Photo Credit: Jewish Press

In light of what has happened in Miami and in Israel, the mood of our brethren needs a great uplifting. We would like to bring to the attention of our readers a letter that the Rebbe wrote during the Three Weeks in 1979.

Although the Rebbe wrote this letter 42 years ago, it is as fresh and pertinent as if it were written today.

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May Hashem see and hear the prayers and the tears of our brethren throughout the world and send us the righteous redeemer, Moshiach Tzidkeinu, immediately.

A free translation of the Rebbe’s letter:

By the Grace of G-d

Bein Hamtzorim [“Between the straights”],

Erev Rosh Chodesh Menachem Av

Third Day of the Week, “Twice blessed with good” – good for Heaven and for the creations, the weekly portion of “Tzion shall be redeemed through justice and those who return with her through tzedakah,” 5739

Brooklyn, N.Y.

To the Sons and Daughters of Our People Israel, Everywhere – G-d bless you all!

After inquiring after your welfare, and with blessing!

In connection to the current time period, there is certainly no need to elaborate on the seriousness of the situation in the world at large, as well as the plight of our nation the Jewish people wherever they are found – both in the Holy Land and in the diaspora. We are referring to their circumstances both materially and spiritually, and particularly on a practical level, that the current situation requires us to inspire and encourage every single Jew to strengthen his or her trust in G-d, that “Indeed, the Guardian of Israel neither slumbers nor sleeps” (Tehillim 121:4) and in the words of the sweet singer of Israel, “May only goodness and kindness pursue me all the days of my life” (Ibid., 23:6).

Simultaneously, we must inspire each and every Jew to increase, with added quality and vigor, in all areas of Judaism, Torah and Mitzvos. “The essential thing is the deed:” energetic study of Torah (both the revealed and esoteric dimensions), fulfillment of mitzvos in the most beautiful manner, including the injunctions of “All your actions should be for the sake of Heaven” (Avos 1:17) and “Know Him in all your ways” (Mishlei 3:6; as codified in Rambam, Hilchos Deios, ch. 3 and Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim, sec. 231).

There is a special lesson from the current time, based on the verse, “Tzion shall be redeemed through justice [referring to Torah] and her repatriates by tzedakah” (Yeshayahu 1:27). Torah lectures on the subject of Jewish law and practical halachah should be established – and where they already take place, they should be increased.

If possible, these Torah lectures should discuss topics related to G-d’s Chosen Home, our Beis HaMikdash.

In the realm of tzedakah, if possible the tzedakah should be directed to the miniature sanctuaries – Shuls and houses of study (including yeshivos, etc.).

Based on the teachings of our Sages, it is definite that teshuvah, tefillah and tzedakah avert [evil decrees], to the point that darkness is transformed to light, and bitterness to sweetness, to revealed and apparent good.

Although all of the above is surely being done already, in the spirit of our Sages’ statement (Talmud, Makkos 23a) “ein mezarzin ela lemzoraz – we only propel those who are already driven,” I take the liberty to issue a reminder regarding all the above. In the words of the Alter Rebbe [Ed. note – Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi] in a similar situation, “for the sake of an additional measure of vigilance and zeal doubly and exceedingly elevated and powerful, far surpassing….” (Tanya, Iggeres Hakodesh, 7).

May it be G-d’s will that immediately upon accepting positive resolutions in the above areas it will be fulfilled, as G-d promised Daniel, “From the first day that you set your heart to contemplate… your words were heard” (Daniel 10:12). This is reflected in a ruling of Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chaim 571:3) as well.

These days will be transformed to joy, happiness and festivals – may this happen in our time.

As the days in which we left Egypt – when G-d established “Testimony [Mitzvos] in Yaakov, and He set down a Torah in Yisrael and He instructed that they be made known to their sons” in the last generation (Tehillim 78:5-6) – He will show us wonders, with our true and complete redemption by our righteous Moshiach.

With esteem and with blessing,

MENACHEM SCHNEERSON

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Rabbi Shmuel M. Butman is director of the Lubavitch Youth Organization. He can be reached at Lubavitchyouth@gmail.com.