At the airport in London, we met up with Hershel and we had our first glimpse of the Tanya. It was a beauty! A wonderful piece of workmanship, surpassing anything that we had ever conceived or imagined. It was a classic, a masterpiece!

Everything that had ever been written on the Tanya in English was included in the 900 pages: explanations, the introductions to each of the five individual English sections, essays, and so forth. A welcome addition to this Tanya, especially for new Tanya students, was the list of Hebrew abbreviations and all acronyms contained in the Hebrew text. These were spelled out in full and take up six pages.

Mr. Bloch was completely exonerated from all our criticisms, worries, and anxieties over these long five years. It had been well worth waiting for. This Tanya would enhance every library and be of the greatest value to all students of chassidus.

Now here at last we were on the wings of a Jumbo Jet on the way to the Rebbe with the new Tanya.

We were on the same flight as Shmuel, Hindy and their eight children. As stated above, the Rebbe had expressly requested that they all come; yet, only a few weeks ago, they had still been unsuccessful in obtaining an apartment for their stay in Crown Heights.

The matter had become desperate. I felt that the only person who could help them at this point was the Rebbe, so I took it upon myself to send a letter to the Rebbe explaining their predicament; how the children were looking forward to spending yom tov with the Rebbe. The Rebbe had previously informed me that he was looking forward to seeing them, but that they did need somewhere to sleep! With the best good will in the world, no friend could be expected to accept an additional ten persons for yom tov. Surely, Lubavitch Headquarters could find a suitable place to house them for a couple of weeks.

Shmuel was most upset and annoyed when he learned that I had been pestering the Rebbe with this. I had the consolation and satisfaction of receiving a letter from Rabbi Chodakov where he stated that the Rebbe had advised him of our predicament and requirements and, continued Rabbi Chodakov,

I have placed the matter in the capable hands of Rabbi Binyomin Klein and Rabbi Yudel Krinsky, and you have therefore no need to worry about accommodation. This would be provided – without fail.

This was a great relief.

The Rebbe had already promised Roselyn and me the use of his apartment upstairs from the kollel, so everything in that department was under control.

Rabbi Chaim Farro joined the Manchester contingent on this historic occasion. He also brought along his son Mendel, just a few months old. He certainly had his hands full.

It was heartwarming to see Mendel Lew (aged 9) making sure his little sister Chana (aged 3) recited tefilas haderech (traveler’s prayer) correctly, word by word.

Miss Raizy Adler, a friend of Hindy’s, was also on the flight. She had come along to help look after the children. A real, true, devoted and loyal friend – she did a good job, too. (Incidentally, she became engaged while in New York to Yossi Hecht, our good friend Rabbi J.J.’s son.)

Being together on the airplane, Bernard, Hershel, Nachman and I (the Tanya Committee), naturally discussed various methods of presenting the Tanya to the Rebbe. Each of us had a different idea.

I thought it an appropriate gesture that we, the four members, autograph the Rebbe’s copy and the one for the Rebbetzin. (We already had the Rebbe’s copy embossed with gold letters stating that this was a gift from the Anash (Lubavitch community) of England; and, on the day we arrived in Brooklyn, we had a special wooden case made to hold that Tanya.) I also wanted each of the four committee members to receive one of the leather-bound copies directly from the Rebbe’s hands – as per my discussion with the Rebbe (Yud Shevat time).

We ultimately accepted Rabbi Sudak’s suggestion that all the Tanyas which we were bringing with us, the ten leather-bound ones and the seventy-four regular-bound ones, should be handed to the Rebbe “without strings attached.”

Another thing we still had to settle was the anticipated profit from the sale of the Tanya. We were now in the big business league, as we had high quality goods that would be in great demand. Normally, Manchester and London would have agreed to a 50/50 settlement, but we felt it would be wiser, when dealing with a matter of halacha, to place all the facts before an independent and unbiased rabbi. His decision would be accepted as final and binding to both parties. In my yechidus two years ago, I had asked the Rebbe if he would decide on this matter. The Rebbe said that he could not take the responsibility of appropriating money to one party that had been taken from another. [In general, the Rebbe did not rule on halachic questions and would invariably suggest taking such matters to a rabbinic authority for a decision. –Ed.]