advised above.

I am waiting for an answer concerning the above. I conclude with heartfelt thanks for your efforts to make possible the publication of texts of Chassidus and Pnimiyus HaTorah. I am sure you will increase the intensity of your efforts in the future.

An allusion to this can be found in [the Torah passages associated with the present days], the days between [the reading of] Parshas Parah and Parshas HaChodesh. The rationale for this order is that one must attain ritual purity before offering the Paschal sacrifice (see the commentaries to Megillah). Or [to express the concept in terms of our spiritual service, it is necessary to] purify oneself before coming to an experience of “the exodus from Egypt” (Likkutei Torah, the maamar entitled Zos Chukas, sec. 2). [This is reflected by] the conclusion of the haftorah of Parshas Parah which states:3 “And I will pour pure water over you and you will be purified.”

Our Sages comment (Sanhedrin 39a): “The essence of ritual immersion is in fire.” {It is only that an entity that cannot be immersed in fire because it will be burnt should be immersed in water (Rashi, loc. cit.).}

In a spiritual sense, purification (which reflects the pattern of revelation from above; see the maamar entitled Amar Rabbi Akiva inthe series of maamarim entitled Yom Tov Shel Rosh HaShanah, 5666) is brought about through the Torah. As our Sages comment (the Introduction to Eichah Rabbah): “Would it be that they would abandon Me, but preserve My Torah. For the light within it will motivate them to the good.”

Now both fire and water have been used as analogies for the Torah. [The parallel to] “the essence of ritual immersion... [immersion] in fire,” is the study of Pnimiyus HaTorah (see HaYom Yom, p. 79). This is reflected in the phrase “the light in it,” as indicated by the commentaries to the Midrash.4 [This study, however,] may cause one to be burnt. Hence, as a preface, [such study] should be prefaced by immersion in water, the study of Nigleh, the revealed dimensions of Torah study. Afterwards, [one should “immerse] in fire.” (Perhaps, this is alluded to in the repetition in the above-mentioned verse: “pure water... and you will be purified.”)

It is possible to explain that the teachings of Chassidus include both advantages: fire and also [protection] preventing one from being burnt. For the teachings of Chassidus explain the advantage of the approach of shuv5 and obligate Divine service [to refine] the animal soul, not to break it as explained by the Baal Shem Tov in his interpretation6 of the verse:7 “When you see the donkey of your enemy....”

Therefore in these generations of Ikvesa diMeshicha, [directly preceding] the complete Redemption which will parallel the redemption from Egypt, the light of Chassidus grows and is revealed more powerfully (see the letter of the Rebbe Rashab printed in HaTamim, Vol. III, p. 55, and see Kuntreis Etz HaChayim). [This brings about] purification in fire and purification in water, the preparatory steps to Redemption, [reflecting the sequence] Parshas Parah and then Parshas HaChodesh.

[We can] appreciate the great reward given to everyone who aids in bringing about the purification of the Jewish people from the statements of the Zohar, Vol. III (p. 98a): “Worthy will be the portion of the holy brotherhood when the King will ask the queen: ‘Who was it who prepared your ornaments?’ ”

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

Rabbi Menachem Schneerson
Chairman of the Executive Committee