Last Shabbos, when I was offered an aliyah in the Rebbe’s minyan, I requested to postpone for this Shabbos; since I have yahrtzeit this week. I had been informed that it was a sheer impossibility. Now I found out why.

There were nine chasonim (bridegrooms) who all wanted the privilege of having their aufruf in the presence of the Rebbe at shacharis this Shabbos morning, Sivan 9 (June 9). Some had to wait for mincha. Lots were drawn to determine who should have the morning aliyas.

Anyway, we had heavy bombardments this Shabbos: sweets and nuts galore. Even a good heavy tallis is barely a sufficient protection when the “missiles” come along thick and fast.

Incidentally, there is no mi-sheberach made in 770 after each aliyah. This is in order to save the Rebbe’s time. Usually, a baal habos (business person) will donate twenty-five dollars for an aliyah in the Rebbe’s minyan, and a choson, fifty dollars. The shul obviously needs the money for its routine expenses. It is only fair and proper that those who are given this special privilege pay their share. If one cannot afford these amounts, a smaller figure is of course accepted.

This motzoei Shabbos (Saturday night) would have been a good time for kiddush levonah (monthly blessing of the moon). But the sky was cloudy, with the moon disappearing from view every few seconds. Due to the uncertainty of the moon remaining visible for the sufficient length of time required to recite the blessing, no one was expecting the Rebbe to come out for this service on this night.

Just in case the Rebbe would decide to come out, I figured I would be prepared and ready. If one intended on staying near the Rebbe during kiddush levonah one had to maneuver very astutely.

Suddenly, as I was standing there (with few others present), out came the Rebbe and out came the moon – bright and brilliant – until the Rebbe returned to his office, at which point the moon disappeared once again.

Fifteen minutes later the Rebbe left for home and although I was on the opposite side of the road – facing the Rebbe – he waved to me.