The day after the yechidus, I was reflecting on (and brooding over) what the Rebbe meant when he told me that I should be friendlier to him. One of my friends thought he knew. “The Rebbe is a king and has to be treated like one, with the greatest honor and the highest respect and dignity. When you see the Rebbe, you should not smile,” he insisted. “It is very logical, too,” he persisted. “The more friendliness one wishes to show the Rebbe, the less one should smile and the more gloomy and solemn one’s countenance should be!”

I was a little worried about all this. Maybe I should not be so cheerful and smiley to the Rebbe. I wrote a note to the Rebbe and mentioned the above suggestion as an explanation to the Rebbe’s remark that I “be more friendly” to the Rebbe.

I received a one word (Yiddish) reply to that: “skhuu” (lit. wild); preposterous. In other words this hypothesis is crackers – mad.

The Rebbe went on to clarify what he actually meant; he wrote:

As I said last night: When you fulfill my request, do so not as one obeying a decree without any choice, but with true joy.

Incidentally, there is no doubt that Lubavitchers do know how to behave toward their “king.”

Rabbi Avrohom Shemtov, of Philadelphia, related to me that the guest of honor at his most recent dinner was none other than the President of the United States of America, Mr. Gerald Ford.

The President walked into the hall surrounded by half a dozen bodyguards. At first, no one could tell who the President was, since he was being jostled about. Avrohom led him to the left while another pulled his right shoulder to go in the opposite direction. He was led, pushed and shown no respect whatsoever. This man was the head of one of the largest and richest countries in the world!

On the other hand, no one can even remotely imagine people behaving like this toward our Rebbe. Thank G‑d, we know how to treat our Rebbe – like a king – which he is!