Free Translation—Unedited

December 12, 1968
Brooklyn, N.Y.

Rabbi Moshe Levinger

Greetings and Blessings!

In answer to your letter of 7 Kislev, in which you make mention of your earlier letter: the reason that I did not answer you is because of the instruction of our sages: “One should not respond to malediction “1 You wrote regarding the fate of the Holy City, Hebron, and how, to our great anguish and also embarassment, there is doubt over what will be with it. Of course, I do not mean the city’s true fate, because it is the city of our forefathers and the site of the Cave of Machpeilah, one of the four Holy Cities in the Holy Land.2 This is especially highlighted by the Rebbeim of Lubavitch throughout the generations. Among them, one finds a letter printed in the Epistles of the Mitteler Rebbe — the successor of the first Lubavitcher Rebbe, author of the Tanya and Shulchan Aruch — from the time he established the community in Hebron in 1822 (the letter was printed lately in the book Meah Shearim, p. 15). He ends off the letter saying, “He himself bought the small synagogue in that Holy City under his own name, in order that he should have property there as an inheritance.” The Lubavitcher Rebbeim after him acted in a similar manner.

As I said, I was not referring to the City’s true fate, but to the secret bargaining which is taking place in the inner diplomatic circles — which is quite publicized amongst the gentiles — regarding which part of the liberated territories to surrender, and which parts not to surrender. Though they have been carrying out this perilous bargaining for over a year, and even at the outset there were many who were of the opinion to return it, lately this belief has become more rampant. I do not wish to expand upon this terrifying prospect. It was not my wish to put this in writing at all, especially since it is forbidden to imply that the power of G‑d is limited.3 Just as until now it has not materialized — due to the open miracle of the non-Jews refusing to enter into discussion about surrendering territory. This occurred even though the only condition requested of them was to orally agree to make peace (and everyone knows that such oral concessions will have absolutely no bearing on their future behavior). This refusal is nothing but a clear miracle from Heaven, which totally transcends the usual workings of nature.

However, our sages have said that one is not to rely on a miracle4 (although I wish the miracle would continue ...). I am therefore not able to fulfill your request which you wrote to me. It is not the non-Jews I fear, for they have no free will, but rather the Jews, who do have free will, who are misled. It makes no difference if the delusion is unintentional, or forced upon them, for this does not change the practical outcome. There are even those Jews who have wrapped the deluded notion in the garment of a mitzvah (you understand my meaning).

As I mentioned, there is room to expand on this subject in many ways, but I do not in any way wish to weaken you (and those with you in the territories), in your views and endeavors. Everything I have written here is only for the purpose of “being blameless before G‑d and people of Israel” — in answer to the content of your letter.

Out of Respect and
with Blessing ...

/Signed: Menachem Schneerson/