During the month of Elul and the days from Rosh Hahsanah through Yom Kippur we place particular emphasis on the saying of tehillim. The letter we share this week gives some fascinating facts about the origins of Tehillim from a historical perspective and about its emphasis by kabbala and chassidus.
Letter and Spirit
In this week’s letter, the Rebbe gives basic guidelines and encouragement to one wanting to lead a life of Torah and mitzvos and points out that teshuvah is not as difficult as one may anticipate.
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The author of a book about “Ten Vital Jewish Issues” invites the Rebbe’s input and in this letter in answer, the Rebbe shares, interestingly, what he considers the most vital Jewish issue.
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The Rebbe’s letter this week is in answer to an interesting question which a young lady asks: “is it a sin not to like everything in the world; must we love everything Hashem created?” The Rebbe’s fascinating answer includes a clear definition of what “good” is.
On Shabbos nachamu we find comfort in the words of the prophets which we read this Shabbos during the Haftorah. In his letter, the Rebbe gives comforting words to the family mourning the loss of their father, in which he explains the traditional words of comfort we give to mourners : “the A-mighty comfort you in the midst of all mourners of Zion and Jerusalem.”
This week, we present a special letter from the archives of Rabbi Nissan Mindel, with the Rebbe’s handwritten notations and corrections. The letter covers the topics of the nine days and three weeks, which are regarded as a period of mourning. It discusses that these days also have a message of hope and good tidings, and how to prepare for this happy time by rebuilding the third Bais Hamikdash.
During the period of the three weeks, we emphasize the need for unity, peaceful relationships and overall ahavas Yisroel – unconditionally, as this will bring the geula. Just as it was baseless hatred and disunity that caused the destruction and galus – it will be our unconditional love for each other that will bring Moshiach, may it be now!
As Crown Heights has recently seen an unprecedented act of Unity, we present this week’s letter in which the Rebbe discusses the importance of harmonious and peaceful relationships.
This Parsha teaches of the partitioning of Eretz Yisrael among the Twelve Tribes upon entering the land. In this connection we bring a letter of the Rebbe in which he discusses the issue of present day Eretz Yisrael – where discussion has been taking place regarding the “giving back of the territories for the sake of peace.” There are those whose wrongful approach claims that the Land is ours because of the Balfour Declaration and the goodwill of the United Nations – and it is these people who are ready to give away parts of it for the sake of a nonexistent peace. Yet the ones who base their claim to the land upon the G-d given Torah, where G-d has given it to us as an inheritance, promised to our ancestors, the patriarchs – these people stand loyal to our inheritance.
As we enter the period of the three weeks, with the 17th of Tammuz, we present a letter in which the Rebbe discusses the question of “why the holocaust ” in context of the many tragedies in Jewish history.
As today is the 5oth anniversary of the first man landing on the moon we present a letter of the Rebbe in connection with space travel and exploration.
In keeping with the concept of chukas – the mitzvos which have no discernible reason, and the acceptance of all mitzvos on the same basis – we present a letter in which the Rebbe answers to one questioning the acceptance of mitzvos on faith – doing things which the rational mind finds difficult and which limit one’s independent thinking.
In preparation for Gimmel Tammuz, this weeks letter from the Rebbe is on the topic of hiskashrus, and learning the Torah of the person you are looking to connect with.
In this weeks letter, the Rebbe tackles an issue brouhgt up on the topic of shluchim and shlichus. The Rebbe’s answer to the argument that Lubavitch activities constitutes hasogas g’vul (encroachment).
In keeping with these parshi’os, which deal with the tribe of Levy – the kohanim and levi’im – their count and their service in the mishkan, we present a letter of the Rebbe on the subject of “an hereditary aristocracy in the persons of Kohanim and Leviim”. Although Judaism recognizes a distinction of hereditary classes – at the same time – the essential spirit of Judaism rests on the view that “the entire congregation are all holy.” The Rebbe explains and reconciles the seeming inconsistency of these two ideas.
This week we present a multi-layered letter dealing with a number of topics – including: protestation against G-d as proof of belief in Him, why prayer and the case of “Acher” . But it is the topic of the resurgence of Nazism that is of particular interest – as the topic of renewed antisemitism today is again making headlines.
In preparation for Shavuos, the Festival of the Giving of the Torah we share a scholarly letter in which the Rebbe comments on an article that discusses The Philosophy of Judaism. In the letter the Rebbe emphasizes the importance of first ascertaining the premise upon which a discussion is based, so that the discussion can use the methods applicable to that premise: What is the premise? 1. accept Divine Revelation on Mt. Sinai or 2. not accept Divine Revelation as a fact, thus implying that our religion is based on man’s intelligence.
In light of the recent renewed interest in the Rebbe’s campaign for “a moment of silence” in the Public Schools – we share a letter about the subject. The Rebbe had often spoken and written about this vital topic, within the general framework of education – so as to inculcate children with a sense of respect for a Higher Authority thereby cultivating good traits and behavior- and ultimately avoiding delinquency and lawlessness.
In the spirit of the month of Iyar, traditionally known as the “Month of Healing”, we present a letter of the Rebbe in which he gives encouraging advice to a sculptor about caring for one’s health – in light of the parsha and the teachings of the RAMBAM. Also a letter in which the Rebbe explains the meaning of the Torah giving a doctor the competence to heal (rappo ye’rappeh).
In this special edition of letters from the Rebbe, we present a series of letters between the Rebbe, and Author Herman Wouk who just passed away. May these letters we are publicizing, be a merit for his soul and bring comfort to his family during the week of shiva. The letters reflect Herman Wouk’s generous and compassionate character and good deeds – especially in the area of chinuch and education.
This week, we present a letter from the Rebbe in regards to the weeks of s’fira, when we remember Rabbi Akiva and his students and his famous teaching of a Jew being intrinsically connected to Torah, as a fish is to water. In the letter, the Rebbe discusses this very essence of a Jew.
This week, we present a letter from the rebbe, in which the Rebbe expands on the mitzvah of the counting of the Omer. The letter, written originally in English, is from the archives of the Rebbe’s trusted secretary Rabbi Nissan Mindel.
In this weeks letter, the Rebbe gives words of comfort to the bereaved, and it’s association during the days between Pesach and Shavuos, a time of tragic events in Jewish history, associated with the martyrdom of our people.