This letter is addressed to R. Yirmeyahu Alloy, one of the pioneers of the Lubavitch community in South Africa.

B”H, Shushan Purim, 5706

Greetings and blessings,

I was very happy to hear of your exemplary activities in the strengthening of the Torah and mitzvos in general and in particular, in spreading the printed matter that is published according to the directives of my revered father-in-law, the Rebbe Shlita.

Certainly, you increase the vigor of your efforts in the above from time to time. It can be explained [that such a pattern reflects the flow of influence in the spiritual realms]. For as explained in Tanya, Iggeres HaKodesh, Epistle 14, “each year, a new light from a higher rung... which has not shone from the beginning of the world” is drawn down. Man (adam in Hebrew), who is given that name so that he aspires to adamah l’Elyon, “resemble the One above,”1 must also conduct himself in this manner. For he must make receptacles for this light.

In particular, this applies with regard to the spreading of Chassidus, for there are few in your country who are capable of occupying themselves in this endeavor. Certainly, if it is possible for you to find others in different cities in your country with whom it is possible to be in contact with regard to our publications (in Lashon HaKodesh, Yiddish, and English), you should not refrain from drawing them close [and sharing] this purpose [with them]. [Needless to say,] you should also notify us about the matter. To a person such as yourself, elaboration on such matters is unnecessary.

To conclude with a concept related to Purim: Purim, “lots,” is plural. [Implied is that Haman] cast a lot for the day and another for the month.

With regard to the lot cast for the day, it appears from Rashi’s commentary to the Megillah that he cast the lot to find the day of the month. If so, a question arises, for it would have been more appropriate for the verse to mention this last, stating “from month to month and from day to day,” instead of the opposite.2 Esther Rabbah and the Targum Sheni advance the interpretation that at first, lots were cast for the day of the week and then for the month. (According to the interpretation of the Midrash, we are forced to say that he also cast lots for the day of the month. For [through lots], they also determined the date within the month of Adar. Similarly, it is possible to say that, according to Rashi, they also cast lots for the day of the week. Therefore, this [casting] was mentioned first by the verse. [Admittedly, this interpretation is somewhat] forced.)

On the surface, it is not understood at all. What was [Haman’s] intent in having a lot cast for the day of the week, since what is most important is the establishment of the month and the date within the month? If one would like to say that he desired to corroborate the matter by having all the lots match (as we found with regard to Nebuchadnetzar [and the different divining techniques he used when inquiring] concerning proceeding to Jerusalem3), at the very least, he should have begun with the most important casting of lots, that for the months.

[These difficulties can be resolved by focusing on the inner dimension of the narrative.] It is possible to explain that Haman determined the date through casting lots, because he desired to draw down influence from a level that is higher than the Divine regulatory order that is based on reason and judgment, [tapping instead, a rung where] “darkness is as light.”4 [This refers to] the external dimension of G‑d’s encompassing light from which nurture is derived by the gentiles who determine their calendar according to the sun5 which has no ascents or descents.

The Jews, by contrast, determine their calendar according to the moon,13 for [the influence] they draw down is accounted for (as explained at length to a certain degree in Kuntreis U’Maayon). Haman’s evil intent was that [the unbounded] influence [he drew down] would prevail, i.e., the days as they are dependent on the reckoning of the sun. The months represent the reckoning based on the moon, and the days of the month, the juxtaposition of the two reckonings.

The first lot Haman cast was for the day of the week, for that was his source of influence and strength. Only afterwards, did he cast for the month.

The mesirus nefesh of the Jewish people enabled them to penetrate to the inner dimension of the encompassing light. From that level, there is no place for the gentiles [to derive nurture]. Nor are the sins of the Jewish people of any consequence. For “He does not look at any iniquity in Yaakov...”6 [because] “G‑d, his L‑rd, is with him.”(See Likkutei Torah, the explanation of the maamar entitled Levavtani, sec. 2, and the maamar entitled Lo Avah.) From man’s perspective, this quality is drawn down only after [the Jews manifest] their mesirus nefesh. But on the level where everything is revealed and known, it is also known that this level will be drawn down at the time the lots are cast.

This explains another perplexing dimension. The Midrash relates that Haman was unsuccessful in casting a lot for the day of the week. With regard to the month, [he appeared to be successful,] leaving place for a person to err. Based on the above explanation with regard to reckoning according to the sun, the opposite should have been true.

According to the above, [a resolution can, however, be offered]. The lot for the day of the week is not at all dependent on the deeds of mortals, for it relates to an encompassing light. And when the inner dimension of the encompassing light is reached, then everything is revealed and there is no place for error. With regard to the lot for the month and the day of the month, man’s conduct is significant. As we see even afterwards, there are distinctions [concerning the days of the month with regard to the days on which the holiday is celebrated in] towns, walled cities, and villages which read [the Megilah]earlier.7

It is possible to explain that this reflects the three dimensions possessed by Purim: For oneself one must reach ad d’lo yoda, alluding to “the head which is not known” and the influence that is enclothed within it (see Likkutei Torah, the conclusion of the maamarim forYom Kippurim, [a day that is kipurim,] like Purim.8

On a lower level, there is Achashverush, “He to whom the beginning and the end belong.”

And then for others, i.e., within the [defined levels of] the spiritual cosmos, there are two qualities:9 “a person to his friend,” i.e., [gifts given to] someone who is not poor and is not lacking, the level of sovev kol almin which is associated with Medes. And presents to the poor, the level of memale kol almin, associated with Persia (פרס) and “Distribut[ing] (פרס) your bread among the hungry”10 (the additions to Torah Or, the maamar entitled Lehavin, sec. 4).

With the blessing “Immediately to teshuvah; immediately to Redemption,” and with blessings for a kosher and joyous Pesach

Rabbi Menachem Schneerson
Executive Director