Tuesday night (January 21) was the twenty-fifth yahrtzeit of the previous Rebbe zt”l (of blessed memory) and – as usual – his son-in-law, our Rebbe, was going to lead maariv. (The Yud Shevat farbrengen would take place the following evening, on Wednesday.)

Since we were expecting to find a large crowd for maariv, we quickly rushed back to 770. We were very surprised and disappointed upon entering the shul to see that there was actually no crowd at all. We soon discovered that davening would take place downstairs, in the much larger shul, not in the regular (smaller) weekday shul where we had initially gone.

The scene we encountered upon entering the downstairs shul was like a regular yom tov scene. There were literally thousands of people present. The place was absolutely packed. I noticed that even the women’s shul was overflowing. The greatest chazan (cantor) on earth could not have attracted a quarter of the number of people who had gathered tonight to listen to the Rebbe for a midweek maariv!