The day after yom tov, isru chag, was the kinus hatorah.

It commenced at 3:30 in the afternoon and went on until about 10:00. The audience of about 400-500 is addressed by a number of roshei yeshivos (yeshiva deans) and rabbonim (rabbis). Some outstanding bochurim also deliver extremely complicated pilpulim (dissertations). Many of the speakers bring up to the pulpit a half dozen seforim for references. It is “heavy stuff” but can be interesting. Members of the audience are not slow to fire questions at the speaker and even relish having an argumentative debate with him.

In the middle of all this scholarly discourse I, too – per the Rebbe’s instructions – address the assembled. Rabbi Mentlik always tells me that “the bochurim look forward” to my talk and love it. I have been talking at this function for many years now and find it difficult to refuse. Besides which, as Roselyn says, it provides some light relief to the proceedings. (Maybe that it why the bochurim liked it….) I always try to include some words of Torah as well. I generally begin my address at about 6 o’clock.

I commenced my address by stating that in the parsha we read last Shabbos, Bamidbar, it says “These are the generations of Aaron and Moshe.” Yet, there is subsequently no mention whatsoever of the children of Moshe. Rashi explains that “Moshe taught them Torah and ‘whoever teaches his friend’s child Torah, it is as if he gave birth to him.’”

The Rebbe has thousands of children all over the world; they all love and revere him. Just like children everywhere, they maintain their own friends and interests, but when they are in trouble, they go running to their father for help!

Each of the countless thousands of children is in turn very precious to the Rebbe. He goes out of his way, as every father does, to help even the least deserving of his children.

But, please, do not only be a “tzorrus chossid” (troubles chossid) writing or contacting the Rebbe only when, G‑d forbid, one may be in trouble. Give the Rebbe pleasure whenever you can. Smile when you see him, write to him often with plenty of good news. Do not be annoyed or upset if no written reply is received. I write to the Rebbe nearly every two weeks. I do not expect any replies, so I am never disappointed. What a happy day, if and when I get a letter from the Rebbe! In the past year, I wrote twenty-four letters to the Rebbe and I received two letters from the Rebbe. Keep on writing! It will make the Rebbe happy. By the law of averages, someday you will get a written reply.

Last year, I mentioned how Aaron, the prophet, chief kohen and older brother of Moshe, was also a “tzorrus chossid.” He was in trouble and wanted help for their sister Miriam. Aaron realized that with all his own greatness and yichus (antecedent), he still needed a Rebbe. He did not appeal directly to the Almighty. He had to go to his Rebbe, his brother Moshe, to help him.

In a sicha over ten years ago, the Rebbe talked about a chossid being a “lamp­lighter.”

Fifty or sixty years ago, gas lamps lit up the city streets. Every day at dusk a man walked along the roads carrying a long pole to which was attached a flame. He went from lamp to lamp, lighting up all these lights. Similarly, a chossid lights up the Divine spark of every Jew, making it burn brightly and strongly.

Today we have progressed. We have atomic power. In simple language, this means that one atom splits another atom, releasing its latent energy stores. This sets in motion a chain reaction where millions of atoms split millions of other atoms – vast amounts of energy!

Our Rebbe is our atomic power reactor. First, he charges our atoms; young men and women come to 770 and are “activated” by the Rebbe’s energy and then sent all over the world to make contact with other “atoms,” other Jewish people.

The Rebbe recently sent Rabbi Lazarov to Texas. In due course Rabbi Lazarov contacted and influenced ten young men to come to 770 for yom tov. He then persuaded them to spend a few months at the Morristown yeshiva. Soon they will be completely “charged up” and ready to return to Texas to commence their own chain reactions.

I then came to the part which the bochurim always enjoyed and to which they looked forward. I read stories about the Rebbe from my earlier “Encounters.” These always went down well. They could never get enough. I concluded my talk after forty minutes, although they pleaded for more. There were many more speakers with huge piles of gemorahs still waiting “in the wings” and I had to be fair to them. After listening to the next speaker, I took my leave.