As stated earlier, the Rebbe had advised me during our yechidus that as soon as we returned from America, we were to visit Israel and Jerusalem, our Holy City.

To us it seemed a little early and sudden to travel to Israel for a vacation so soon after spending two weeks in New York. Additionally, we intended to travel to Israel in several months’ time, as we usually do during the summer. However, upon our return home, I found that I had so many commitments during July and August that if we wished to have our yearly Israeli holiday this year, it would have to be much sooner than usual. Another incentive was that my nephew and his wife, whose wedding we had attended last year, were expecting a baby at any moment. We might be lucky and make it in time for a bris.

Meanwhile (as mentioned earlier), we had also just heard that our dear friend, Rabbi Bentzion Shemtov, had met with a very serious accident in Israel. Roselyn and I were now looking forward to cheering him up in the hospital. We left Manchester to Israel just over two weeks after returning from New York.

We first traveled to London in order to fulfill a mission I had accepted on behalf of the Rebbe to deliver personally – together with a delegation – a bilingual Tanya to Rabbi Jacobovits, the Chief Rabbi of Great Britain.

Our appointment with the Chief Rabbi was for Thursday, Tammuz 3 (June 12), at 11:15 a.m. We would leave London for Israel that evening. We arranged to meet our London colleagues – Rabbis Nachman Sudak, Faivish Vogel, Shmuel Lew, Hershel Gorman and Mr. Mendel Katsch – outside Woburn House, the Chief Rabbi’s headquarters. Shmuel would say some words of Torah.

Roselyn and I arrived there from Manchester at 10:45 a.m. Hershel came along one minute later. At 11:14, I persuaded Hershel that it was far better that we be on time for the appointment than to wait, maybe indefinitely, for the rest of the party. Hershel was even prepared, albeit reluctantly, to say a word of Torah.

At 11:15, as we were ascending the steps, our colleagues arrived, all hot and bothered, and with a photographer. Lubavitchers are sometimes late, but, thank G‑d, never too late.

We were ushered into the Chief Rabbi’s private office. I handed him the Tanya, together with the Rebbe’s verbal message and letter.

I then asked Shmuel to repeat some of the Rebbe’s sicha. I now heard Shmuel expound for the sixth time (five times in Brooklyn) on the reasons why Yehudah offered his sacrifice before Reuven.

After this abridged sicha, the Chief Rabbi also offered some Torah comments and – not to be outdone – Nachman and Faivish added their own contributions.

After twenty minutes, we took some photographs and our leave.