Letter & Spirit: Chassidus and Psychology

In this week’s edition of Letter & Spirit, we present a letter from the Rebbe In it he points out to a psychologist the affinity between the teachings of Chassidus and the study of the psyche, in particular the soul. The letter was written through the Rebbe’s trusted secretary Rabbi Nissan Mindel, and was made available by the latter’s son-in-law, Rabbi Sholom Ber Shapiro.

This weekly feature is made possible by a collaboration between CrownHeights.info and Nissan Mindel Publications. Once a week we publish a unique letter of the Rebbe that was written originally in the English language, as dictated by the Rebbe to Rabbi Mindel.

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                                                                                                                                                      By the Grace of G-d

2nd of Marcheshvan, 5725,

Brooklyn, N.Y.

Prof. ________

Chicago 37, Ill.

 

Greeting and Blessing:

Thank you for your letter.

I have instructed the office to put you on the mailing list, in accordance with your request.

I would also welcome an opportunity to meet with you when you are in New York, as I feel we would have some topics of mutual interest to discuss, especially in view of the fact that your field is that of psychology. For, as you may be aware, there is a close affinity between the teachings of Chassidus and the study of the psyche, more specifically the study of the soul. As a matter of fact, one of the basic doctrines of Chabad Chassdus is derived from the concept that the understanding of G-d as revealed in nature and even beyond, can best be attained by the study of the essence and functions of the human soul. This is based on the Biblical verse, “From my flesh I see G-d” (Job 19:26). And while our mind is limited, and no created being could possibly understand the Creator, it is by means of our soul, which is “truly as part of G-dliness Above” that we can grasp those relatively infinitesimal aspects of G-dliness which comes within our limitations.

I have requested the office to send you a copy of the Tanya translated into English by our Dr. Nissan Mindel, which I trust you will find of interest.

Hoping to hear good news from you,

With Blessing,

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The above letter is from a forthcoming volume of The Letter and the Spirit Series, two volumes of which have been published to date, with volume three coming out shortly, IYH. The letters are from the archives of Rabbi Dr. Nissan Mindel, a personal secretary to the Previous Rebbe and The Rebbe, whose responsibilities included the Rebbe’s correspondence in English.

We thank Rabbi Sholom Ber Shapiro, director of Nissan Mindel Publications and the one entrusted by Rabbi Mindel, his father-in-law, with his archives, for making these letters available to the wider public. May the merit of the many stand him in good stead.

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