A letter sent by the Rebbe to his father-in-law, the Previous Rebbe.1

B”H, Motzaei Shabbos, 2 Shvat, 5692

To my revered father-in-law, the Rebbe shlita,

The Rebbe’s letter — the memorandum — of the 24th of last month arrived, and from the depths of my heart, I thank you for this precious gift. At this time of favor, I will be bold enough, for my hope will strengthen me, to place a double request — if such a request is necessary, and if such a request will avail — before the Rebbe, to honor me and grant me pleasure with such letters from time to time.

I am lacking much of the informal background information concerning Chassidus, in particular with regard to its history and the explanation [of that history]. Thus, like a person who has found great booty, I am happy for every new concept and piece of information which I gain.

I cannot restrain myself from asking for additional explanation concerning a matter that has perplexed me for some time, a point which I have repeatedly heard: “In Lubavitch we do not hold miracles in esteem.” I also found parallels to this concept in the Rebbe’s letter. [Chassidim] refrain from speaking about these matters, and silence others who speak of them.

Certainly, the chassidim of the early generations had no need for such matters, for their hearts and minds were refined. But in the present age, when due to the distress of the times, people’s emotional potential have dwindled, and they are sunk in material affairs, their entire concern is for material matters to the extent that refinement and an elevation of the soul are not felt at all. On the surface, this is difficult to correct [only] by intellectual means, for these will not affect a person. They are too refined to use as a first step. Miracles and the stories of tzaddikim and the wonders they perform, by contrast, generate lofty feelings within the soul, taking one out and shaking oneself free, at least partially, from material concerns. This moves even souls which are on a lowly level, or which are found in a low spiritual state.

I again express my warm and deep thanks for the Rebbe’s letter; I remain,

Your son-in-law who continuously seeks your welfare,
and who hopes for the Rebbe’s blessings,