The historic Yud Shevat farbrengen was commenced at 9 o’clock this evening. The entire area of the downstairs shul now held four times the capacity of even just a short while back (thanks to a recent expansion). By 7:15 there were already about 1,000 people present; they wanted to reserve their seats or “standing” spots and by the time the proceedings began, with the Rebbe’s entry, six-thousand people were crushed together. Everyone was in good spirits and happy to be present to share in this momentous event.

The top table now stretched a good way down the length of the hall, about 180 feet. The Rebbe, as always, was seated alone in the center, with many hundreds of chassidim on the platform around and behind him. At the far end, on one side of the table, sat the Rebbe’s brother-in-law, Rabbi Gurary; and at the opposite end was Rabbi Wineberg, who broadcasts the Rebbe’s sichas regularly. When this hall was first used, in 5722 (1962) or so, these two gentlemen could almost touch hands across the table. Tonight, they could hardly see each other.