This week, as we read in the Torah Parshas Noach, we present a letter from the Rebbe explaining the neccecity of — and encouraging the promotion of — the Seven Noahide Commandments. The letter, written originally in English, is from the archives of the Rebbe’s trusted secretary Rabbi Nissan Mindel.
By the Grace of G-d
28th of Iyar, 5745
Larchmont, N.Y. 10538
Greeting and blessing:
This is to acknowledge receipt of your letter. As requested, I will remember you and your wife and daughter in prayer and may G-d grant the fulfillment of your heart’s desires for good in the matter about which you wrote.
Receipt is enclosed for you tzedoko and may it bring you and yours additional Divine blessings.
In the present days, approaching Shavuos, the Festival of Mattan Torah, I take this opportunity of sharing a timely thought with you in connection with an area which is sometimes overlooked. I refer to the requirement of the Torah that Jews should not only observe all its commandments in their own life, but should also promote the so-called Seven Noahite Laws among the gentiles, for the betterment of human society and human life in general.
These well known Seven Laws, with all their ramifications, are the basic moral laws upon which every decent society must be founded, if it is not to become a jungle of inhumanity and lawlessness. As the Rambam emphasizes, the observance of these Seven Categories of Laws has to be based on Divine authority, as the imperatives of the Supreme Being, the Creator of all mankind, and not a laws legislated by humans, which are often ignored or circumvented. History has shown clearly, and in our times in a most horrifying way, that man made laws, as such, are no guarantee of civilization. Indeed, the Holocaust was conceived and carried out by a country and nation which has long boasted of great philosophers and moralists, etc. – which need not be elaborated upon.
Needless to say that a Jew who occupies a special position in society, has even a greater obligation to spread the light of the Torah and mitzvos not only among fellow Jews, but also promote the above mentioned basic laws of the society at large.
While the adherence to the Torah and mitzvos is a “must” for its own sake, it is well to remember that this is also the channel to receive Hashem’s blessings in all needs, and every increased effort in this direction, widens these channels.
I extend to you and yours prayerful wishes for a joyous and inspiring Yom Tov of Shavuos and the traditional blessing to “receive the Torah with joy and inwardness.”
With esteem and blessing,
The above letter is from Volume III of The Letter and the Spirit by Nissan Mindel Publications (NMP).
These letters were written originally in English and were prepared for publication by Rabbi Dr. Nissan Mindel, whose responsibility it was the Rebbe’s correspondence in English and several other languages.
We thank Rabbi Shalom Ber Schapiro, who was entrusted by his father-in-law Rabbi Mindel with his archives and who is Director of the Nissan Mindel Publications (NMP), for making the Rebbe’s letters available to the wider public. May the merit of the many stand him in good stead.