The Rebbe’s letter this week addresses the question of why it is the custom of Chabad not to decorate the succah nor to sleep in it.
Letter and Spirit
The Rebbe explains in this letter, to one experiencing moods that may lead to discouragement and depression – the difference between depression (paralyzing) and bitterness (energizing), as Tanya teaches, and suggests further study of this topic.
In preparation for Rosh Hashanah we focus on teshuvah during the preceding weeks. To one desiring to do teshuva and lead a life of Torah and mitzvos, the Rebbe reassuringly explains that it is not as difficult as one anticipates.
The New Year we are soon beginning – 5782- is a SHMITTA/sabbatical year. In his letter, the Rebbe explains the special significance of this year as it can be applied to us in our relationship with G-d. The Rebbe’s emphasis here is not on the agricultural laws of shmitta but rather on the 2 shmitta laws pertaining to debts – where in our relationship with G-d, we are the debtors and G-d is the Creditor.
In his letter to the King of Spain, the Rebbe thanks the king for the gracious honor which he accorded to the Rebbe’s emissary on the occasion of the celebration of the Rambam, a native of Cordoba. And takes the opportunity to give the king blessings for the New Year, now during the month of Elul.
With the start of the month of Elul – we begin saying the 27th Chapter of Psalms daily after davening. In answer to one with doubts and insecurities, the Rebbe delves into the cause of these feelings and explains the meaning and deeper significance of this chapter of Tehillim – which contains the remedy.
In the week of Parshas Re’ey, where we learn the laws of kashrut – we bring a letter in which the Rebbe emphasizes the importance of yiddishkeit as a continuous daily experience and underlines some important aspects of the mitzvah of kashrut.
During our present confusing times, when even men of science seem to be compromised, afraid to lose their position, and we cannot truly know what is fact and what is not – we present a letter of the Rebbe that addresses this very question: if men of science are aware of what modern science says about “laws” and “theories” of science, especially as it pertains to the theory of evolution (one of the weakest theories) – why are they not saying it?
During these “weeks of consolation” – after the pain of our loss on Tisha b’Av- – we share a letter of the Rebbe with comforting words.
During the Nine Day period – we share a letter of the Rebbe written to one whose views about the state of affairs in the Holy Land is based on misinformation. The Rebbe clarifies the writer’s equating of “orthodoxy” with “modern-day zealots” as totally unjustified. The Jewish Zealots in the time of the Roman oppression in Eretz Yisroel before the destruction of the Bais Hamikdash cannot be compared to the orthodoxy of Torah observant Jews of today.
In the Torah portion of Massei the details of the borders of Eretz Yisroel are clearly defined. We share a letter in which the Rebbe discusses the events in the Holy Land and the Jewish claim to the land which is derived from the Torah.
The Rebbe’s initial campaign of Prayer in Public School, which eventually was named A Moment of Silence is a campaign which has its roots years ago and has been ongoing. The Rebbe’s letter we are sharing – addresses this topic many years ago and will make us familiar with the details as they existed in the early years of the campaign – details such as the “Regents Prayer” etc.
In our present time of confusion where “defunding the police” has become a question for debate, we are presenting a letter of the Rebbe written to a police officer upon his promotion. The Rebbe discusses the purpose of the police and also addresses briefly the question of the key to a peaceful and orderly society.
Chukas – is the ultimate kabbolas ol – acceptance of the will of the Creator through the principle of naaseh v’nishma, the need to do the mitzvos, before and without any precondition of understanding them. In his letter, the Rebbe explains that even in science there needs to be this principle of acceptance, before anything else.
During these volatile times of rocket attacks by terrorists on Israel, the Rebbe’s powerful letter brings clarity to the policy that needs to be implemented. The Rebbe cites the dire consequences of returning liberated lands, surrendering the Sinai oil fields and the government’s meek policy regarding terrorist attacks.
In the week of P’ Shlach, when Moshe sends out his shluchim to scout the land, we share the Rebbe’s encouraging words to a shlucha. In answer to her doubts about success in her efforts – the Rebbe explains that activities fall into two categories – seeding and planting – as classified by chassidus and points out the importance of having confidence in the wisdom of the one who has given the assignment.
On the subject of shiduchim and marriage – during this time of year of a flurry of weddings – we share an unusual letter of the Rebbe in which he advises a childless man who asks about taking a second wife, as is the custom among Sefardic Jews. The Rebbe gives guidelines and advice.