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Weekly Letter: Addressing a Business Promise

In connection with the topic of a neder [vow] in this week’s parsha, we present a detailed letter of the Rebbe  to a businessman – in which the Rebbe advises on the question of a neder that the businessman  made and connects it to other relevant matters of the business. 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

22nd of Iyar, 5731

Brooklyn, N.Y.

Mr.

Copenhagen, Denmark

Greeting and Blessing:

I received your letter.

Thank you very much for the good news that the matter about which Rabbi… spoke to me, has turned out well. It surprises me somewhat that I had not been informed of this good news earlier. However, good news is always welcome.

With regard to the question of the Neder, etc. – although I do not generally Pasken Shaalos, I will make an exception in this case, since I had something to do with it.

My suggestions are, therefore, as follows:

Similarly in regard to the tzedoko contributions which has been your custom to give until now. You should continue in the same way, for when G-d has shown you a nes (miracle), this surely indicates a greater effort in matters of Torah and Mitzvos and tzedoko, rather than curtailing same, G-d forbid. In other words, the above mentioned installments should be arranged that hot only will they not affect your business, but also not curtail your regular tzedoko contributions.

In regard to the final paragraph of your letter and a tikun – first and foremost there must be sincere regret of past failure and a strong resolution not to repeat the mistakes of the past. I would also suggest that you should learn in the Torah (Shulcahn Aruch) the appropriate laws. For it is well known that the study of Torah is a general tikun, especially Dinim and Halochos, which are of practical importance.

Now that we are in the auspicious days of Sefira, connecting Pesach, the Festival of Freedom (from physical slavery), with Shovuos, the Festival of our Receiving the Torah (spiritual freedom), may these auspicious days bring you an additional measure of freedom from all distracting negative things, materially and spiritually, so that you should be able to advance from strength to strength in all matters of Yiddishkeit. Moreover, this includes the great principle of our Torah, V’Ohavto L’Reacho Komocho, namely to do your utmost to serve as a living example and inspiration in your environment and community at large.

May G-d grant that you should have good news to report.

With blessing,

***

The above letter is from 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.