In honor of the Kinus Ha’shluchim this week – We share a letter of the Rebbe, acknowledging the good wishes to him on the occasion of his birthday and stating that these good wishes are a tribute to the entire Lubavitch movement. The Rebbe then explains the “secret” behind the hatzlocho which Chabad enjoys in their world wide activities with all Jews. 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
10th of Iyar, 5737
Greeting and Blessing:
Our mutual friend brought o my attention you column.
I sincerely appreciate your good wishes and warm sentiments expressed therein, which I prayerfully reciprocate in the words of our Sages of blessed memory, “He who bosses others is himself blessed by G-d, the source of all blessings.” Accordingly, may G-d bestow His generous blessings on you and yours, both materially and spiritually.
As I stated ate the farbreingen of 11th of Nissan, I consider all the good wishes on this occasion as a tribute to the activities of the entire Chabad Lubavitch movement for the dissemination of Torah and mitzvoth, particularly to bring closer to Yiddishkeit those who have been alienated from it for one reason or another; activities motivated by Ahavat Yisrael and carried on in a manner of pleasantness in the true spirit of the Torah, of which it is written, “Its ways are ways of pleasantness and all its paths are peace.” This means that not only the “highways” of Torah but also its “byways” – its by-laws and ramifications are pleasant and peaceful, conducive to harmony and unity of all Jews everywhere.
This is the “secret” of hatzlocho in such efforts, for it is based on the fact, as the Alter Rebbe explains in the Tanaya at length, that every Jew is endowed with a Divine soul which is (HEBREW: chelek Eloka mi’maal mamash – truly a part of G-dliness above. Hence, just as G-dliness is eternal and indestructible, so is the Divine soul in every Jew. However, since everyone has also been endowed with intelligence and free choice, it has been left to the Divine soul and its free volition to seek fulfillment through Torah and mitzvoth and achieve its purpose in life on this earth, or to keep it immobilized and let it gather “dust,” or even suppress it. Therefore, with the proper and pleasant approach to help a Jew “dust off” his Divine soul and remove the external accretions that had clung to it for one reason or another, a dual process is set in motion simultaneously: that of the stimulating and penetrating influence (“words coming from the heart penetrate the heart”) as well as of the Divine soul itself which finds itself released and activated in the same direction. Thus victory is assured, provided one does not give up at the first or second try. This is also why the Torah, Toras Emes declares, “the banished shall not be expelled from Him” (Sam. II 14:14), since every Jew must return to G-d sooner or later. If a Jew goes on living apparently without teshuva, the reason probably is that the effort to help him return has not been made, or lacked the proper approach and perseverance.
Every Jew, in addition to the attributes which he has in common with all Jews, also has specific powers and particular opportunities, all of which one is expected to utilize fully to help make the world around him as it should be, not as it often appears to be ruled by the idea that “might is right,” but that “this manor has a lord and a master.” Except that, as indicated above, the free choice has been given to mankind to achieve the good voluntarily, by the utilization of the G-d-given powers to do so, not only for the good in afterlife, but also here and now on earth. And this calls for the full utilization of all the capacities actual and potential.
This brings me to a personal note, which I trust you will not take amiss. For, every Jew can accomplish a great deal, yet, as mentioned, there are those who have special capacities and opportunities which one must properly evaluate and put into operation for, surely they have not been given in vain since, as our Sages expressed it “G-d has not created anything in His world in vain,” and the purpose cannot be destructive, but entirely constructive, since G-d is the Essence of goodness.
Living in a country which has the largest Jewish community in the world and a country blessed with complete religious freedom, where the Torah and mitzvoth can be fully and freely observed in the daily life, free form restrictions and persecutions and where, moreover, one need not constantly remind oneself of the first injunction of the Shulchan Aruch, “Be not discouraged by scoffers,” since on the contrary, religious convictions and practices are respected and even admired, it behooves one to make the fullest use of such opportunities. Certainly one who has the gift of the pen, speaks the language of the country, is familiar with the ways and psychological makeup of the people, and has at its disposal a platform and medium through which to reach not only those in his immediate “four cubits,” but much further removed in place and time. Add to this the special zechut of living at a time when so many of our young people, our future, are seeking and thirsting for the truth and are in desperate need of direction and guidance to the truth, the truth of Torat Emet. These challenges and opportunities have never been greater.
Clearly therefore, it is the imperative of the hour to utilize to the full all capacities and opportunities. This is vital not only for our Jewish people but also for bringing harmony into the whole Divine order, for if part of the capacities are left unused and wasted, it causes a distortion in the Divine scheme of Creation. Even in the case of a man-made machine every effort is made to use it to its fullest capacity and efficiency, though in certain circumstances one accepts less than that, knowing that it could be worse. But the Creator is perfect and the world He created could be perfect, except that He desires man to be “His partner in Creation” through bringing perfection into his particular niche, which is why G-d left many things in Creation which can be improved and perfected by man, as our Sages interpret the verse, “Which G-d created to make,” meaning “to improve” or “to complete.”