This letter was published as a publisher’s foreword to a sichah of the Rebbe Rayatz, printed in Likkutei Dibburim, Vol. IV.


Of the many pearls to be found in the sichah that follows, one of the essential ones may be summarized thus (see sec. 15): “In bygone days a person knew that he ought to be — he ought to be a G‑d-fearing Jew, a chassid. Nowadays a person has to know — he has to know how to study, he has to know chassidic teachings. The person and the subject have become two separate entities.”

This is also one of the themes of the Counting of the Omer: translating intellectual endeavor into character traits1 — so that one’s conduct obeys the directives of the mind; so that in one’s daily life one should be what one intellectually knows in the revealed levels (the nigleh) and innermost levels (the pnimiyus) of the Torah; so that the man and what he knows should be one inseparable entity.

Actually, this is also one of the central themes of the pnimiyus of the Torah, whose revelation takes place on Lag BaOmer (see sec. 21) — to unite [everything] and to demonstrate that everything is oneness: physicality is merely an exterior which has to be refined so that it is no longer physical. As to material objects,2 one has to cause their innermost dimension to surface so that it fuses with their spirituality and soul.

When this is done, the person involved — his soul, his body, and all his affairs — becomes one undivided entity.

The path leading to this is pnimiyus haTorah, which demonstrates that within the Torah itself, everything is one. The innermost dimension of the Torah, [i.e., Chassidus,] demonstrates3 how the secrets of the Torah and the revealed dimension of the Torah — the garments of the Torah, the body of the Torah, the soul of the Torah, and the soul of the soul of the Torah4 — are one. This is highlighted on Lag BaOmer, which manifests the innermost secrets of the Torah that were revealed by the baal hahilulaR. Shimon bar Yochai, the anniversary of whose passing is celebrated on this day: “Holy words that have never before been revealed..., the hidden words which the Holy One, blessed be He, and all His holy entourage come to hear in joy.”5

Menachem Schneerson

2 Iyar 5711, Brooklyn, N.Y.