Weekly Letter: Chinuch Devoid of Jewish Spirit and Pride

Living in the foreign culture of the Mitzrayim of today – being overwhelmed with the raging waters of the Nile and its secular environment – we present a letter where the Rebbe addresses the question of “Kindness of nations is sin.” Explaining it as it relates to Jews of today being fooled into exposing their children and daughters to a chinuch devoid of Jewish spirit and pride. 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
16th of Teves, 5725
Brooklyn, N.Y.
Rockaway Pk., N.Y.
Greeting and Blessing:
Thank you very much for sending me a copy of your published sermons of last Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.
As you can well expect, I cannot refrain from mentioning again my objection to quoting and citing non-Jewish sources in synagogue sermons, especially on such solemn occasions as Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. As you know, Chassidus interprets the “Rosh” of Rosh Hashanah also in a literal sense, in that it is not merely the beginning of the new year, but also the “head” of the year, being in relation to the rest of the year, as the head is to the rest of the physical body. For, just as the head is the one that rules and moves the entire body, so is Rosh Hashanah. It seems to me therefore in the nature of a jarring note to find right on the first page of your published sermon a quotation from a non-Jewish source, for which there is no compelling need.
Having mentioned this point to you before, you may logically question this repetition, in view of the statement of our Sages that, “As it is a mitzvo to say something which is acceptable, so it is a mitzvo to refrain from saying something which will not be acceptable.” However, what can I do, since both you and I belong to the same “stiff-necked people.” Moreover, I find a further justification in the statement of the Gemoro – “Up to one hundred times,” and if my memory serves me right, I have not exhausted yet the first ten. At the same time, I must confess that I am somewhat optimistic that it may not be necessary to exhaust fully the first ten. I hope you will bear with me.
Incidentally, and perhaps it is not a mere coincidence, I have just received a book …..It certainly speaks for itself. If it was at all necessary at any time to prove the veracity of the statement of our Sages (B.B. 10b) that, “The kindness of nations is sin” (Prov. 14:34), this book of documents dispels any such necessity. It will, of course, not be a revelation to you if I say the posuk surely did not refer to such people as Hitler and his cohorts, but to such people whose actions and intentions are not so obvious, or are cloaked in hypocrisy; though, sad to say, there are some Jews who, after all that happened in our recent experience, are still fooled and still question the veracity of the above statement of our Sages. The collection of documents in the above-named book reveals the whole deception of the professed attitude in all its stark reality and it is all the more abhorrent because it is reared in this particular circle. It also proves, if proof is necessary, how our Sages are right even in the detailed aspects of their words, including their warning what a crafty master the yetzer is to twist the mind of some people as to not only fail to see the truth of the above quotation, but to actually preach the opposite of it, to the extent of exposing their children and daughters to a chinuch which deprives them of the idea of Atto B’chartonu. From there it is but a short step to the logical consequence to follow the majority, inasmuch as Jews are a minority everywhere. Then those very same people wonder at and lament the plague of intermarriage, etc., which is actually no more that the logical consequence to the interfaith movement – which is, in turn, the logical consequence of an intercultural movement etc., etc. Yet, every week at the conclusion of Shabbos, we are reminded about the various havdolos and boundaries starting with the holy and the profane, even though the boundary is not an absolute one, because we are dealing with the “chol´which is muttor. Nevertheless, it has a direct bearing on the separation between Israel and the other nations.
The whole subject is too painful to discuss at greater length.
With blessing,

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