As I close my file on our time in Monticello, I leave you with some memorable details of our travels there:

We met an elderly Jew who, during the Holocaust, was on the same plane from Riga to Stockholm as the Sixth Chabad Rebbe, Rabbi Joseph Isaac Schneersohn, and his entourage. They were also together on the boat ride from Europe to America.

When we met again at our goodbye barbeque, we gave him a transcript of the talk which the Rebbe had given at the airport before boarding the plane. He promptly sat down and meticulously read the entire Yiddish transcript. He hadn't read Yiddish for a while and was clearly moved.

In one bungalow colony, a gentleman was shocked at the proposition that he put on Tefillin on a Monday. Chabad people had been visiting him every Friday for a number of years and he had no idea that Tefillin were worn on the other five weekdays.

Another fellow asked if we charge for putting on Tefillin. He knew what they were but wanted to make sure that there was no hidden gimmick. After our assurance that there was no fee, he gladly put them on and recited the Shema.

We met a Russian woman who many years ago was beginning to lose her sight. The doctors had predicted that she would eventually be completely blind. After she and her husband had immigrated to America, they went to the Rebbe for his blessing and guidance. He told them that she should undergo a certain operation which was unheard of at that time. She followed his advice and now sees well. These days, she reads Psalms every day in Russian.