This letter was addressed to R. Chanoch Hendel Havlin, one of the members of the Lubavitch community in Jerusalem.

B”H, 23 Teves, 5705, Brooklyn

Greetings and blessings,

I received your letter of 13 Menachem Av. In response to your questions in that letter and similarly, in preceding ones, which had not been answered as of yet:

a) The health of my revered father-in-law, the Rebbe Shlita, continuesto improve. Nevertheless, here, we are continuing to recite several chapters of Tehillim every day after [the morning] prayers (in addition to the daily portion of Tehillim as divided according to the days of the month). May G‑d send him a complete recovery in the very near future. “The many were with him.”1

b) We send you 100 copies of everything that we publish here immediately without waiting for your order with the exception of [the books] printed in English (or Yiddish) of which we send only a few copies. If there are a greater number of purchasers for these texts, please notify us and we will send you [the amount] you request.

c) We only have several copies of Tanya. Hence, we were unable to fill your order. HaYom Yom2 and Kuntreis Etz HaChayim have not been printed yet. Presently, the following texts — the Tzemach Tzedek (his Responsa, [his commentary to the] Mishnah with some additional material that I found in several collections of manuscripts that have not been printed), the series of the maamarim entitled VeKachah, Mayim Rabbim, and VeHechrim from the Rebbe Maharash, a Siddur for schools and Talmud Torahs (they include all the prayers in order, with large letters, etc.)3— are at the printers. It is only that because of the conditions of these times, I do not know when the printing will be completed. My hope is that it will be within 2-3 months.

d) In connection with the above, if you have any responsa or Rabbinic writings from the Tzemach Tzedek that have not been printed as of yet, we would appreciate if you could notify us of the content in brief so that we can determine if they are among the additions mentioned above.

Similarly, I will repeat my standing request: If there are any notes on the Tanya in your possession or in the possession of your acquaintances, copy them on our account and send them here ([unless] of course, they have already been sent to us by other members of your group). [The same holds true for] stories concerning the Tanya that have become traditionally accepted.

e) Vol. III of Sifreinu has not been printed. In truth, it is not that necessary, for here the curriculum proceeds directly from Vol. II to Vol. IV.

f) The largest discount we can give from the price of Sifreinu is one-third (and we also assume the shipping costs which amount to a considerable sum). Several institutions here seek out a patron who purchases the texts and gives them to the institution as a gift. [The distribution of] Sifreinu is continuously growing. We have already printed a new edition of Vol. I as well as a copy of the Grace After Meals (with an English translation).

g) The lack of financial resources is a great hindrance to our work in general, and in particular, with regard to publications. Therefore we would appreciate if — for all the moneys due us (from Machne Yisrael, Merkos L’Inyonei Chinuch, and Kehot) that you have at hand — you would purchase tefillin [complete] with their passages and send them to us for the division of Merkos L’Inyonei Chinuchconcerned with tefillin and tzitzis. Needless to say, we are speaking about tefillin that are kosher without any question. But since they are required for men who are putting on tefillin only because of our campaign, we should not be stringent with them at all. Therefore the tefillin should be small. I am sure you will have no difficulty in sending them, since we have received books from you from time to time for several years. The earlier [this is done], the better.

h) With regard to the books that you requested for the yeshivah from Shulsinger Press: We are sending you one copy of each (with the exception of the Talmud). When we receive payment for them, we will send you others as you request.

i) Certainly, you received the issues of Kovetz Lubavitch at the appropriate time. You will surely contribute to some of the forums in it. Would you be so gracious as to encourage others to do the same.

j) I did not respond to your letter — and other letters — for a considerable time because of the tragedy that occurred to me with the passing of my revered father, הכ"ם.

It is possible [to offer] (with the addition of sources,) [the following explanation] which I heard from my revered father, הכ"ם, for the mishnah (Mikvaos, the conclusion of ch. 7):4 “[When] a needle is placed on the steps [leading to a mikveh] in a cave, [if] one moves the water back and forth, when the wave passes over it, it is pure.”

The soul is given many names, [for] it is referred to according to its deeds. [Thus it can be referred to as a needle.] For the fundamental purpose of its descent is to connect the lowest levels with the highest levels (for that reason, the creation of man’s body differed [from that of all the other animals], as explained in Chassidus, in the maamar entitled Lehavin Inyan HaTaam... in Torah Or, and in other sources). This is achieved by the needle which sews and connects, [making it possible] for there to be a revelation on the lower planes like that of the higher planes. (See Likkutei Torah, the conclusion of the maamar entitled VaYikach Korach.)

How is it possible to attain this level, a rung higher than one’s level before descending to this world? Through immersing oneself in “the many waters,” [an analogy for] the many difficulties of the era of exile (as explained in the maamar entitled Mayim Rabbim in Torah Or, Parshas Noach, in Likkutei Torah to Three Parshiyos, and other sources).

Although this is a great descent — to a deep pit — a “cave,” it is for the sake of an ascent, “the steps in a cave.” The manner in which [the soul] is immersed is that the water is “mov[ing] back and forth,” i.e., [an approach of both] ratzu and shuv. [Implied is that the person] is not maintained by only one support5 in his Divine service of the Torah and its mitzvos or in worldly matters. This6 is a sign that he is not subjugated to the natural tendency of his body (in a manner similar to the explanations given in Torah Or, the explanation to the maamar entitled Mayim Rabbim, Parshas Toldos, sec. 4; see also Rambam, Mishneh Torah, Hilchos Deos, chs. 1-2, and commentaries).

“When the wave passes over it” (recalling the verse:7 “All of Your breakers and waves passed over me”; see also Yevamos 121a8), “it is pure.” See the explanation of the great level of purity in Likkutei Torah, the maamar entitled Havayah Li B’Ozrai, sec. 5, which states: “And the soul is also connected to this level.”

It is possible to explain that this applies in particular to those who were exiled9 within the exile itself,10 and were thus “stricken twofold,”11 in light of our Sages’ statement (Bereishis Rabbah 44:21) that Avraham chose [exile among] the nations [as an agent for his descendants’ atonement]. As a reward, they will receive twofold comfort (as explained in the conclusion of sec. 3 of the maamar entitled Sos Osis andthe maamarim entitled Nachamu of 5669, 5670, and 5672).

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

Rabbi Menachem Schneerson
Executive Director