The Rebbe then signaled to me with his eyes – and how eloquent are the Rebbe’s eyes! – to come forward. I walked up to the Rebbe’s podium.

The Rebbe handed me a Tanya, saying, “Zol zain b’hatzlocha rabbo.” ([Everything] should be with much success.)

While I was still face to face with the Rebbe, I delivered a message that “the British contingent have requested me to ask the Rebbe that Moshiach be revealed soon and speedily!”

“Yes, if you can accelerate it [the coming of Moshiach],” replied the Rebbe.

At this moment, when the Rebbe answered not only verbally but with a gorgeous smile, Louis Tiefenbrun took a most superb and marvelous photograph of the Rebbe surrounded by a group of his most trusted and able lieutenants.

Scores of others also managed to take some wonderful photographs and Louis took quite a few himself too, but that one – in particular – I consider a masterpiece. Louis had this enlarged and laminated and I have since seen it in dozens of households. One cannot see my face, but I am positive that by now I have the most famous neck in Lubavitch!

I was told that Louis’s two sons sold these pictures in sets of six. They made enough money to pay their fare to the Rebbe and to buy a pair of tefillin, each! (My own cameraman had taken fifteen photographs of the Rebbe, all almost identical.)

Nachman was next to receive his autographed Tanya, followed by Bernard and Hershel.

Meanwhile, being back in my spot, I surreptitiously opened the cover of my Tanya. Yes – there it was – in Hebrew, of course – the Rebbe’s own handwritten inscription.

There was also a photocopy of a compendium of the various sichas about the Tanya the Rebbe had delivered during this visit.

I was thrilled, delighted, and overwhelmed with gratitude to the Rebbe. It had been worthwhile “bothering the Rebbe” to do this. Hershel had argued with me on many occasions that it was not fair of me to pester the Rebbe to sign the Tanyas. I had remonstrated with him. I pointed out this was very important to me, but to my children’s children it would be more important still, a treasured heirloom.

The Rebbe presented a Tanya to Rabbi Chaim Farro and one to Mendel Katsch and then to every adult male traveler who lived in an English-speaking country.

The Rebbe repeatedly called out, “Who else is there from English countries? Other countries that speak English? Anyone else from England, Australia?” The Rebbe also called up a few individuals by name.

This Tanya was Shmuel’s third from the Rebbe (given to him on various occasions) with instructions from the Rebbe that he learn in them regularly. So, in the first, he learns the daily section of the Tanya. In the second, he studies part of a chapter every day, culminating on Shabbos with this entire chapter, to make sure he knows it. In this new one, the third, he learns a half page every day with the corresponding

English translation.

Each male traveler who did not live in an English-speaking country and all boys – even babies like my grandson Sholom Ber Lew, who was only 15 months old! – received a pocket (Hebrew only) Tanya from the Rebbe’s hand.

The Rebbe announced that each woman and girl – even little girls (like my granddaughters Zelda Rochel and Chana Lew, aged two and four years respectively) – would receive two single-dollar bills, one for charity and the other toward the Shabbos candle-lighting campaign. The Rebbe then called over Rabbi Wineberg and handed him a wad of the bills for him to distribute to the women.

The Rebbe called up Shmuel a second time, and gave him his own (the Rebbe’s) original copy of the sicha of the Rebbe’s remarks about the Tanya, with the Rebbe’s own handwritten additions and alterations. The Rebbe told him “Machen a fotostat in Eingland un opshiken tzurik.” (Make a photocopy in England and send it back.) Not only did Shmuel make one copy of this sicha, but he had it printed and sold them with the proceeds going toward the Neshek campaign.

I approached the Rebbe and asked for a Tanya for Avrohom, who was also a member of the Tanya committee but who was in England.

“[But] he is not here!” responded the Rebbe. The Rebbe did give me a pocket Hebrew-only Tanya for him “as commission.”

The Rebbe called me up again (with his eloquent eyes) and handed me a Tanya for Chief Rabbi Jacobovits of England, together with a personal letter for him. The Rebbe (again) instructed that a delegation present this Tanya to the Chief Rabbi. The Rebbe also gave me an extra Tanya for the airplane home, “In case you find someone who might need one.”

The Rebbe concluded this glorious affair by wishing us all “Furt gezunterheit, zol zein besuros tovos (have a safe journey and there should be good news).” With the Rebbe clapping and encouraging the singing of “Ki B’simcha,” off we went to board our vehicles. Our motorcade moved off. We all waved furiously, singing lustily to the Rebbe, who was still standing on the steps of 770, clapping his hands and giving us a farewell brocha.

On the plane going home, Shmuel searched and found the lost soul to give the Rebbe’s Tanya to as instructed. Someone (from our own group of passengers) had gone directly to the airport. He was not aware of the “outdoor” farbrengen and distribution. He would have been most disappointed to have missed receiving a Tanya from the Rebbe’s hand; but the Rebbe notices everything!

One of our committee members was very disappointed when he noticed that his Tanya was not signed by the Rebbe! I could hardly believe it. It seemed impossible, but I looked inside and it was true.

It turned out that someone else mistakenly had taken his Tanya.

What a mistake!

We arrived home tired, but still basking in the warmth of a glorious two weeks spent with the Rebbe.