Excerpts from a letter

By the Grace of G‑d
Rosh Chodesh Sivan, 5715
[May 22, 1955]
Brooklyn, N.Y.

. . . It is surely unnecessary to elaborate on the close relationship between the physical and the spiritual, which even modern science has become convinced of.

Physically, at this time of the year, we find Nature again in full bloom. After a period of hibernation, it springs back to life with renewed vigor and vitality, faithfully reproducing the same elements which characterized the same period a year ago, and two years ago, and all the way back to the first seasons of the Nature cycle.

In our religious and spiritual life, also, we have the seasons and festivals which recur year after year, and reproduce the same spiritual elements which first gave rise to them. Thus, at this time of the year, with the days of Sefirah connecting the festival of Passover (physical freedom) with its culmination in Shavuoth (spiritual freedom), we can—if we are sufficiently prepared and attuned to it—relive the experiences of our ancestors who actually witnessed the Revelation and accepted the Torah at Sinai.

What a long way our ancestors covered in the course of but 50 days; from the abominations of Egyptian “culture,” in which moral depravity and polytheism reigned supreme (as recent archeological discoveries have amply brought to light)—to pure monotheism at Mount Sinai, where the Jew receives the Torah with the call of Na’aseh v’nishma. Na’aseh first, i.e., complete surrender of man to G‑d.

Through the medium of the Torah, G‑d “descends” on Mount Sinai, and the Jew ascends to G‑d—the soul is released from all its fetters tying it down to earthly things, and, on the wings of fear of G‑d and love of G‑d, unites with the Creator in complete communion. It is then that it can fully appreciate the inner meaning of “I am G‑d thy G‑d, Who brought thee out of the land of Egypt, the house of bondage,” and the rest of the Ten Commandments, till “Thou shalt not covet,” i.e., not only refrain from taking what is not yours, but not even desire it.

This great rise from the abyss of Egypt to the sublime heights of Sinai was attained by pure and simple faith in G‑d, from the day when parents and children, women and infants, several million souls in all, set out on the trek through the desert, not dismayed by the irrationality of it, but simply obeying the Divine call with absolute trust. This won special Divine favor, in the words of the Prophet: “I remember unto thee the kindness of thy youth, the love of thy betrothal, thy going after Me into the wilderness.” It is this faith that carried the Jews through the ages, an insignificant physical minority in the midst of a hostile world, a spot of light threatened by an overwhelming darkness. It is this absolute faith in G‑d that we need nowadays more than ever before.

It is said, the whole sun is reflected in a drop of water. And so the whole of our nation is reflected in each individual, and what is true of the nation as a whole is true of the individual.

The core of Jewish vitality and indestructibility is in its pure faith in G‑d: not in some kind of an abstract Deity, hidden somewhere in the heavenly spheres, who regards this world from a distance; but absolute faith in a very personal G‑d, who is the very life and existence of everybody; who permeates where one is, or what one does. Where there is such faith, there is no room for fear or anxiety, as the Psalmist says, “I fear no evil, for Thou art with me,” with me, indeed, at all times, not only on Shabbos or Yom Tov, or during prayer or meditation on G‑d. And when one puts his trust in G‑d, unconditionally and unreservedly, one realizes what it means to be really free and full of vigor, for all one’s energy is released in the most constructive way, not only in one’s own behalf, but also in behalf of the environment at large.

The road is not free from obstacles and obstructions, for in the Divine order of things we are expected to attain our goal by effort; but if we make a determined effort, success is Divinely assured, and the obstacles and obstructions which at first loom large, dissolve and disappear.

I wish you to tread this road of pure faith in G‑d, without over[unclear in original] introspection and self-searching, as in the simple illustration of a man walking: he will walk most steadily and assuredly if he will not be conscious of his walk and not seek to consciously coordinate the hundreds of muscles operative in locomotion, or he would be unable to make his first step.

Wishing you success in all above, and hoping to hear good news from you and yours,

With the blessing of a happy Yom Tov of Receiving the Torah with inner joy,