By the Grace of G‑d
4 Shvat, 5716 [January 17, 1956]
Brooklyn, N.Y.

Greeting and Blessing:

...In answer to your letter... in which you write of the current state of your affairs, adding that "all my life, no good has befallen me," and conclude with a request for a blessing for yourself, together with you wife and children, may they live:

It seems that you are unaware of the contradiction in your letter.

For a man whom the Creator has provided his partner in life, and has blessed them with children, to say that, "all my life, good has eluded me," is ingratitude in a most shocking manner...

Hundreds and thousands of people who pray every day to be blessed with children, and would give all that they have for a single son or daughter, have yet to merit it (may G‑d bless them with the speedy fulfillment of their heart’s desires), while you, who received this blessing (seemingly without an overabundance of praying for it) do not recognize what a treasure and joy this is, writing as you do in your letter...

I’m not implying that one is supposed to struggle for a living or not enjoy perfect health. My point is that perhaps the reason for your weak health and your difficulties in earning a living is your utter failure to appreciate G‑d’s blessing to you in a far more basic matter than perfect health and abundant sustenance---the blessing of sons and daughters who follow the ways of G‑d. When one does not recognize the explicit good bestowed from Above, particularly when one’s lack of recognition is so extreme that it results in statements such as you express in your letter, is it any wonder that blessings are not forthcoming from Above in other matters?

My hope is that these few lines will suffice to open your eyes to see your situation in its true light. And when you begin to serve G‑d with a true and inner joy, surely G‑d will increase His blessings also in regard to health and sustenance...

I trust that you have set times for Torah study, both for its exoteric teachings as well as the teachings of chassidut; in any case, do so from now on. It would also be proper to examine your tefillin, as well as the mezuzot in your home, and to set aside several coins for charity each weekday morning before prayer.1