By the Grace of G‑d
Rosh Chodesh Tammuz, 5734
Brooklyn, N.Y.

Mr. I. I. Stone

Greeting and Blessing:

I was pleased to receive your regards through Rabbi Moshe Kotlarsky, together with your check, for which receipt is enclosed.

Needless to say, an unsolicited contribution towards our work for the cause of Torah and Mitzvoth is a welcome encouragement and is sincerely appreciated.

It is an old Jewish custom to express some thoughts when the occasion presents itself. So I will avail myself of this opportunity in the confident hope - based on our personal acquaintance of long standing - that you will accept my remarks in the spirit in which they are made.

I do not have to tell you about the vital, world-wide activities of Lubavitch. Nor do I have to emphasize the obvious that these activities could not be carried on, in all their scope and ramifications, without the active financial support of friends who appreciate the vital importance of such work. I may add that the importance of the various activities is not necessarily proportionate to their funding, as sometimes a very vital activity requires a relative smaller expenditure. But, by and large, considering the global scope of all our activities, each requires very substantial funds.

Now, as a matter of policy, I refrain from making appeals for funds, and do not engage in fund-raising, for two reasons. Firstly, in order not to prejudice those Lubavitcher institutions which depend on fundraising. Secondly, because public-minded individuals who are familiar with our work do not usually require special prodding on my part, and each according to his means and modus operandi comes forward to take an appropriate share in our work. There are occasions when I make an exception, where special circumstances impel me - for the benefit of the individual concerned - to suggest to him a major role in certain of our activities, but such exceptions are relatively rare.

In light of the above, I have also refrained from mentioning financial matters to you, for the said two reasons. Firstly, because you are involved with Lubavitch work in your community, which, as I mentioned during our conversation, has priority. Secondly, because I consider you among those who require no prompting in this matter.

However, upon receiving your check, I had to take note of it vis-à-vis your role in our work. Let me assure you again that any contribution received, whether large or small, and whether or not it reflects the donor’s real or potential effort, is a Zechus for the donor, since the money goes for the cause of Torah and Mitzvoth; and it is gratefully and cheerfully accepted.

On the other hand, and this is something that is easier to present to a businessman, where, for example, a factory or business is not operating at full productivity, and where much more could be achieved without overloading capacity and overheads – it would not be right to call attention to it, especially among friends. I would, therefore, be less than candid and fair if – while expressing appreciation for your donation, and assuring you that it will be used for the utmost good, which will stand you in good stead – I were not to mention that it does not measure up the great Zechus that ought to be yours by taking a share in our work that is more commensurate with your posture and role in Jewish life.

I trust that you will not consider this a disguised appeal for money, but for what it is – an objective evaluation, coming from a good friend, whose first and only motive is to look at the matter from the viewpoint of your best interests. At any rate, consider it as having read my thoughts.

I take this opportunity of expressing my pleasure at having heard from your daughter, who participated in the Convention of Nshei Chabad here, that you, too, were present later on. I was particularly gratified to hear from her about the progress of her children, your grandchildren, bless them. May they continue to advance from good to better and be a source of evergrowing Nachas, true Nachas, which is Torah Nachas, to their parents and grandparents.

With esteem and blessing

M Schneerson