On Thursday night, Sivan 2 (May 23), at about 9:30, we arrived at 770. Shavuos began on Sunday night.

Our daughter Hindy, with her three youngest children, Sholom Ber (only 10 weeks old), Zelda Rochel (16 months), and Chana (3) accompanied Roselyn and me. Ms. Linda Grant, a very dear young friend, also joined us once again.

Before making her final decision to travel to New York, Linda changed her mind a few times. First, she telephoned us to ascertain whether she could accompany us to New York. We replied that it would, of course, be a real pleasure and that we would be delighted to have her with us. A week later Hindy informed us that Linda decided to stay home after all. She was still basking in the glow of last year’s Shavuos and was especially impressed with the Rebbe’s attentiveness to her personal issues. The Rebbe had even described to her the type of boy she would marry and how he looked! In any event, last year the Rebbe told her that there would be no shidduch for her (then). As she did not wish to be embarrassed, or to have people talk about her, or arrange shidduchim for her, she decided to remain in London this time.

I asked Hindy if she thought it would be important for Linda to visit the Rebbe this year. She very emphatically replied that in her opinion it was urgent and essential that Linda come with us to Brooklyn. So, putting the onus on the Rebbe, I finally persuaded her to join us.

Immediately upon our arrival, I delivered thirty letters for the Rebbe from family and friends, together with this year’s My Encounter with the Rebbe (installment 5) and a cover letter.

The first question after Rabbis Chodakov and Groner warmly greeted us was, “Where is your diary?” It was with a profound sense of satisfaction and relief that I handed a copy to each; I had only completed this edition a few days previously. It would have been most embarrassing not to have it with me!

Another terrific friend of ours, Rabbi Binyomin Klein, was a terrific help once again. He gave us the key to the Rebbe’s apartment above the kollel. This is where the Rebbe had, once more, arranged for us to stay. We immediately made hasty steps to settle down there.

The Rebbe had assured us after last Shavuos that the apartment would be even better “next year,” but this much better? Compared (even) to last year it was like a palace. Freshly painted, new flooring, new furniture, even the actual kollel (the downstairs area where the young men studied) was completely rebuilt and refurnished. It was full of young men engaged in learning and study. The place was spotless, like a brand new house.

Earliest Mitzvah Tanks, summer 5734 (1974).
Earliest Mitzvah Tanks, summer 5734 (1974).

When a person is neat and methodical, he can be certain that whatever tasks he is allotted will be up to the same high standards. I give all due credit for this, of course, to the Rebbe and particularly to his foresight in appointing young Rabbi Slavin to be responsible for keeping the place clean and tidy. Rabbi Slavin is a wonderful handyman and he personally planned and constructed the new library in the kollel. He has succeeded in producing a real professional masterpiece!

The Rebbe really deserved our grateful thanks. I immediately dispatched an additional letter of thanks and congratulations to the Rebbe. I also sent the Rebbe my regular five bottles of vodka (which one is allowed to bring into the US duty-free) “for the Rebbe’s pleasure.”