Weekly Letter: Reconciling Freedom of Choice

Entering the month of Elul and in preparation for Rosh Hashanah – when we are inscribed for a good and sweet year – we present a letter in which the Rebbe answers the question: How can Kesivo va’chasimo tova be reconciled with the idea of freedom of choice and action – as this inscription implies predestination? The letter, written originally in English, is from the archives of the Rebbe’s trusted secretary Rabbi Nissan Mindel.

Here’s My Story: Why Miracles Happen

As a young man growing up in Ukraine during the 1920s, I got to know the Belzer Rebbe, Rabbi Aharon Rokeach, whom I came to revere. When the war broke out and I was drafted into the Russian Army, he assured me that I would survive and return safe and sound, which I did. In 1942, I was in the terrible Battle of Stalingrad, where I saw thousands of soldiers dying around me, but time and again, I survived due to incidents I can only describe as miracles.

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