The following is an excerpt from a letter written by the
... You write concerning those who are thinking to separate
between religion and state...
The Jewish faith unites two extremes (which only seem to
be in contradiction to each other). On the one hand, it includes
the most abstract concepts, such as the unity of G-d, the
unity of creation, [the concept that the world was created]
ex nihilo, etc. On the other hand it instructs the
daily life of man down to its most minute details, including
the most simple and mundane things. We see this also in the
Ten Commandments, which begin with the commandment I
am the L-rd your G-d..., whose inner meaning is the
negation of any true reality save the reality of G-d, and
concludes with commandments such as Do not kill,
which pertain to the lowliest instincts in man. This teaches
us that there cannot be any separation between religious and
material matters in Jewish life. On the contrary: as is the
case on the micro-level of personal life, unity and harmony
on the macro-level of social life can be achieved only via
the synthesis of the two domainsby integrating the spiritual
into the material and thereby refining the material.
Hence the all-time motto of our sages, of blessed memory:
The essential thing is not study, but deed.
Though they occupied themselves with the study of the secrets
of the Torah and the most sublime concepts, they also elaborated,
in exacting detail, on practical matters, including matterssuch
as eating and drinkingthat seem petty and insignificant.
But this is the touchstone of any individual or ideology...
From a letter by the Rebbe dated Sivan 2, 5719 (June 8,
. Ethics of the Fathers 1:17.
. The synthesis of the sublime and the everyday.
. Igrot Kodesh, vol. XVIII, pp. 396-397.