Mr. ——

Greeting and Blessing:

I have read reports about the recent emergency conference in Jerusalem, in which, I have been informed, you also participated. As a fellow Jew, I feel gratified that you and others promptly responded to the call, despite other pressures, to make yourself available in any way you may possibly help the Jewish cause. I trust that our mutual friend also conveyed to you my appreciation of your support of the efforts to spread Yiddishkeit in the USA, and especially in your community. May it be in accordance with the spirit of Chanukah, which we just celebrated by kindling the lights in growing numbers, symbolizing the vital task of spreading the light of Torah and mitzvot in a like manner.

There is a well known saying that one sometimes cannot see the forest for the trees. In other words, an outsider can often see things clearer than one inside a situation. In the Talmud we are told of one of the greatest Sages whose disciple always endeavored to find support for his master’s words, to which the master remarked that compliments and approbations do not enrich the lectures as much as challenges and questions would, necessitating the finding of proper answers and elucidations.

The above is mentioned here in connection with a letter that I sent in response to a correspondent who wrote to me about attending the recent conference of Jewish Federations. I am sending you a copy of my response, since I prefer that its contents should come to your attention directly from me, rather than secondhand, and for various reasons.

I do not know if you are in a position at this moment to undertake action in regard to the subject matter of this letter on a global scale. But in your own community and in the USA, there is certainly much that you can do. And because of the earnestness and urgency of the situation, I cannot justify failure to bring it to your attention.

If some expressions in that letter are not overly diplomatic, or even appear harsh, you will surely understand my feelings. As a matter of fact, I blame myself for not making a stronger outcry, and for not creating a greater stir. I am not deterred by any possible retaliation, for it is of no consequence as long as I may improve the situation of Jewish education in some measure. This is especially true considering the rule of our Torah, called Torah Or and Torat Chaim (meaning that it illuminates and guides Jewish life in every aspect), to the effect that “to save one soul is to save a whole world.” And there are so many “worlds” at stake, the worlds of young Jewish boys and girls who are in the process of formulating and shaping their personal lives, which will also determine the future of their families and offspring.

Your reactions to all above will be welcome.

With esteem and blessing,