This letter was sent to R. Yehoshua Shpetman, a Jewish writer from England.

16 Iyar, 5711,
Brooklyn, N.Y.

Greetings and blessings,

Thank you for the gift for my library — your Yiddish book Lost Worlds. It contains memories that describe the chassidic atmosphere on chassidic holidays, Shabbasos, festivals, and ordinary weekdays.

I took the time — as my schedule permits — to skim through it and I derived pleasure from the warmth with which the chapters of the book were written and also, the warmth that — as I see it — it will arouse within the readers.

I am, however, forced to note that — like others who have written on similar subjects — there is an error. The approach is — as you write on the title page —that [we are speaking about] Lost Worlds. The reader may be left with the impression that you are writing a eulogy about something that has already passed from the world.

Heaven forbid and Heaven forbid to say that. Instead, just as G‑d is eternal, so too, the Jewish people are eternal, as reflected in the saying:1Israel, the Torah, and the Holy One, blessed be He, are all one.” And so too, the teachings of Chassidus and the ways of chassidim and Chassidus are eternal. It is possible that [chassidim and Chassidus] will move from one location to another, but not that they will be destroyed. May G‑d protect us from that.

It is true that at certain times the Divine service involved in [following] this [path] becomes more difficult and the conduct in the ways of chassidim and Chassidus require extra strength. However, our Sages teach us:2 “Load a camel according to its strength.” And they teach:3 “The Holy One, blessed be He, does not come to His created beings with excessive demands.” When He asks something from them, He asks according to their potential.4

Since we have been promised that ultimately, the wellsprings of the Baal Shem Tov will spread outward and this will be the preparation and the medium leading to the coming of Mashiach,5 it is beyond all doubt that the approach [of Chassidus]is continuing and proceeding. If it appears to us that we are living in a redoubled darkness when compared to the previous generations, one of two options is true:

a) It is merely one’s imagination and merely one of the counsels of the [evil] inclination; or that

b) We have been given the powers to overcome [this challenge] and, as a result, the responsibility is incumbent upon us to gather together all our powers to dispel the darkness by adding light. Then we will see the fulfillment of the promise of our Sages:6 One who comes to sanctify himself in small measurefrom below is sanctified greatly from Above. And one who comes to purify others (that interpretation reflected by the fact that the word לטהר to purify, is written with a pasach under the tes) is granted assistance. [Indeed, the word מסייען,“is granted assistance,” is written] in plural form. His Divine service and the mitzvos that he performs assist him (as explained at great length in the maamar for Shemini Atzeres in Likkutei Torah entitled Havayah Li B’Ozri)7 in carrying out the sublime intent to illuminate the darkness of the world and, [in that manner,] bring about the fulfillment of the prophecy:8 “At the time of evening, there will be light.” [Indeed,] “the night will shine like the day,”9 i.e., the darkness of the exile will be transformed into light. Then it will be said:10 “I will thankfully acknowledge You, because You expressed Your wrath against me.” Man’s thanksgiving will come not only because “Your wrath has subsided and You have comforted me,” but also “because You expressed Your wrath against me.”

With blessings that you add warmth and light in the midst of the Jewish people.

Enclosed is the publicationfor Lag BaOmer11 that was printed recently.