The morning after our arrival, Thursday, Iyar 29 (May 31), was erev Rosh Chodesh when Shmuel has yahrtzeit for his late mother, of blessed memory. It did not seem like nine years since we had arrived at New York for Shavuos on one of our chartered flights from Manchester, just in time to attend her funeral.

Before layning (Torah reading) today we had a problem similar to the one we had last year. There are only three aliyas (call-ups to the Torah) but there was a yahrtzeit and a bar mitzvah, and of course, the Rebbe always receives one aliyah. So, off the gabbai (warden) went searching for a kohen. At last he found one and then demanded that this kohen leave (in order to honor the other people with the first aliyah).

At the end of the reading of the Torah in the Rebbe’s attendance, many of the overseas visitors come forward to bentch gomel (a blessing recited after being saved from danger and an overseas journey). They feel sublimely happy when the Rebbe answers amen to their brocha.

I was honored with hagbah (lifting the Torah). It was with the very small sefer Torah, a miniature.