By the Grace of G‑d
In the Days of Elul, 5737
Brooklyn, N.Y.

To All Jewish Detainees, Everywhere
G‑d Bless you all!
Greeting and Blessing!

This is by way of a personal reply to every one of you who has written to me for a blessing in connection with our forthcoming New Year - may it bring all the good to all our people; with a timely message to each and every one of you, man and woman, in general.

I will remember you in prayer for the fulfilment of your hearts’ desires for good - the kind of good that is revealed and evident.

The month of Elul (the last month of our Hebrew calendar year) is the Month of Divine Mercy and also the Month of Teshuvah (Return to G‑d through repentance). Teshuvah is essentially a matter of inner felt resolve - sincere regret of the past and firm commitment for the future. And although the rule that “Nothing stands in the way of Teshuvah” applies to all year round, nevertheless the days of this month are particularly auspicious for it, as explained in the teachings of the Alter Rebbe (author of the Tanya and Shulchan Aruch, and Founder of the Chabad-Chasidic movement). The gist of it is that during this month G‑d assumes, as it were, the role of a "King in the Field,” that is to say, when a king is not secluded from his people in his royal palace, but is in the midst of his people. To quote: "It is a time when everyone who so desires is permitted to approach the King personally, and He receives everyone graciously and with a smiling face to all.”

Needless to say, the 'field' in this context includes the houses and dwellings of all men (and women) wherever they may be, including also houses of detention, correctional facilities, etc., since "the whole earth is filled with G‑d's glory.”

Hence all the details and aspects of the said parable, namely. that everyone who so desires may approach the King and He receives everyone graciously, etc., pertains also to those who find themselves in custody at this time. It is also self-evident that when the King shows a "smiling face to all,” it is a good time to present to Him a petition. And G‑d, "who looks into the heart,” seeing the good resolutions that accompany such petitions, grants the requests, and does so graciously.

In other words, the good resolutions that a person resolves deep in his heart, are known and revealed to the Supreme King of kings, the Holy One, blessed be He, who has given assurance that “nothing stands in the way of Teshuvah, “ and grants the requests accordingly.

Thus, the special Divine benevolence at this time of the year includes also the bringing about a change for the good in your present situation, by rousing compassion and amnesty in the hearts of those in authority who determine your status, to speed up your freedom (in the plain sense), so that you can conduct your daily life at peace and inner freedom with yourselves and with society, based on the teachings of our Torah, Toras Chayim, and its Mitzvos whereby Jews live - a wholesome and productive life, in joy and gladness of heart, as ordained by G‑d.

With prayerful wishes for inner freedom and
peace even while still in your present situation,
and for good tidings in all above, and
blessing for a Kesivo vaChasimo Toivo, to be
inscribed for a good and sweet year.
M. Schneerson