Prior to traveling to the Rebbe for Shavuos 5733 (1973), I was thrilled when Bloch personally delivered to me a thick bound copy of our new production. Upon examination, however, I discovered that it only contained one printed page (the usual sample page); the remaining pages were blank. (It was to show the Rebbe how our new Tanya would look. Incidentally, it was nothing like the book which Bloch subsequently produced.)

Several months later Bernard and Hershel advised me to again “write a strong-worded letter” to Bloch, otherwise it would never be printed.

I first telephoned Bloch, informing him that I was sending him a letter instructing him to print the Tanya immediately and that he must ensure that there were no mistakes. Bloch told me that he would categorically refuse to accept such a letter. “All delays are definitely your fault and your responsibility; you are forever changing your minds!”

So we “changed our minds,” yet again, and wrote him a toned-down letter requesting that he print at once but to “do your best” to see that there were no mistakes.

Once more we were on the job until our Prime Minister decided on a work-week of three days. This was followed by a dock strike, a printers’ stoppage and a railway strike. Everything and everyone seemed to be against us.

One morning, Bloch telephoned us. He wanted more money. Our £5,000 had been with him for over two years now. The committee said: “Sorry, nothing doing!” But they did agree to my suggestion that we should promise him the cash on receipt of at least twelve completed books – even if unbound. We considered that when a dozen Tanyas were ready, we could assume the rest would soon be forthcoming.

During my last Shavuos visit (5734-1974), the Rebbe had asked me to come (to New York) again before next Shavuos. I had responded that I would – of course – be coming with the new Tanya. “You must be an optimist, but do not wait for the Tanya,” replied the Rebbe.

Meanwhile, as the year progressed and the Tanya continued to be “not ready yet,” I planned another trip to New York for Yud Shevat 5735 (1975) – without the Tanya.

But it was close.

During that visit, I went so far as to discuss with the Rebbe the list of people to whom the first twelve leather-bound copies would be presented. (The first one ould be for the Rebbe, of course, and then our Rebbetzin and so forth).

On my return home to Manchester, Bernard informed me that Bloch had promised these twelve Tanyas “any day now.”

We did not wish to delay the presentation of these initial Tanyas to the Rebbe, so we decided that as soon as they would be received, they would be taken to New York; not held until one of us would be going anyway.

It was surmised that I personally might object to return to 770 so soon after my Yud Shevat visit, so only Bernard and Rabbi Sudak would travel to Brooklyn with the Tanyas (which were, as yet, not in our actual possession.) To be on the safe side, they booked their flights for Purim.

It was not safe enough.

They postponed their trip to Rosh Chodesh Nissan, and then to a much more auspicious date: Yud Aleph Nissan, the Rebbe’s 73rd birthday. All this was to no avail. The Tanyas continued to be “on their way.”

Two weeks before Lag B’omer, we at long last received ten unbound copies of the Tanya. (Bloch kept the other two for himself.)

We immediately sent these ten books to a binder to be specially leather bound. Bernard suggested that we now book our flights to New York for Lag B’omer, as “the binding should not take more than a few days.”

This put me in a quandary. Roselyn and I were due to travel in fourteen days’ time for our regular Shavuos visit to New York. Additionally, this year the Rebbe had asked that my son-in-law and daughter, Shmuel and Hindy Lew, come for Shavuos and bring with them their eight children ka”h. Their flights could not be changed.

I also surmised that the Rebbe would not be too pleased if I went to New York for a two-day visit, only to return a few days later for our usual Shavuos visit with my wife, children and grandchildren. Roselyn pointed out (and Avrohom, Susan, Hindy and Shmuel concurred) how absurd it would be to make two trips to the United States within two weeks.

Bernard was adamant that they would not take the Tanya without me. More importantly, but hard to believe, the Tanyas were still at the binder’s.

Meanwhile, a new, nearly 20% tax on furs was announced; it would take effect in fourteen days’ time. Bernard’s business was furs. He was so busy working day and night during these two weeks (and usually this was his “quiet” season) that, he later told me, he would have lost many thousands of pounds worth of business had he gone to New York for Lag B’omer.

Our flight for Shavuos was due to leave England on Monday, Sivan 2, 5735 (May 12, 1975). Five days before our departure, on Wednesday, Iyar 26 (May 7), Hershel Gorman phoned to tell me that he had just picked up the ten leather-bound copies. You can imagine what a relief this was for all of us who had worked and toiled for almost five years with heartache and aggravation throughout.

On Friday afternoon, three days before our departure, we also received, just in time, seventy-four ordinary bound copies.