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6 Tammuz, 5715 [June 26, 1955]

Greetings and Blessings,

In response to your letter of 28 Sivan in which you write an outline of your life and your current situation in the military, etc. It is certainly not necessary to remind you that just as in a regular army which operates under the discipline of obedience, and despite the fact that at first one might not understand the need for this system, nevertheless, it doesn’t take long for someone with a healthy mind to comprehend the need for following the orders of his superior (even a commander of flesh and blood, who is superior only in relative terms). How much more so does this apply to every Jew, who are soldiers in G-d’s army, with regard to the orders of the ultimate Commander in Chief, Almighty G-d.

And just as in the analogy the Commander in Chief does not come to each individual soldier to convey the order without intermediaries, rather, there is a chain of command, whereby soldiers closer to him in rank will convey the instructions. Since they are appointed to this position by the Commander in Chief, they essentially represent him as an emissary who stands in place of the one who sends him. So too in the analogue, the instructions of Almighty G-d are transmitted to those who received the Torah throughout the generations; through the Sages of the Talmud and rabbinic instructors and teachers who follow the guidelines of our Torah, G-d’s Torah.

In the analogy, the discipline and obedience is not to cause harm – to crush and break the soldier – but on the contrary: the stronger he is committed to this system of discipline, the higher he will rise in rank and it will benefit him. So too, but in a far greater way, does this apply to one’s obedience when it comes to accepting the obligations of Torah and Mitzvot in one’s daily life. Further elaboration of this would be superfluous.

Since you merited to be knowledgeable and enlightened in Chassidic thought, at least somewhat, and are familiar with its guidance and customs, you should certainly behave in this manner while enrolled in the army. You have both the merit and responsibility to also familiarize your friends in your group and division with all this. Nothing will stand in the way of your will: if you truly desire, you will succeed in this mission.

I am sure you have established for yourself fixed times for daily Torah study, both in the revealed and esoteric parts of Torah (namely, Chassidic teachings), and primarily in the laws of daily practice.

May G-d Almighty, who supervises over everyone with divine, personal providence, lead you on a positive path before Him, with both material and spiritual good.

With blessing,

Menachem Schneerson