In this week’s letter, in connection with the topic of kosher animals, the Rebbe gives some food for thought to a medical doctor on the mitzvah of kashrus.
Letter and Spirit
The Rebbe’s letter this week discusses the halacha as it pertains to the custom of eating kitniyos/beans on Pesach.
The Rebbe’s letter this week touches upon the law of pidyon ha’ben – the redemption of the first born, which has its origin in the events of Pesach night in Mitzrayim, when the first born of the Egyptians were slain and the first born of the Jews were spared.
In preparation for Pesach – celebrating our redemption from Mitzrayim which we merited in the zechus of the righteous women of that generation – we share a letter where the Rebbe addresses prayer as it relates to the women.
In these parshios that summarize and enumerate the vessels of the Mishkan and their assembling by Moshe (Shabbos chazak) – we share a letter where the Rebbe brings a teaching of the Frierdiker Rebbe who explains the relevance of the mishkan to each of us in our every day lives.
In connection with this week’s parsha – of the first “reformers” of Judaism – those who served the golden calf and of the current events in Eretz Yisrael where reformers have instituted a law to accept conservative and reform conversions – we present a letter in which the Rebbe addresses the question of the need to reform Judaism in order to ensure Jewish survival, the betterment of mankind and the keeping up with the times.
In connection with the special Torah portion – Zachor – which we read this Shabbos before Purim and which we all have the obligation to hear, we present a letter in which the Rebbe answers the question: “How can a human civilized person today accept the Biblical commandment to wipe out the entire nation of Amalek, including infants, etc.?”
Having just received the Torah and now starting to learn its mitzvos, we share a letter from the Rebbe in answer to one asking for positive proof of Torah min ha’Shomayim, divinely given. The Rebbe touches on a few basic points of scientific proof, na’aseh v’nishma and theory and practice.
The Rebbe points to a powerful lesson for each of us in our personal lives which we can learn – from the experience of the Jewish people as we transitioned from the depth of Egyptian slavery to the loftiest spiritual heights of Har Sinai in a relatively short time.
As we now celebrate the 15th of Sh’vat, New Year for trees and will soon will be celebrating Chof Bais Sh’vat – remembering and honoring Rebbetzen Chaya Mushka and by extension, all Jewish women – we are presenting a letter of the Rebbe appropriate for these occasions.
In the merit of retaining our Jewish names, clothing and language during the years of our slavery in Mitzrayim, we were worthy to be redeemed. In this letter, the Rebbe addresses the question of changing one’s surname and the significance of a Jewish name.
As we read in this week’s parsha about the start of our enslavement in Mitzrayim – we share a letter in which the Rebbe deals with the question of tragedies and suffering which we have endured during our long history. Both Moshe Rabbeinu and the prophet Yirmiyahu had asked the time-honored question of why the wicked prosper and the righteous suffer.
With the beginning of the second chumash, Sh’mos, begins the history of the Jewish People. In this letter, the Rebbe advises an author on his project to write a book on Jewish history. So that this book reflects an authentic view of Jewish history, says the Rebbe, it should emphasize the Divine Providence throughout our history as well as its uniqueness. In addition, the Rebbe cautions not to draw from “broken vessels” and to avoid the predictions of the prophets of doom.
As we read this week about the final, good years of Yaakov’s life in Mitzrayim and the blessings he gives his children before his passing – we share a letter of the Rebbe in which he gives suggestions in regard to preparing a Jewish will. With some basic and interesting points to make it a truly Jewish document.
Now that Yaakov Avinu goes down to MItzrayim to be reunited with Yosef, he is preparing the ground for his family’s move. He sends Yehudah ahead of the others to establish a yeshivah. This week’s letter is the advice the Rebbe gives to an orthodox Jew on where he should settle with his family.
In connection with the forthcoming “yom tov of the s’forim”/Hey Teves, we share a fascinating letter in which the Rebbe thanks a devoted friend who volunteered his services, with success, and exerted great efforts to redeem some of the books and manuscripts of the Schneerson Library. Many of them were pillaged during World War Two and some, like the ones discussed in this letter, found their way to the Holy Land after the war. In the letter the Rebbe uses Chassidic concepts to explain the truly great significance of his noble mission to “redeem the captive” books and manuscripts.
As we celebrate Chanukah, we share a letter the Rebbe addresses to the participants of a Chassidic Concert honoring Jews who were liberated from religious oppression in a repressive regime – in which he points to the eternal message of Chanukah and the reliving of the miracles in our days.