This letter was sent to R. Yehudah Leib Unger, an entrepreneur from Pittsburgh.

25 Iyar, 5711,
Brooklyn, N.Y.

Greetings and blessings,

I was happy to hear greetings from you via the chassidic mentor R. Eliyahu Simpson. He also described the warm chassidic environment in which your farbrengen together took place. As my revered father-in-law, the Rebbe, once said: A chassidic farbrengen warms the head, the heart, even the heels of one’s feet. When one comes home after such a farbrengen, one brings light and warmth into the home, making the home brighter and warmer than it was before.

You are certainly aware that my revered father-in-law, the Rebbe, related many times in the name of the holy Baal Shem Tov1 that a Jew can learn a lesson in his individual service of G‑d from everything that he sees or hears. In particular, this is true concerning something that serves as the source of one’s livelihood with which one is involved over a long period of time, many days in the year and many hours in the day.

The business that you are undertaking with the new patent — may it be in a good and favorable hour — involves reusing sacks. Since they had been used previously, they contacted bacillus2 which not only are not useful, they can infect whatever is placed in the sacks. Therefore, ways are sought to eliminate these bacteria. One of the means suggested is to place the sack in a closed place and make that place much warmer than usual. The bacteria cannot endure [the heat] and thus the sack is freed from them and is fit to be used again.

A parallel to this exists in our lives. When the yetzer tov comes to a person at the age of thirteen, the person has already been “used” by the yetzer hara which came to him thirteen years earlier. Indeed, the yetzer hara asserts that it has an established claim (chazakah) over the person’s body and his thoughts, words, and deeds. [Indeed, the yetzer hara] claims that he is the firstborn.3 There is a suggestion to prevent one’s thought, speech, and deed from easily acquiring the attractions, foreign thoughts, and undesirable intents of the yetzer hara. That suggestion is to seclude oneself for a specific [period of] time from the external environment, closing oneself off in the four cubits of a shul, a yeshivah, or a house of study, and warming oneself there more than usual with the love of G‑d, the love of Torah, and the love of one’s fellow Jew. In this manner, one’s “sack” becomes freed of the bacteria of the yetzer hara. Afterwards, what is placed inside will be healthy and useful. Just as with sacks in a simple sense, it is not enough to have them disinfected once for them to be perfect, so too, for the sack that is man, [repeated experiences of this warmth are necessary. Every morning,] when one awakes from sleep, one must take in Jewish, chassidic warmth. Then one can be sure that he will be a servant of G‑d, one who studies the Torah and observes mitzvos.

I wish you success in your enterprise. May you witness in your own self the fulfillment of the adage that my revered father-in-law, the Rebbe, would repeat in the name of the Alter Rebbe, the author of the Tanya:4 G‑d gives Jews material things, a prosperous livelihood, and the Jews transform these material entities into spirituality. This is accomplished by using material benefits to support one’s family in a kosher manner, strengthening Yiddishkeit, and spreading the Torah,

I hope to hear good news from you.

With blessings for a happy holiday and for receiving the Torah with joy and inner feeling.