This letter was addressed to R. Reuven Margolies,a leading Rabbinic and kabbalistic scholar.

15 Sivan, 5711,
Brooklyn, N.Y.

Greetings and blessings,

I duly received your letter and now I received your work, Sefer HaBahir with your notes and commentaries. Thank you very much for that.1

With regard to your request to know my opinion concerning this: You accomplished something of great substance with your notes and commentary on the Zohar, the Tikkunei Zohar, the Sefer HaBahir, and the Zohar Chadash. Both wisdom and work has been invested therein.

There is a well-known saying of our Sages (Eruvin 21b): “‘He taught knowledge to the people’2 — He taught the rationales of the Torah through signs and explained them through analogies.” Scripture uses this as a preface to [explain Shlomo’s greatness in] making handles for [the Torah], researching [it], and explaining [it] through many different analogies (see the different examples of this given at the beginning of Shir HaShirim). In particular, this is true regarding the Zohar. It can be said that a place was left for you3 to express your potential in [explanation of it]. I saw in actual fact the great value of your commentary through my study and analysis of these texts. The blessings of people at large who will use [your commentary will cause] sparkling radiance4 to accrue to you.

It is just unfortunate that [your explanations] were brief in all places, even in those where it would have been appropriate to elaborate. It is also surprising, and also arouses questions, that with the exception of certain instances — so few in number that they could be counted by a child — you do not cite the explanations found in the texts of the teachings of Chabad Chassidus that are relevant to the content of your books. In particular, this applies because Chabad Chassidus provides a unique explanation to the wisdom of the Kabbalah and the statements of our Sages in the Zohar. The amazement [over this omission] is even greater in the present time when the texts [of Chabad Chassidus] are being disseminated in a progressively increasing manner and the opposition that once existed has been nullified.

As per your request, a copy of the Haggadah Shel Pesach5 was sent to you under separate cover. Similarly, your name has been included in the list of those who receive [our] kuntreisim [upon their publication].

With blessings that your strength continue to increase in the garments and body of the Torah, and in its soul, and in the soul of its soul (Zohar, Vol. III, p. 152a).6

N.B. As is my custom, I immediately skimmed through the pages of [your] book because of its cherished nature. Hastily, I made the following comments:7

In sec. 1, when in Or HaBahir you cite the statement from Sefer Tziyuni:8 “Thus there are clear proofs that the light is a creation.” The Lemberg printing [of Sefer Tziyuni] of 1882 that I possess also contains that expression. Nevertheless, earlier printings of the text should be checked, because in my opinion, the wording should be “that darkness is a creation.” With regard to the question of whether darkness is a creation or not; see the note at the beginning of Kuntreis Yud-Beis Tammuz, 5708.9

In sec. 200, note should be made of the midrashim of our Sages cited in Toras Shlomo to Bereishis, ch. 3.

Sefer HaBahir is cited in Torah Or (in the Kehot edition which is a copy of the Vilna printing) on pages 18c and 114c (two times on that page) and in Likkutei Torah, Parshas Beshalach, p. 2a; Vayikra, p. 35b, and Bamidbar, pp. 51a, 63c, 64a, and 94a. Consult the sources cited.