This letter was sent to R. Yisrael Yacobovitz, the Chief Rabbi of Dublin, Ireland, and R. Zalman Yosef Aloni, the Rabbinic judge of the city.

18 Menachem Av, 5711,
Brooklyn, N.Y.

Greetings and blessings,

I received your letter of the Tuesday of Parshas Pinchas….1

I will conclude with statements that I made following Shabbos Nachamu concerning our Sages’ statement2 that G‑d will comfort the Jews in a twofold manner. It will be twofold: not only quantitatively, but also qualitatively. Implied is that the comfort will be given in such a manner that not only will the pain be removed, but the pain itself will be transformed into pleasure. The person will see, even with his eyes of flesh, that the difficulties he suffered until now: a) came for a reason — this realization cannot be called twofold comfort, this is only ordinary comforting; the concept of twofold comfort that the prophet adds implies that b) one sees that the suffering itself was not really suffering but rather the outpouring of hidden goodness. [It is only because of the] abundance of this goodness that it is drawn down to the physical plane in such a manner, as explained in brief in Tanya, ch. 26. As the Gemara relates, there is an adage that “Everything that the Merciful One does is done for the good.”3 And there is an even loftier adage than this: “This too is for the good.”4 The difference between these two adages is reflected in the difference between the story involving Rabbi Akiva and that involving Nachum Ish Gamzu. In Rabbi Akiva’s instance, his candle was extinguished and his rooster and donkey were devoured. As a result, he was saved from physical harm. Thus it was possible to see that through the anguish that he suffered, good came about. Nevertheless, the event itself involved anguish. This can be seen as ordinary comforting.

In contrast, in the story of Nachum Ish Gamzu, when the jewels and pearls were exchanged for earth, a miracle took place with the earth itself. It was not only that [as in Rabbi Akiva’s instance,] through the travail he was saved from harm. On the contrary, it became apparent for him that [the earth] was not a source of travail, but a source of great goodness.

May it be G‑d’s will that in the present situation as well, it will be revealed not only that “Everything that the Merciful One does is done for the good,” but that “This too is for the good”; that every [element of existence] can reveal the inner intent. Then it will be apparent that “‘This too is for the good.’ It is only that, [at present,] this cannot be seen by eyes of flesh, because [this good] is from the hidden realm that is loftier than the revealed realm.”5

With blessings for success in your holy work, [from one who] awaits the mercies of Heaven and good tidings of a general and individual nature,