The Avner Institute is proud to present a lovely letter of the Rebbe, written in Kislev 1969, in which he describes the fundamental role and “highly evocative” impact music has played in Chassidic life. Also included is a unique photo of the Rebbe – special thanks to The Rebbe Archive.
Picture Description:Zalman Shazar, former President of Israel, paid a number of visits to the Rebbe in the early 1970’s. On each occasion, Shazar presented the Rebbe with a gift or a precious manuscript of Chassidic teachings, transcribed by previous Rebbeim of Chabad.
The above picture impressively captures the Rebbe receiving such a gift from the hands of the President.
By the Grace of G-d
5th of Kislev, 5729
Detroit, MI 48236
Greeting and Blessing:
This is to acknowledge with thanks receipt of your letter of November 22nd. I was indeed pleased to learn that you have accepted the Chairmanship of the Chassidic Concert being given for the benefit of Camp Gan Israel and Chabad Lubavitch Org. in your community.
What is particularly gratifying is the spirit of enthusiasm which you have displayed in this connection. This is surely indicative that you will communicate this enthusiasm to all the participants, and that it will be carried over to the entire environment long after the event itself has taken place.
It is customary to look for depth and insights in everything, and the Chassidic concept of negina [song] is indeed rich in both. It is well known, and a matter of experience, that music in general is highly evocative of inner feeling, much more than other forms of human expression such as oratory, or painting, and the like. Even verbal articulation as a medium of vocal music is on a different plane.
This is why Chassidic negina is so important in Chassidic life, for it is the very objective of Chassidus to permeate the daily life of the Jew to such an extent that all actions should be imbued with inner feeling, even soulful expression. For then every action assumes a different quality and meaningfulness, and even its external aspects and scope are greatly stimulated.
I send my prayerful wishes to you and all your colleagues and co-workers to enjoy great hatzlocho [success] in connection with the forthcoming event, particularly as it is dedicated to the most worthy cause of benefiting Camp Gan Israel and the Chabad-Lubavitch work to strengthen attachment of Jews – men, women, and children – to our eternal Torah and eternal people of Israel.