In celebrating Yud Bais Tammuz – birthday and chag ha’ge’ula of the Frierdiker Rebbe – we present a letter where the Rebbe encourages participants in a public event to “make a Holy Land” in all places. This follows the Frierdiker Rebbe’s example of dedication and mesiras nefesh for Torah, at all times and in all places, in spite the scars he suffered from the War and Holocaust. These horrific events created a void, which is for us to fill. 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
Erev Shabbos Rosh Chodesh Shevat, 5740
Greeting and Blessing:
I am very pleased to extend to you Mr. Chairman and all Honorees and participants in the notable event, compliments and best wishes.
Since everything is by Divine Providence – especially an event that has for its purpose the advancement of Yiddishkeit and Torah education in the community, its timing is significant. For it is taking place on the day after Shabbos Parshas Yisro, highlighted by the account of Mattan Torah )the Divine Revelation and Giving of the Torah at Mount Sinai), and in the month of Shevat, highlighted by the yartzeit of my predecessor, my father-in-law of saintly memory, the 10th of Shevat. Both these events are relevant to each other and to the present occasion.
One of the reasons why G-d gave us the Torah in the desert is to emphasize that the Torah is not linked exclusively with any particular country, not even the Holy Land; that wherever a Jew lives, he has to make a “Holy Land” in his surroundings, through his everyday life and conduct sanctified by G-d’s Torah and mitzvos.
This point comes to mind as we recall the first public pronouncement which my father-in-law made immediately upon setting foot in this country forty years ago: “America is not different!” from any other place, nor from the shtedtel in the “Old World.” A Jew’s commitment to the eternal Torah cannot change with time and place.
And since “the essential thing is the action,” he immediately threw himself into a determined all-out effort to make his vision a reality, without pausing to rest from the scars of the War and Holocaust which had overtaken him and from which Divine Providence had saved him in the last moment, precisely for this purpose, as he was deeply convinced. Indeed, the destruction of the Jewish centers in Europe made it all the more imperative and urgent that American Jewry fill the tremendous void. How well he succeeded, with G-d’s help, in this task is a matter of open record, as evidenced also by the Chabad-Lubavitch institutions and activities in all parts of this country, including your city and state.
I hope and pray that – inspired by his boundless dedication and mesiras nefesh and accompanied by his eternal blessing – you will continue from strength to strength in this vital endeavor and will do so with joy and enthusiasm, in the spirit of the Chassidic Happening. All the more so since, as the Alter Rebbe, founder of Chabad, declared, “melody and song is the language of the heart,” and the most effective way of giving expression to the deepest Jewish feelings of love of G-d, love of the Torah and love of our Jewish people, and making Torah-true Yiddishkeit a sublime everyday experience.
With esteem and blessing
For hatzlocho, materially and spiritually,