This letter was written in response to holiday greetings sent by the students of the Lubavitcher Yeshivah in Montreal, and the members of the community which gathered around that yeshivah. That yeshivah, like the Central Lubavitcher Yeshivah, carries the name Yeshivas Tomchei Temimim. Hence the elaboration on the name Tamim.

B”H, 8 Tishrei, 5703

Greetings and blessings,

In response to your blessings for the new year: [Our Sages teach:] “Whoever gives blessings will be blessed”1 with blessings… whose accruement exceeds the principal.

The name Tamim refers to someone who is perfect in the observance of the Torah and its mitzvos. As our Sages taught,2 the 248 positive commandments parallel the 248 limbs of the body, and the 365 negative commandments parallel the 365 sinews.

Chassidus, which reveals the inner meaning contained in every matter, explains3 that to be perfect in [the observance of] the Torah, one’s observance should reflect how Havayah is Elokecha.4 Havayah [refers to the Torah], because all of the mitzvos of the Torah are dependent on one of the letters of the name Havayah. [This spiritual potential] should become Elokecha, your strength and your vitality. [The intent is that] a person’s study should unite him with the Torah, [as implied by the expression,] “with his Torah in his hand.”5 This is accomplished through preparing [oneself through] the Divine service of prayer.6

When a person sins and transgresses, he creates a blemish, crippling himself, as it were. The way to correct this blemish is through teshuvah, for teshuvah brings healing to this world.7

Healing, however, has an effect only from the present on, for a trace of the blemish the person created remains;8 the person does not become perfect as he was before.

This can be accomplished only by a higher degree of teshuvah, the teshuvah emanating from a powerful love from the depths of the heart which transforms sins into merits.9 This extracts the very roots of the sin.

The attainment of this level of teshuvah, turning to G‑d “with all your might,”10 comes about through the influence of a Rebbe. For “a wise man removes [the vow] as if it never was.”11 For he searches for and finds an opening through which the sinner himself will seek regret.

It is possible to draw a connection to the possibility of creating an opening [for the sinner to regret his] transgression and for the fact that it is a wise man who can [assist him to] find it from our Sages’ statement (Sukkah 52b) that there are four entities which the Holy One created and regrets having made.

May we soon merit the coming of Mashiach who will motivate the righteous — whose Divine service reflects a commitment “with all your soul”12 to turn [to G‑d] in teshuvah,13 [thus reaching the unbounded commitment of] “with all your might.”14

With blessings for an inscription for a good year, and the fulfillment of the promise “Immediately to teshuvah, immediately to life, and immediately to Redemption.”

Menachem Schneerson

Chairman of the Executive Committee