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Soul Meetings




When a Jew
is in the marketplace...

Continuation of the series of letters to a well know Scientist (for the previous letter click here)
A letter from the year 1967

Greeting and Blessings:

I was genuinely pleased to see you at the Chassidic gathering [in Lubavitch World Headquarters], and previously at the communal praying. In addition to the pleasure of seeing tangible proof of your satisfactory physical health, it is particularly gratifying to be able to share with good friends the joy of the holiday, especially the holiday which concludes Passover. For the gathering on this occasion is in many respects an extension of the Haphtora [prophets chapter read following the Torah reading] of the day, which speaks of the blissful days of Moshiach and continues in the note of true fulfillment, when "the earth will be full of the knowledge of G-d, as the waters cover the sea."

While the Haphtorah speaks of the Days of Moshiach, G-d, Who is the Essence of Goodness, desires that the Good (in this case – the universal knowledge of G-d) which He will give us should be enjoyed to the fullest measure. Needless to say, the joy and appreciation of gaining something through toil and effort is incomparably greater than something which comes by without trying. Consequently, the activity now to spread "knowledge of G-d on earth" – the dissemination of Judaism, Torah and its commandments – is the proper and necessary preparation for it, whereby also it will be possible to enjoy to the full the blessing of "the earth will be full of the knowledge of G-d, as the waters cover the sea."

The joy is compounded when one has the opportunity to bring the knowledge of G-d to spheres which are inaccessible to others, for which G-d provides a special capacity to accomplish it.

As you will easily infer, I am referring to your unique merit in being able to bring the "truth of G-d to the world" to a circle where few, if indeed any but you, can penetrate - the True G-d embodied in His true Torah. Truth is, of course, incompatible with compromise, for even the slightest compromise invalidates the real truth.

This reminds me of the story related by my father-in-law of saintly memory during a gathering on the last day of Passover:

My grandfather, the Rebbe Maharash [Rabbi Shmuel the Lubavitcher Rebbe to the Chabad dynasty], once said to the Chosid Rabbi Elia Abeler, a market trader; "Elia, I envy you. You travel and go to markets and fairs, which gives you the opportunity to exchange a Jewish word with a fellow-Jew and inspire him to learn the Talmud and Chasidic philosophy. This creates joy in Heaven, and G-d pays the commission in terms of children, life and sustenance. The busier the market and the greater the effort, the greater the livelihood."

Scores of years later, when Rabbi Elia recounted this to me, he was aglow and aflame with those words, and his limbs shook, as though he had just heard them for the first time that day." (Sefer Hasichos, 5743, p.111).

The story speaks for itself. I will only add the obvious, that envy in matters of Torah and its commandments is quite in order. To reiterate what I wished you during our meeting afterwards, may it be G-d's Will that for many years to come you should work in the above mentioned direction, in good health, and with joy and gladness of heart, and with a growing measure of vitality and inspiration; and may the above blessings of the Rebbe Maharash be fulfilled in your and yours.

With blessing M. Schneersohn

It was a particular pleasure for me to hear your daughter [during the families private audience] recite on the portion of the Torah and about the Passover meal, which she did with naturalness and innocence characteristic of a child, oblivious of compromise. It bespeaks your ability, undoubtedly shared by your wife, to instill such pure faith in her. Have much Jewish pleasure.

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