3 Tishrei, 5737

[This response was handwritten by the Rebbe on the margins of a letter. A gentleman wrote to the Rebbe in English about his wife who suffered from agoraphobia (fear of being in a public place); whenever she went anywhere she became frightened and weak, especially if she had to mingle amongst a crowd. On Rosh Hashanah she somehow managed to bring her children to synagogue, but she could not bring herself to enter. As Yom Kippur was approaching, the husband wrote that they are trying to do whatever possible to improve her situation, and he requested the advice and blessing of the Rebbe. The Rebbe answered as follows:]

A. She should deal with her situation in an easy way, i.e.,

  1. She should know that there are many people that suffer from the above-mentioned phobia and they live peacefully and relaxed, etc.
  2. When she needs to enter a hall, to the synagogue on Yom Kippur and the like, if she can do it easily she should do so, but if not, she shouldn't fight herself or force herself whatsoever to do so. Rather, she should pray at home (during the time the community is praying) and there is no need to panic about this.

B. She should be more scrupulous with her observance than she was until now and consequently her faith in G‑d will also be strengthened. This will decrease her worries (because G‑d is guarding her), including the above-mentioned phobia. I will mention this at the resting place of the Previous Rebbe.

(Igros Kodesh. Vol. XXXII, P. 1)