The name of the person to whom the following letter was addressed was not published together with the letter.

[Erev Shabbos Kodesh, Parshas Lech Lecha, 5704]

I asked ... my revered father-in-law, the Rebbe shlita, and he responded as follows:

“Banging the willow [draws down] attributes of severity that have been sweetened. Attributes of severity that have been sweetened [reflect G‑d’s] abundant kindness as it descends in overtly apparent goodness.”

With regard to the above, it is possible to explain:

a) [The association of attributes of severity that have been sweetened with [G‑d’s] abundant kindness can be understood on the basis of the explanation in Likkutei Torah, Parshas Naso, the maamar entitled Havayah Yechatu Merivo, sec. 1.

b) On the basis of the Alter Rebbe’s statements in Tanya, Iggeres HaKodesh, Epistle 10 and the first maamar in Likkutei Torah, Parshas Behaalos’cha (sec. 3, sec. 6, and in the explanation, sec. 1), we can appreciate the difference between an ordinary expression of kindness and abundant kindness in our Divine service. Likkutei Torah, loc. cit., also explains that “abundant kindness” is related to Aharon the priest.

c) Based on the statements in Likkutei Torah, Parshas Korach, the maamar entitled Vihenei Porach, we can appreciate that:

1) Through [G‑d’s] abundant kindness, overtly apparent goodness is drawn down to this material realm.

2) This influence is drawn down by “Aharon and his descendants, the priests who raise their hands and bless the people with the Priestly Blessing.”