This letter was addressed to R. Moshe HaKohen Shayevitch.

B”H, 12 Elul, 5705

Greetings and blessings,

I received your letter. All of the checks that you sent were distributed according to your instructions. Certainly, you have already received the receipts for them.

I thank you for your wishes for success in our endeavors to spread the wellsprings of Chabad outward. May it be G‑d’s will that your blessing — which certainly comes from the depths of your heart — be fulfilled. Since you, a kohen, takepart in these efforts, you also have a share in the reward that comes as a result. I specifically mention “our endeavors,” for in essence the endeavors are yours. You can be certain that the task belongs to you and has fallen in your portion.

By and large, when a person chooses his path in life and in his business, he is not certain that he chose his [true] lot. As our Sages state (Pesachim 54b): “There are seven matters hidden from a person. They are:... A person does not know from what he will derive his livelihood.” This is not true with regard to the matters that are not dependent on a person’s choice, but instead are delegated to him from above. They are definitely relevant to him and he must serve his Creator through them. For this is the ultimate purpose of the creation of man on this earth, as our Sages declared (in the concluding mishnah of Kiddushin): “I was created solely to serve my Creator.” In particular, this applies to qualities that are inherently granted to a person, e.g., whether he is an Israelite, a Levite, or a Kohen.

The difference between these three types of individuals is written in the Tanach, statedby our Sages, and recorded as halachah with regard to actual conduct in Rambam’s Yad HaChazakah:

a) With regard to the difference between a Levite and the remainder of the Jewish people, [Rambam writes] (in the conclusion of Hilchos Shemitah VeYoval): “[The tribe of] Levi... was set aside to serve G‑d and minister unto Him (this refers to their service in the [Beis Ha]Mikdash, as stated in Hilchos Klei HaMikdash 3:1), to instruct people at large concerning His just ways and righteous judgments.” (Since each group, Kohanim, Levites, and Israelites are interconnected, [Rambam] concludes: “Not only the tribe of Levi, but anyone who.... See Yoma 26a.)1

Kohanim are also included in the above. Moreover,

b) Kohanim have an additional advantage over the Levites (see Hilchos Klei HaMikdash 4:1). They were set aside from the Levites to offer the sacrifices, as indicated by (Devarim 33:10): “They shall teach Your judgments...” — which refers to the entire tribe [of Levi], including the Kohanim — “and place incense” — which refers to the Kohanim alone.

The commandment: “They shall teach Your judgments... and Your Torah” can be fulfilled through any type of public Torah instruction. “Place incense... and burnt offerings” in the present age refers to [the Divine service of] prayer which was “instituted to correspond to the daily offerings.”2 Rabbi Yehudah states that the afternoon service was instituted in correspondence to the incense offering (Tosafos, s.v. ad, Berachos 26b; see also Lechem Mishneh, Hilchos Tefillah 3:2). This can be fulfilled by arousing a colleague to the Divine service of prayer and clinging to the Creator in any manner of expression.

The combination of both services: “They shall teach Your judgments” and “burnt offerings,” Torah study and prayer, which are both incumbent on a Kohen as stated above, is possible only through the teachings of Chassidus Chabad which includes both these thrusts: Torah [studied] with the fear of heaven and prayer [enhanced by the teachings of] Chabad.

“One who influences others [to act] is greater….”3 You have the responsibility to organize a committee in your community that will take on itself, bli neder, a fixed tax, a proper sum to be sent monthly, designated to assist our work, your and our endeavors, the task of printing and distributing the books published according to the directives of my revered father-in-law, the Rebbe Shlita.

With blessings for a kesivah vachasimah tovah, and [with the blessing] “Immediately to teshuvah; immediately to Redemption,”

M. Schneerson
Executive Director