A "Wild" Project
7th of Tevet, 5740 
Following our brief personal meeting, I take this first personal opportunity after Chanuka to convey
to you my feelings in connection with your warm response and generous contribution towards the
latest Lubavitch Project in our Holy Land. I was both gratified and impressed by the spirit of your
response. For, since I characterized the project as a seemingly "wild" Project, your response in
fulfillment of a "wild" thought, as you described it, is truly a response in kind.
The term "wild" in this context can best be explained in terms of the teachings of Chanuka, when the
project was announced.
It is significant that the Chanuka menora has eight lights, although it reflects the miracle of the oil
which occurred in connection with the rekindling of the menora in the Holy Temple, which had only
As explained in our sacred sources, there is an inner symbolic significance in the number seven
Seven represents the natural order, since G-d created the world in six days and rested on the
seventh, thus completing the natural order in seven days and imbuing it with the holiness of Shabbat.
Eight, on the other hand, represents the supra-natural, the extraordinary. Thus, the seven-lamp
menora, corresponding to the seven days of the week, symbolized the natural world order, which is
geared to, and must be perpetually illuminated by, the light of the Torah and mitzvot during each and
all of the seven days of the week.
Chanuka, on the other hand, recalls a very extraordinary situation in Jewish history, when the Jewish
people faced a crucial challenge that threatened them not with physical, but with spiritual extinction,
to be engulfed by the pagan Hellenistic culture that had swept the world at that time. The danger was
all the more insidious because it happened while the Jewish people were in their own land, the Holy
Land, and the Beit Hamikdash [Holy Temple] was in existence; and the enemy did not aim to
destroy the Beit Hamikdash nor put out the menora, but "merely" to contaminate them with their own
ideas and mores.
This extraordinary situation therefore called for an extraordinary response in terms real mesirat
Hence, Chanuka is celebrated for eight days, with the lighting of eight lights, in a manner of increasing
them in number and brightness each night of Chanuka until all the eight lights of Chanuka shine
brightly on the eighth night of Chanuka.
We find the same thing in other aspects of Torah and Jewish life.
For example, the dedication of the Mishkan [Sanctuary] and the Mikdash, because the idea of a
House for G-d, a House for the Divine Shechina [Presence], within the confines of a measured and
limited space, is most extraordinary, as King Solomon, the builder of the first Beit Hamikdosh,
expressed it, "Surely the earth and all the heavens cannot contain You, yet this House will!"
This also the inner significance of Shemini Atzeret, the Eighth Day (following the seven days of
Succot), which is the culmination and retention of the Divine service of Rosh Hashana and Yom
Kippur, the essence of which is Teshuva [repentance] -- that extraordinary Divine gift whereby a
Jew breaks through all natural limitations, both within and without, and rises to the highest degree of
In all these instances (and others too numerous to mention here) the number eight is not just one
more than seven, or an additional twenty- four hours, it symbolizes the extraordinary, the
supra-natural and the infinite, as distinct from the ordinary and natural, hence limited, as symbolized
by the number seven.
It is in this sense that I characterized the new project as seemingly "wild"-- not only in the ordinary
sense of being wild and far-fetched from the viewpoint of practical consideration, but in the sense of
being extraordinary also from the viewpoint of sacred considerations.
By this I mean that, at first glance, considering our responsibilities to the existing institutions,
especially the educational institutions, struggling with deficits and having to be not only maintained but
also expanded -- for what could be more vital than Chinuch [Jewish education]? -- one would think
that these institutions command top priority on all our resources. Yet, I am convinced that the present
world situation, and the Jewish situation in particular, is so extraordinary that ordinary means cannot
cope with it, and a "wild" approach is required. Hence the said Project, as a first step.
It will reflect, emphasize and demonstrate in a concrete and tangible way our profound bitachon
[faith] and trust in the strength of Yiddishkeit [Judaism] to overcome all difficulties, and in the
wholeness and inviolability of Eretz Yisrael [the Land of Israel] as the Divinely given inheritance of
our people, and of Jerusalem, our Holy City, which belongs to all Jewish people everywhere, as also
emphasized by the fact that while the whole Land of Israel was divided among the twelve tribes,
Jerusalem was not divided among the tribes, but every Jew has a share in it.
And this we proclaim not merely in words and protestations, but by concrete action, in a manner
which is understood by all, namely by the fact that American Jews, especially successful
businessmen, who are known for their acumen and practical know-how in business affairs, are willing
and ready, and do indeed, invest substantial resources in building a Shikun [neighborhood] for Jews
permeated with Yiddishkeit precisely in Jerusalem, our Holy City, in our Holy Land, thereby also
involving the cooperation of governmental agencies in this "wild" project, though the government has
other vital projects connected with defense, which ordinarily command top priority.
I trust, indeed I am quite confident, that this "wild" Project will bring forth G-d's blessings in a
correspondingly "wild" and
extraordinary measure, so that the Project will be implemented and completed much sooner than
expected, and that it will serve as a living testimony to the vitality and strength of our Jewish people
transcending all limitations and bounds; living testimony to Jews and non-Jews alike.
I have not yet embarked on a public campaign for the said project for various reasons, one of which
being that I waited for a" Nachshon"-- like Nachshon ben Aminadav who at the crucial moment
jumped into the Sea and caused it to part asunder for all the Jews to follow.
It is your great zechut [merit] to be this Nachshon, and this zechut will certainly stand you and your
family in good stead in all your needs, including the fulfillment of the prayerful and confident wish that
I expressed to you, that G-d should bless you and enable you to double your contribution by next
year, with joy and gladness of heart, in happy circumstances of affluence both materially and
And I do not mean "double" in the strict sense, but, as above, in the sense of the symbolic number
"eight", i.e., above all ordinary calculations.
May G-d grant that -- as expressed during the farbrengen, that in the zechut of Chanuka and the
lighting of the eight Chanuka lights, symbolizing the light of the Torah and mitzvot, we should all be
zoche to see the Lights of Zion in the third and eternal Beit Hamikdash, at the complete and true
Geula through our righteous Moshiach.
With esteem and blessing,
P.S. I trust you understand why I constrained myself from taking "public" note of your letter and
enclosure when you handed it to me. I was not sure whether those present with you knew of its
content, or that you wished it to be known, and thought it wiser to leave it to your own discretion.