Lot 314: Orthodox rabbi (1902–1994) who led the Chabad-Lubavitch movement and is considered one of the most influential Jewish figures of the 20th century. TLS signed "M. Schneerson," three onionskin pages, 8.5 x 11, personal letterhead, July 7, 1960. Lengthy letter to H. A. Goodman of London touching upon several areas of Jewish interest. In part: "There is, of course, the general principle that the larger sum already includes the smaller one, or, as our Sages expressed it, 'In the sum of 200, 100 is included.' I refer to the teachings and way of life of Chassidus. For Chassidus did not come to minimize in any way, G-d forbid, but to add to and strengthen all matters of Torah and Mitzvoth by instilling a spirit of vivacity and enthusiasm into all aspects of Jewish life. The Baal Shem Tov, whose 200th anniversary of the completion of his life's work we have just observed on the 1st day of Shovuoth, placed the emphasis on serving G-d with joy and on the awareness of G-d's Providence which extends to everyone, and in every detail, in particular—two basic principles which go hand in hand together. For, when one reflects on G-d's benevolent Providence, and His constant watchfulness and care, etc., there is no room for anxiety, and the Jew can indeed serve G-d with joy and gladness of heart.
Although you will suspect me of being favorably inclined to the Chassific point of view, and I will not deny it, and in any case it would be futile to deny it, nevertheless the fact is that Chassidus, far from creating a conflict in the matter of allegiance to the Torah and Mitzvoth, is the ingredient which gives the necessary flavor and zest to all matters of Torah and Mitzvoth, and can only strengthen and vitalize all positive forces in Jewish life…
It is remarkable that when one reads the letters and bans by the early opponents to the Baal Shem Tove and his teachings, and if one does so without prejudice and with an open mind, it should make everyone a Chosid. In fact, the greater the attachment to and veneration of, the Gaon of Wilno, the chief opponent of Chassidus in those days, the greater and more loyal a Chosid one should become. The reason is plain, and for those letters also state the reasons for opposing the Chassidim, namely the fear that they may weaken the foundations of the Torah and Mitzvoth. How wrong these apprehensions were is obvious. Stop any Jew in the street, even one of the most stalwart adherents to 'the other camp,' and ask him, 'What is a Chosid and what is his way of life?' he will unhesitatingly reply something like this: 'A Chosid is a bearded Jew with long sidelocks, dressed in an old-fashioned way, who puts on two pairs of Tefillin, prays much longer, boycotts the movies, careful to eat only Shemura on Pesach, etc., etc.' Further commentary is unnecessary. I trust this will suffice on the subject matter, since this is the first time we have directly touched upon this question." Schneerson adds several handwritten corrections throughout the text. In very good to fine condition, with some tiny holes to text caused by typewriter, partial separations along edges of folds, and staple-related paper loss to upper left corners. A rare letter with superlative content.
RR Auction's Fine Autographs And Artifacts Auction 471
Wednesday, 9th March 2016
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