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Spiritual Nourishment

By the Grace of G-d
11th of Nissan, 5737
Brooklyn, N.Y.

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

Greeting and Blessing:

Pursuing the theme of the letter of Rosh Chodesh Nissan on the significance of the month of Nissan and Yetzias Mitzraim (the Liberation from Egypt) in connection with it being the time when Jews were born as a nation, and what we have to learn from it - in general terms - about the birth and education of Jewish children, as well as adults (inasmuch as in respect of things that have yet to be learned and achieved in spiritual development - everyone, regardless of age, is in the category of "children" ) -

It is fitting to consider some details encompassed within the general principles that had been deduced in the previous letter; details which are, non-the-less, basic elements that should permeate the education of children (and adults), and which are indicated in the details attending Yetzias Mitzraim and Pesach.

At the birth of our Jewish people, prior to settling on land, the first requirement was, of course, the provision of food - "food" in a wider sense, embracing all human needs (food, clothing, and shelter), down to food in the ordinary sense.

In connection with Yetzias Mitzraim the Torah specified three kinds of food: Korban Pesach (the Passover sacrifice), Matza, and moror (bitter herbs), (mentioned also in the previous letter). The co-relation between these three items is underscored in the Torah by the commandment, "Together with Matza and Moror they shall eat it (the Korban Pesach)."

It should be noted that these three items are essential elements of Yetzias Mitzraim, as well as of the Hagadah, that is, the Mitzva of relating the story of Yetzias Mitzraim (also for its instructive, edifying purpose). Thus it is emphasized in the Mishnah, Hagadah, and in the actual celebration of the Seder: "He who has not declared (explained) these three things on Pesach has not fulfilled his duty, and these are they: Pesach, Matza, and Moror. "

Similarly, in the case of the birth of a child, the first requirement is to provide the child with food - both in the broad sense and in the plain sense, as mentioned above.

Food comprises three general categories: food that is required for normal development, or, moreover, is vitally needed to sustain life; food that is harmful, and must be excluded or even destroyed and food that while not indispensable, provides additional strength and delight.

These three categories of food are alluded to respectively in the three special Pesach foods - Matza, Moror and (Korban) Pesach:

Matza is, of course, (unleavened) bread, as we hold it up and declare at the beginning of the Seder: "This is the bread... "; and "bread sustains a man's life." In a broader sense, the term "bread" is used for a whole repast, and the entire daily food.

Moror - in our context - signifies undesirable things which should, and must, be considered and felt as truly bitter, and, hence, must be rejected and eliminated.

The (Korban) Pesach had to be eaten 'al ha-sova' - "on fullness," when one is already fully sated; it came as a "dessert" for an extra measure of strength and delight. For this reason the Korban Pesach had to be eaten sumptuously "in a manner of Royal Festivity. "

The above-mentioned qualities are further underscored by the distinctive instructions relating to Matza, Moror and Korban Pesach:

The obligation to eat Matza is always of the same force, as a Torah obligation, at all times and in all places, outside of Eretz Yisroel and in the items of the Golus (exile), exactly as in Jerusalem in the time of the Beis Hamikdosh.

The obligation to eat Moror is also valid in all times and places, but not with the same force as in the time when the Korban Pesach was offered.

The obligation of the Korban Pesach is valid only in the time, and in the place, of the Beis Hamikdosh, in the time and place when Jews enjoyed sova', the fullness of G-d's blessings.

Applying the aforementioned aspects in connection with the education of a Jewish child - in the inner sense of "food, "namely, spiritual food of the soul - the first vital need of the child is to receive its daily ration of staple nourishment, that is, Torah and Mitzvos, which are termed "bread," in accordance with the exhortation, "Come and eat bread of My bread" (alluding to two "breads" - the Written Torah and the Oral Torah; the "revealed" - nigleh - and "inner" - pnimius - of Torah; of both Torah and Mitzvos).

In conjunction with this, one should be ever watchful that the learning of Torah and the observance of the Mitzvos should be of the quality of "Matza" - with complete submission (kabbolas-ol) and self- effacement (bittul), without an admixture of chometz (leaven) that causes (the dough) to rise, expand, and swell.

At the same time, it is necessary to protect the child against undesirable influences from outside - through admonition, and the like - but only in a moderate form of "repelling with the (weaker) left hand," as alluded to in Moror, and not with the same force and measure of "drawing near with the (stronger) right hand," that provides the daily nourishment of "bread and repast" of Torah and Mitzvos.

And as one follows the said guidelines in the education of the child (and of the self) step by step and from stage to stage - one becomes satiated with Torah and Mitzvos; and in the "fullness" thereof, at every moment, the in-dwelling G-dliness in the heart of every Jew (as it is written, "And I will dwell within them) comes to the fore, revealing the inner "Sanctuary and Altar" (total commitment) to G-d. Whereupon he proceeds to learn Torah with even greater dedication and to observe the Mitzvos with even greater Hiddur (in the most "beautiful" manner), doing it all with true joy, as reflected in the Korban Pesach.

May G-d grant that every Jew and Jewess should act in all above with "wonderful alacrity" - in the manner attending Pesach, Matza, and Moror at Yetzias Mitzraim, as it is written, "And you shall eat it in haste. "

And this will hasten the fulfillment of the promise, "And in Shalem (Jerusalem) will be His Beis Hamikdosh, and His dwelling in Zion" and the Korban Pesach will again be offered there, as prescribed, and we will eat there of the Passover and Festive offerings - at the true and complete Geulo and liberation of our soul through our righteous Moshiach.

With esteem and blessing for Hatzlocho in all above, and with blessing for a Kosher and Joyous Pesach,

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