This letter was addressed to Rabbi Dr. Eli Jung, a prominent Rav and educator in New York.

B”H, the first day of Chol HaMoed Sukkos, 5705

Greetings and blessings,

We received your letter and the text of your lecture concerning the publications of Merkos L’Inyonei Chinuch, at the appropriate time. We ask your forgiveness for the fact that because of the large burden of work — particularly at the beginning of the new school term — our reply was delayed until the present. Enclosed is a reply from the editorial board of Merkos L’Inyonei Chinuch.

I would like to take this opportunity to express my thanks and the thanks of Merkos L’Inyonei Chinuch for the attention that you gave our work and us. I hope that you will use the power of your great influence to broaden the circle of those who study and read the publications of Merkos L’Inyonei Chinuch.

To conclude with a matter relevant to these days between Yom Kippur and Sukkos: The Maharil writes: Directly after Yom Kippur, every person should be occupied with making his sukkah. For the days of teshuvah have been completed. On the first day where there is the possibility of sin, heaven forbid, he should first begin with [involvement in] a mitzvah. The germ of this concept is quoted by the Rama (Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayim 624:5).

There is a deep concept alluded to here. When a person has repented for his past conduct and he is concerned that he will not sin in the future, the advice given him is: Occupy yourself with a sukkah.

Thefollowing mistaken approaches are the most common causes for an upright person to sin:

a) One thinks that the Torah and its mitzvos are relegated for specific times during the day and afterwards, he may do whatever he wants;

b) One thinks that the Torah and its mitzvos are applicable only to one of a person’s limbs: his head (according to the understanding of Mussar, that Torah [study] is sufficient) or the heart (“G‑d desires the heart.”1 [In this instance, one might err and think that] the actual observance of the mitzvos is only secondary and not fundamentally important).

When one focuses one’s thought on the mitzvah of sukkah, the first mitzvah which follows the granting of atonement for our sins, one will see that one must dwell in the sukkah as one lives in one’s home (Sukkah 26a).2 For the mitzvah is a person’s dwelling. It encompasses his entire body from his feet until his head, including his garments and utensils as well.

With holiday blessings and blessings for a g’mar tov,

Rabbi Menachem Schneerson