On Shabbos morning, parshas Bamidbar, Sivan 4 (May 25), I started my regular songs (during davening) but few people joined in; they await a personal invitation from the Rebbe to sing. The Rebbe has already made it quite clear that we should sing! When the Rebbe would leave following the davenings, I also started a song, again with little help from anyone.

During musaf, when I initiated the singing of “Hu Elokeinu,” as is my usual custom, not only did I not get any help in the singing (except from my regulars, Tzvi and Moshe Stuart and now, Bentzion Kravitz), stupid people made more noise shouting, “shush, shush.” If they had only spent this energy singing, instead of “shushing,” the Rebbe would have been much more pleased.

After davening, some of these well-intentioned people reprimanded me for singing without the Rebbe’s permission. As if I would! (After all these years, I am getting quite used to this sort of opposition.)

I was very fortunate to be called up for an aliyah. After all, there were hundreds of distinguished Lubavitcher workers present – for example, Rabbi Shmuel Chefer, who was in charge of the new hostel and school for 1,000 girls in Kfar Chabad, Israel and others of similar caliber. However, at 770 everyone is equal. There is just one “boss,” whom we all regard as if he stands head and shoulders above us.

I had, what I think is, the best aliyah: shviee. It is the best aliyah because it is the last one before maftir; the Rebbe’s aliyah. I therefore got to stand close to the Rebbe and I could clearly hear every word of the haftorah. Additionally, following the haftorah, it was relatively easy to follow the Rebbe through the solid mass of men and students, who gave way on the approach of the Rebbe, thus also affording me an opportunity to return to my place quickly and safely. However, standing on the bimah (about five feet from the ground) could get a little unnerving, as I looked upon a solid mass of people continually swaying from side to side as they pressed up against the bimah in an effort to get closer to the Rebbe. I personally considered it highly dangerous, especially when on occasion a reverberating crash would shake the whole bimah. I dare add that no one else seemed perturbed by this in the slightest!