A number of years ago, I brought a long, white linen tablecloth from England to be used for the Rebbe’s head table during the farbrengens. I wanted to replace what was hitherto being used: three or four individual (and old) cloths. To my utter amazement and horror, someone then neatly cut my tablecloth into three smaller parts; ridiculous! The whole idea was to leave it the full length, in one piece. Well, this year I brought a new, thirty-foot-long, white linen, damask tablecloth.

Earlier in the day, before the farbrengen, I asked the person to whom

I had entrusted the cloth where it was. He replied that he didn’t

know, perhaps in the aron hakodesh (ark) or another vinkel (corner).

I was becoming very annoyed and I told him the cloth better be on

that table or else!

Now upon settling into my place, I was extremely glad to see a nice white tablecloth covering the head table.

During the farbrengen the Rebbe called me up to receive a bottle of vodka on behalf of “Manchester.” The Rebbe opened the bottle and poured a little into my cup, and I wished him “L’chaim,” to which the Rebbe replied “L’chaim v’livrocho.” Bernard Perrin was also given a bottle of vodka “for the Tanya” to be divided between Manchester and London. The Rebbe told him that it was for “taking over the Soncino Press.” (I am afraid it may even come to that!)

Toward the end of the farbrengen, the Rebbe called out to me, "learn from them," referring to my two grandsons who were standing and saying l’chaim to the Rebbe. I was surprised because I had already said l’chaim to the Rebbe three times! (No one wants to keep “pestering” the Rebbe.)

All in all, the farbrengen was very lively indeed. Can you just imagine over 2,000 people (including women and girls) who have all come to listen to one person? No chairman and no other speakers. No one to object to how long the Rebbe speaks (six hours at this farbrengen alone! And over fourteen hours during this entire Shavuos “season.”) And at the conclusion of each farbrengen, everyone wants more and is disappointed that the farbrengen has ended. For some time afterward, hardly anyone leaves; they linger on, riveted to their places. It is uncanny and a most wonderful tribute to the Rebbe.

At the end of the Shavuos farbrengen, after havdalah, the Rebbe distributed kos shel brocha (wine). As usual, there was a tremendous and concerted heave in the direction of the lines that were forming beside the Rebbe’s platform. I am getting used to it already. As I say, the inconveniences are negligible, compared to the reward of receiving such profound brochos.