This letter was addressed to Mr. Yerucham Fishel Arlin, a philanthropist who financed the printing of Kuntreis Etz HaChayim.

B”H, 29 Sivan,5706

Greetings and blessings,

With great satisfaction, I would like to notify you that the text Etz HaChayim for which you and your wife pledged to pay the printing expenses has been published recently. A sample copy is enclosed. Please advise me how many copies we should send to you.

I am certain that it is unnecessary to elaborate on the greatness of [your] merit in giving thousands upon thousands of Jews the opportunity to study this text which contains the teachings from our Rebbeim and an introductory letter from my revered father-in-law, the Rebbe Shlita.

I would like [therefore] to focus on one allusion and example [that relates] to this week’s Torah reading. The Torah reading relates the narrative of the spies, how through their undesirable speech (lashon hora), they brought misfortune on themselves and on the generations which followed them including our own generation.

The Talmud (Arachin 15b) relates that the advice to correct [this flaw] is through Torah study, as it states:1 “The remedy for the tongue is the tree of life.” And “the tree of life” refers to the Torah.

The enormity of the punishment for undesirable speech — which is heard only by the people in a specific place and at a specific time — gives us some appreciation of the great merit and reward which one receives for speaking [words of] Torah in a particular place and time. And from that, we can extrapolate the magnitude of the merit and reward for printing [words of] Torah. For then the text and the words of Torah it contains reach people in all other lands. And the text remains and is studied tens and hundreds of years after it was printed.

I conclude with the wish that this great merit will sustain you in all that you need and that you will continue to participate in similar projects that involve you in Torah, its mitzvos,andgood deeds.

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

Rabbi Menachem Schneerson
Chairman of the Executive Committee