From the Archive: The text of a letter Rabbi Avigdor Miller sent to his brother-in-law, Israel Mayer Lesin, upon his appointment as Rav to the Walnut Street Shul in Chelsea,
Clearly aware of the challenges of his new position, he asks his brother-in-law to come to Chelsea to assist him. The text of the letter follows:
March 22, 1939
Dear Israel Mayer,
As you already know, I was recently elected Rabbi of the Agudas Sholom synagogue in Chelsea, Mass. There were numerous candidates for the position, and I was, indeed, fortunate to be chosen. As I wrote to your parents, my installation exercises will take place some time after the Passover holidays. I must confess, as a beginner in the vast duties of the rabbinate, and due to the many details of the installation exercises in which several synagogues will participate, I will be overburdened with the material as well as the spiritual duties entailed. I need a competent rabbi – one of my own people – with whom I can confer and depend on you for advice and aid.
As you know Chana Ethel is so busy with the three children that I must also help her. You can understand how important it is for you to visit us for several months until after my installation and the first trying months of the rabbinate.
I realise how difficult it will be for your father to let you go, and I know of your great help to him in his many rabbinical duties. But I am sure that for a few months he will be able to spare you. Please go to the American counsel in Kaunas and, I feel certain that he will grant you a tourist visa for six months. If a guarantee is necessary, your father can supply the needed guaranteed that you will not leave the United States in the six months granted.
I trust you will comply with my sacred desire – may G-d only grant it!
Best regards from Ethel and the children.
Rabbi Avigdor Miller