In this week’s edition of Letter and Spirit, we present a letter from the Rebbe on the question of golus and ge’ula. The letter was written in English 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.
By the Grace of G-d
2nd of Iyar, 5742
Rep. of South Africa
Greeting and Blessing:
This is in reply to your letter which has been unavoidably delayed because of the intervening Yom Tov of Pesach.
In your letter you ask a number of questions pertaining to the halachah which, of course, cannot be adequately dealt with in a letter. Nor is it necessary, for you have to discuss these matters personally with a competent Orthodox Rabbi, who will be glad to enlighten you.
In view of your concern with the matters mentioned in your letter, especially the matter of golus and geulo, to the extent of taking the trouble to write about them overseas, I assume that you are active in those aspects of these problems and Yiddishkeit in general, in which it is quite clear what every Jew is supposed to do in accordance with the Great Principle of our Torah, “V’Ohavto L’re’acho Komocho.”
Since you have asked a number of questions, I will answer at least one of them, and briefly, namely if we have reached the era that may be described as reishis tzmichas ge’uloseinu.
The answer: if you will reflect on the simple meaning of the words concerning the ge’ulo which we express in the amida three times daily, and at the same time consider the terribly long golus of nearly 2,000 years, replete with persecutions, pogroms, etc., and at the same time bear in mind that G-d is good and just – I do not think you will have any doubts as to whether the present situation of Jews anywhere in the world, including our Holy Land, which finds itself threatened, victimized by terrorism and so utterly dependent on the good graces of certain nations like the U.S.A., can be considered as the reishis tzmichas ge’uloseinu, which can compensate in any measure for such a terrible golus. There is surely no need to elaborate on the obvious.
I will only add that since “action is the only essential thing,” in addition to your reflections on the points of halachah mentioned in your letter, you are above all, active in spreading and strengthening Yiddishkeit to the fullest extent of your ability, and thus helping to shorten the golus and hasten the ge’ulo, the true and complete ge’ulo through Moshiach tzidkeinu, may he come speedily in our days.
The above letter is from newly-published The Letter and the Spirit Volume III by Nissan Mindel Publications. 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.