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Soul Meetings



The greatest of great can request for forgiveness
Two letters from the year 1986

A respected Rabbi wrote to the Rebbe and for some reason he did not receive a reply to his letter. The Rabbi wrote a letter to the Rebbe’s secretary, complaining as to why he did not receive a reply from the Rebbe to his letter. This is the Rebbe’s reply to the Rabbi:

Greeting and Blessing:

I duly received from Rabbi Groner the letters with reference to me, more precisely, to my failure to respond to your correspondence.

Let me say at once that your complaints are completely justified. I can only ask your indulgence to judge me "in the scale of merit." I assure you that my failure to respond does not reflect anything in the nature of "cold shouldering," as you put it, G-d forbid. As for an explanation of the absence of written responses on my part - I plead "guilty without explanation," since an explanation would have to be rather lengthy and beyond the scope of this letter. I must therefore rely on the “palm of merit”, that you will believe me when I say that the cause has absolutely nothing to do with you.

The reason I am writing to you now is not hard to find, since we have entered the month-of Elul, when it is time to make amends for past failures. And although, obviously, these few lines cannot quantitatively suffice for all that has been omitted, they, hopefully, can suffice in terms of quality and real content.

As you know, the month of Elul is explained by the well-known allegory of the Old Rebbe [of Chabad, Rabbi Schneur Zalman] as the time when "The King is in the field." This is the time when the King is pleased to be greeted by the workers in the field, and is particularly gracious to accept their petitions (Likutei Torah, Re'eh 32, col. 2). All of us, together and individually, are of course, included in this extraordinary and auspicious opportunity.

May it indeed be so with you and your wife, to enjoy many, many good and pleasant years together. And "good and pleasant" in your case includes the fullest utilization of the capacities that G-d has bestowed on you for the benefit of the "personal" and "community."

With prayerful wishes for to be written and signed in the book of good, for a good and sweet year, and

With esteem and blessing, M. Schneersohn

Following this letter the Rabbi wrote to the Rebbe that he does not feel that it is of respect for the Rebbe, that the Rebbe should request from him forgiveness…

Greeting and Blessing:

I was pleased to receive your letter of Sept. 18th, with the enclosures.

To begin with a blessing, this gives me the opportunity to reiterate my prayerful wishes to be written and signed in the book of good for a good and sweet year, including the fulfillment of your hearts desires for good in the matters about which you wrote.

If I may make a remark, in the spirit, of the old Jewish custom, I am surprised at your reaction to my letter, in your words “this is not the way”. Surely there has not been any greater man than Moses our master, and [the classic commenter of the Torah] Rashi (in a commentary even on the level of a five year old child beginning to learn the Bible) remarks about Moses our master, “he admitted and he was not ashamed [to do so]” (Vayikrah, Shmini chapter 10, verse 20).

You also know that when the daughters of Tzelofchod presented to Moses our master their claim for inheritance [due to the death of their father and having no brothers, who would receive their father inheritance and than have to support girls of the family until they are married, so the question arises what do you do if you have no father of brother/s. Therefore the daughters approached Moses to ask what would the law be in such a case?], adding that their father had no part in Korach's Rebellion [attacking Moses] (39 years earlier), Moses our master immediately disqualified himself from making a judgment, considering their remark as a possible "bribery," and, instead, presented the case directly to G-d, as explained in various commentaries.

Anyway, the important thing is that it is always good to clear up any possible misunderstanding, especially when a good personal relationship is involved.

With esteem and blessing,
M. Schneersohn

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