From time to time, I have had discussions with Rabbi Chodakov (and with the Rebbetzin, too) about how much time the Rebbe spends in preparation for his public talks. It is not unheard of for the Rebbe to speak for fourteen hours (!) during a two- three-day yom tov!

Rabbi Chodakov suggested that perhaps while we are singing the niggunim the Rebbe utilizes those few moments to formulate the next sicha. This even while the Rebbe sings with, and is constantly wishing l’chaim personally and individually to, the thousands of participants! This might have worked when we used to sing two niggunim between each sicha, but these days we usually sing only one short one.

Rabbi Chodakov smiled and said, “Today the Rebbe is much more experienced and does not need as much time to prepare.”

One learned gentleman informed me that one particular sicha (among the half dozen or so during an average farbrengen) was so full of scholarship and profound knowledge that it would have taken him weeks to look up and study the sources of just the references quoted by the Rebbe in this one sicha!