During davening on yom tov, we sang my usual songs with, once again, a silly, heckling minority. We also sang the Rebbe out when he left the shul. On one occasion, I started the Lubavitch song with the Russian words of “Niyet, Niyet Nikavo.”

The Rebbe smiled and asked me, “You know how to speak Russian?”

I was given the mitzvah of gelilah (wrapping up the Torah) after kriyas hatorah on yom tov. I especially appreciated receiving this honor because being at the conclusion of the Torah reading, it immediately followed the Rebbe’s own aliyah, so I remained on the bimah – very close indeed to the Rebbe – affording me the opportunity to easily follow the haftorah which the Rebbe usually recites in a soft, low voice.

As far as returning to my regular place (near the Rebbe) for musaf, as long as I followed in the Rebbe’s footsteps off the bimah, I could reach and regain my place without any undue exertion.

On the second day of yom tov, which fell out this year on Shabbos, there were seven aliyas available during kriyas hatorah; yet, there were fourteen chasonim all eager to have their aufruf in the Rebbe’s presence on this day. They drew lots to determine who would receive this honor.

I realized how lucky I was to receive even gelilah. Every night on the days following Shavuos there was a chupah outside 770, some nights more than one.

I imagine it would have been extremely difficult for the Rebbe to concentrate on his work when immediately outside his study window there were orchestras blaring and chazonim bellowing.

The Rebbe has only officiated at a few dozen weddings; the last time was fourteen years ago (Tammuz 15, 5723 [1963]) at our daughter Hindy and Rabbi Shmuel Lew’s wedding. Ever since then, most weddings take place outside the Rebbe’s study at 770. Hope springs eternal as each person hopes and believes that perhaps for their marriage, the Rebbe will come out and officiate.