In connection with the topic of strife as we see in this week’s parsha – of Korach and his group – we share a letter from the Rebbe in which he comments and advises on maintaining peace and harmony in the face of differing opinions. Where a group of people do not see eye to eye with each other, yet share a common goal, in order to insure success it is critical for them to settle differences in a peaceful way. For – “Peace is the vessel containing G-d’s blessing.” 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
19th of Teves, 5725
Greeting and Blessing:
The importance and necessity of peaceful and harmonious relationships have been amply explained in many of our holy sources. This is particularly important when there is a mitzvah to be fulfilled by a group of people, all the more so since of the Torah it is said that “Its ways are ways of pleasantness, and all its paths are peace.”
If this is true at all times, and everywhere, how much more so in a place and at a time where there are very few Torah observers. For in such a place, and in such a time, everyone who is a shomer Torah and mitzvot has an infinitely greater responsibility as one of the pillars of the Torah, and must also serve as a living example to others.
I am therefore writing this letter to you, as I am also writing to others who together with you are involved in efforts to spread Torah and mitzvot and the spirit of Chassidus. I am aware that each one of you has been active in this area to a certain extent, but not to the extent that could have been attained if all of you would stand together in closer friendship, and would cooperate and coordinate your activities for spreading the fountains of Torah and Chasidus to the utmost degree. I realize, of course, that where there are a group of people involved, they do not always see eye to eye on everything, but this is nothing unusual, as our Sages of the Mishna already told us, “people differ in their thinking as they differ in their physiognomy.” Yet, it is always possible to discuss and settle differences in a friendly way, inasmuch as all are imbued with the same ideal and have the same goal in mind, so that those ideals and goals could be attained with a truly concerted effort.
From this distance it is difficult for me to enter into details; nor is it necessary, for the details and circumstances often change. But the goal remains the same, and considering how important and vital it is to have G-d’s blessing in these efforts, bearing in mind that “Peace is the vessel containing G-d’s blessing.” I am confident that each one of you will approach this matter wholeheartedly. You will then certainly be able to find a way to pool your resources to their utmost capacity and efficiency, while at the same time each one will have an opportunity to utilize his particular capacities in the fullest measure, each one in his particular area, and also in those areas where joint action is necessary by two or three, etc. As mentioned above I must leave the details and particulars to you to resolve them locally, and as they appear. The important thing, however, is the attitude. Moreover, we have been assured that “A person sanctifies himself a little here on earth, and he is sanctified a great deal from On High.” Your resolution to act accordingly will immediately open new insights to you, and you will see how easily it can be accomplished.
I will be happy to receive good news about all the above.
I send my prayerful wishes, especially as we are approaching the auspicious day of the 24th of Teves, the Yahtzeit-Hilulo of the Old Rebbe. It is well known, and is particularly emphasized in his discourses Heicholtzu, published in Likutei Torah, how much he emphasized the vital importance of friendship, cooperation and Sholom.