This letter was addressed to Rabbi Avraham Eliyahu Axelrod, an active Rabbi within the Baltimore Jewish community

B”H, the fourth candle of Chanukah, 5703

Greetings and blessings,

We sent you the text prepared by my revered father-in-law, the Rebbe shlita, which was prepared for the public fast1 and the days which follow. It is unnecessary to point out the importance of spreading this message among the widest readership possible wherever the opportunity presents itself, e.g., printing it as a placard and hanging it on the walls of synagogues and the like.

We are surprised not to have received an answer to the letter of Merkos L’Inyonei Chinuch from 21 MarCheshvan.

To conclude with a concept relevant to the days of Chanukah: The Chanukah lights are intended to shine outward [and illuminate the public domain]. Even if a person dwells in a loft — figuratively speaking, a reference to lofty souls, who are few2 — he must place his Chanukah lamp in a window near the public domain to illuminate the darkness, i.e., the three impure kelipos (see the maamarim of Chanukah, 5659). As explained in Torah Or, in the conclusion of the maamar entitled Ki Atah Neri, this relates to the phrase “And G‑d will illuminate my darkness,”3 the darkness of our era of ikvesa diMeshicha.

It can be explained that in particular, in this era described as “the birth pangs of Mashiach,” a time of harsh decrees [against the Jewish people] (Sanhedrin 97b)4 Heaven forbid, the motif of “the Holy One, blessed be He, decrees and a tzaddik negates it”5 is required. This is accomplished by transforming a wicked person into a baal teshuvah, as implied by the interpretation of Yirmeyahu 15:19 offered by the Targum and Rashi.6 And based on the statements of our Sages (Bava Metzia 85a),7 this [objective] is achieved through educating the son of an unlearned person, [and showing him his place] in our Torah heritage.

With the blessing “Immediately to teshuvah, immediately to Redemption,”

Rabbi Menachem Schneerson

Chairman of the Executive Committee