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How Can We Help?

In the following letter, dated 19 Tammuz 5740 and addressed to a woman in the Bronx, the Rebbe discusses how Jews in the Diaspora can support Eretz Yisroel. The Rebbe cites the famous analogy from seforim that a person on a ship may not make a hole under his cabin because his actions affect all the passengers. The same applies to the Jewish nation: we are areivim zeh lazeh, and our actions here affect Jews elsewhere.

Mrs.... Bronx, NY 10467

Blessing and Greeting:

I received your letter,

I trust it is unnecessary to explain to you at length that giving support to the Land of Israel can take various forms, especially as it does require help in various areas. And sometimes it is possible to offer greater help from the Diaspora than by living there. The examples of this form of help are too numerous and obvious to be listed here.

Let me mention just one example with reference to the subject matter of your letter. One of the most vital needs is to strengthen the security of Eretz Yisrael and in this matter the Torah gives clear directives. In fact, a whole portion of the Torah is devoted to it, namely the Parsha of Bechukosai, where the Torah declares, “If you walk in My statutes and keep My commandments and do them... I will give peace in the land... and none shall make you afraid… and you shall chase your enemies and they shall fall…” And since the G-d-given Torah is a Toras Emes and Toras Chaim, it is the true Divine guide for every Jew and all the Jewish people.

Now, in view of the fact that the Jewish people constitutes one entity, one organism and every Jew is a member of it, no Jew can claim that his actions and way of life is something private and nobody’s business, for they do affect the whole body of the Jewish people and have a direct bearing on the security of Eretz Yisrael and our Jewish people living there.

To cite a well known analogy: a person who is making a voyage in a ship surely cannot claim that since he has his private cabin, he can do there what he likes and is prepared to take the consequences, for the safety of the whole ship and all aboard depends on the safe and proper conduct of each individual passenger.

It follows from the above that if sometimes the proper Jewish conduct of a Jew in accordance with the Torah as mentioned above entails certain difficulties and even if the difficulties are not imaginary or exaggerated but real, it is necessary but to reflect that the situation and destiny of all our Jewish people is so intimately linked with the personal life of every Jew; no effort would be too great to overcome any difficulty.

There is surely no need to elaborate further on the above and even what has been written would be superfluous except to the terrible ignorance or disregard of the real issues affecting our Jewish people everywhere and how vitally important it is for every Jew to do his and her utmost to spread and strengthen Yiddishkeit, Torah and mitzvos, to the fullest extent of one's capacities and opportunities…


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