. . . The journey from Lubavitch to Serebrinka follows the Shileve and Zari’etche roads through the villages of Slabaditch, Chaimovka, and Shubkes, and through the city of Rudnia. From Rudnia one takes the highway for some seven versts until the turnoff to Serebrinka. Another half-verst and one arrives at the Serebrinka estate.

When we passed the roadside inn of Chaimovka, some four versts into our journey, Father (the fifth Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Sholom DovBer Schneersohn) gave the order to halt, washed his hands, and, still seated in the coach, closed his holy eyes and recited Tefilat HaDerech (the prayer for a safe journey).

Later, as we rode through a copse of trees, Father breathed deeply and, saying that he was exhausted, asked that the coach be slowed. Closing his eyes, he leaned against the side of the coach and rested for a quarter of an hour. My heart shriveled within me at the sight of his weakened health. Then he opened his eyes and instructed that the horses resume their regular pace.

From afar, there came into view two foot travelers who were resting on a rise at the side of the road. As we came closer I recognized two chassidim, Reb Peretz and Reb Menachem Mendel, schoolteachers of Beshenkovitz. When I told Father who they were, he instructed the coachman to slow down and to pass close by to where they were sitting.

When we passed the two, we beheld a magnificent sight:

Reb Peretz and Reb Menachem Mendel were sitting in their tzitzit and skullcaps, with their coats, shoes, hats and walking-sticks lying at their sides. Reb Menachem Mendel is sitting cross-legged, leaning on his elbows, his eyes tightly closed; he is listening to his friend Reb Peretz, who is also sitting with tightly closed eyes and is reviewing aloud a discourse of chassidic teaching in the special sing-song tone used in reviewing Chassidut, gesturing with his hands in the manner employed when explaining a deep idea.

We stopped for several minutes and observed the two, who did not notice a thing. When we resumed our journey, Father remarked that they were reviewing the discourse Who Measured Water With His Step which was delivered by Father on the second day of the festival of Shavuot.

I told Father that Reb Peretz and Reb Menachem Mendel had told me that this Shavuot marked their thirty-third annual trip to Lubavitch. They first came in 1871. Every year since, including the years in which Father was away from home, they walked to Lubavitch. It is their custom to reach Lubavitch for the Shabbat before Shavuot, and to stay through the Shabbat following the festival. Then they return home, again traveling by foot.

We passed through the city of Rudnia and reached the highway, which runs through the marketplace. Awaiting us were the rabbis, the shochtim, the respectable householders of Rudnia, and its three schoolteachers—Reb Yerachmiel, Reb Yehoshua and Reb Nosson Yitzchak—together with their students, some 50 boys. All have come to greet Father and to bless him. Father said to halt the coach, and spoke with the assembled for several minutes, giving them his blessings for a restful summer and good earnings.

We drove on. It appears that the scene with Reb Peretz and Reb Menachem Mendel has made a deep impression on Father, for when we left Rudnia he said:

“For five thousand, six hundred and sixty-one years, nine months, thirteen days, fifteen hours and so many minutes, this particular piece of land has waited for Peretz and Mendel. It has waited for Peretz and Mendel to come and sit on it to review words of Torah, and to thereby fulfill and bring to light the divine will which is embedded within the original supernal thought of creation, which is sealed within the divine infinite light which comes to emanate the worlds, which is hidden within the divine infinite light which comes to express the essence of G‑d. (Nevertheless, added Father, this supernal will and knowledge does not in any way impinge on the freedom of choice which the Almighty has granted every individual.)

“One cannot imagine the immensity of the gratification this causes the Almighty. It is difficult to envision the envy with which the supernal partzufim (‘configurations’ of the divine attributes) covet the deed of these schoolteachers of Beshenkovitz. The rebbes, whose souls are in heaven, rejoice over such ‘grandchildren.’

“The chassidic schoolteachers are the true luminaries of the Jewish home. They are the ‘Abrahams’ of their generations, who spread G‑dliness to the Jewish home. Rabbi DovBer of Lubavitch would show greater consideration to the schoolteachers than to the rabbis, and would say: ‘It is the schoolteachers who make Jews receptive to G‑dliness.’”

At this point we turned off the highway onto the soft road. Soon we passed the rows of trees, and the house on the hill came into view. This is our lodgings in the country residence of Serebrinka—may the Almighty grace our arrival with success.

Reb Gershon the blacksmith prepared soup and milk, and set them upon the high porch which overlooks the grounds. After drinking a hot cup of soup, I went to visit the park . . . and now I sit and write; the air is good, and all is quiet and restful.