The name of the recipient of this letter was not released.

8 Tammuz, 5711,

Greetings and blessings,

I duly received your letter — an answer to my letter. Seeing your interest, I am enclosing the kuntreis for Yud-Beis/Yud-Gimmel Tammuz that was recently published, together with a general letter that pertains to it.1

With regard to [your description of yourself] in your letter, that you are “one of the chicks that has distanced itself from its place,” it can be noted (perhaps as an expression of cleverness) that there is a principle in Torah Law (Yoma 64a): “Living beings are never utterly rejected.”2 See Lekach Tov, by R. Yosef Engel (General Principle 6), which states that the obligation to perform mitzvos is never nullified (Chulin 87a; see the glosses of the later authorities on the Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayim, sec.686, Yoreh Deah, 28).3 Certainly, this applies to spiritual matters, because there is nothing that can stand in the way of a person’s will.

Regarding your statement that the obligation to make oneself impure to bury a corpse that has no one to bury it4 forces us to say that the mitzvah of burial is of Scriptural origin, see the comments of Ramban to Sefer HaMitzvos, General Principle 1. Rashi (Berachos 19b), by contrast, maintains that the obligation to bury the corpse is an expression of honor to the created beings. In that passage, [burial] is compared to removing a garment in the marketplace, indicating that there is no mitzvah involved, only a question of honoring the created beings. And there are Rishonim 5 who maintain that the mitzvah of burial is not of Scriptural origin. They are: R. Saadia Gaon in his Sefer HaMitzvos, parshiyos, sec. 34; ([he states there that the mitzvah of burial] applies only to those hung by the court [after execution]). [The responsa of] Radbaz, Vol. 1, sec. 311 (states that with regard to the corpses in general, only the negative commandment not to leave the corpse unburied applies, not the positive commandment of burial). Baal Halachos Gedolos maintains that burial is only part of the general positive commandment of following in G‑d’s ways (see also Rambam, loc. cit.). Yereim, sec. 50, writes a similar view. Rambam, Hilchos Avel 14:1, writes that it is a positive commandment of Rabbinic origin and is included in the mitzvah of “Love your fellowman as yourself.”6 (The commentaries have noted that this statement contradicts what he himself wrote, loc. cit. 12:1, and in Sefer HaMitzvos, positive commandment 231.) See the [Alter] Rebbe’s Shulchan Aruch, sec. 498 (Kuntreis Acharon, note 3); and sec. 527:1, which states that it is a positive mitzvah of Scriptural origin. See also the responsa of Shaagas Aryeh HaChadashos, sec. 6 and sec. 12, [as cited] in the commentary of R. Perlowe to the Sefer HaMitzvos of Rav Saadia Gaon, positive commandment 19, who elaborates on this issue, and Sdei Chemed, Klallim, maareches kuf, sec. 39. This is not the place for elaboration.

With blessings that you involve yourself in Torah study with peace of mind and prosperity in both material and spiritual terms,