This letter is addressed to R. Avraham Goldberg from Fort Bragg, N.C.

B”H, 13 Nissan, 5705

Greetings and blessings,

Thank you very much for sending us the list of the members of Histadrus HaRabbonim serving in the armed services. We are happy to see your active interest in the spiritual welfare of the Jewish soldiers, a matter that brings merit to the many.

Among the concepts relevant to the coming Pesach holiday: (The Pesach celebrated in Egypt differed [from the later celebrations] with regard to certain matters; see Pesachim 9:8; it can be considered as a directive for the immediate time alone). The first Pesach to be celebrated in the manner continued in the coming generations (and thus serves as instruction for them) was celebrated in the year following the Exodus from Egypt. Our Sages (Gittin 60b) state that the Red Heifer was brought as a preparatory step. Now the Red Heifer would purify those who were impure, but would make those were pure, impure, i.e., we would tell the priest (according to some: the High Priest; see Parah 4:1): “Go and incur ritual impurity” ([albeit,] a light form of ritual impurity). To do this, he would have to leave the Beis HaMikdash and [interrupt] his service temporarily. [Yet he would do this] so that it would be possible to enable a Jewish person — even one who became impure due to contact with a corpse — to become pure and enter the Beis HaMikdash. Moreover, for this reason, [the Red Heifer] is called:1 “the decree of the Torah” (Bamidbar Rabbah 19:1), i.e., a general principle throughout the entire Torah (see Likkutei Torah, Parshas Chukas). The directive from this for each one of us is [easily] understood.2

With blessings for a kosher and happy holiday and [with the blessing,] “Immediately to teshuvah; immediately to Redemption,”

Rabbi Menachem Schneerson
Executive Director