The Avner Institute presents a unique and newly released letter to a stamp collector, where the Rebbe shows how he not only can connect with Jews of all backgrounds and interests, but can turn these very interests around to teach valuable lessons.
With special thanks to Rabbi Sholom Ber Schapiro of the Nissan Mindel Archives for releasing the letter in honor of his grandson’s Simcha.
By the Grace of G-d
2 Iyar 5742
Mr. _ N.Y.
Greeting and Blessing:
This is in reply to your letter of . . . . in which you write that you are an avid collector of stamps and would like to have some enclosed first-day envelopes (herewith returned) signed, etc. I regret that I cannot comply with your request.
On the other hand, since everything is by Divine Providence, and you have taken the trouble to write to me, I take it as an indication that I should use this opportunity of calling your attention to a matter which is related to your hobby. This is that every Jew is duty bound to be an “avid collector” of mitzvoth and good deeds in the everyday life, and, these are indeed the most valuable and precious things that a Jew can collect, so much so, that our Sages declared that “one hour of precious things in this world is better than all the life of the World to Come” (Pirkei Avos 4:17).
Moreover, this is the kind of a collection which a Jew can constantly enrich day after day without recourse to special postal issues and signatures etc. It is only a matter of one’s own personal will and determination.
I trust, therefore, that you too are an avid collector mitzvoth and good deeds, and that, in compliance with the Great Principle of the Torah, “Love your fellow Jew as yourself,” you are using your good influence to inspire others in this direction by example and precept.
I am enclosing also a copy of the recent Pesach message, which has a bearing on the above.
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