It was Friday, Kislev 17 (December 18) and time to leave our hotel in Manhattan to go to Brooklyn in order to spend Shabbos Parshas Vayishlach with the Rebbe.

We left quite early because we had always experienced difficulty in obtaining a cab to take us to Brooklyn. They “did not know the way,” they “had never heard of Brooklyn,” they “were just going off duty,” and so on.... On one occasion, I stopped a taxi and Roselyn and I entered and sat down before I told him my destination. I knew that by law the driver dare not refuse a fare, a customer.

Well what a performance! The driver‘s face fell, and he blurted out that his taxi had broken down. We just laughed and told him that we refuse to budge. He jerked forward and stopped, jerked, jerked and jerked forward and stopped. It was like a rodeo horse show.  Well, ultimately he won.

This time we were lucky. We caught a taxi AT ONCE, with a very obliging driver. Unfortunately it was the week before the annual general public holiday and we had not taken into account the extra heavy and shopping traffic.

After about thirty minutes we had only moved along ten blocks. We had now an urgent problem to solve. Would we get to Mendel‘s in time for  Shabbos, or should we return to our hotel in Manhattan?

We held a quick conference with the driver and a swift decision was made. We descended from the taxi at the next subway station and caught the first train to Brooklyn.

Our foremost objective was to get across the river. It was too much to expect that we were traveling on the direct line to Kingston and Eastern Parkway. Well, we were not. We were not conversant with the subway route, so we alighted from the train and hoped that the holiday traffic and the Brooklyn bottleneck had been left behind.

“Quickly, quickly, Hindy” I shouted, “get to the street and grab a cab.” Off she rushed, whilst Roselyn and I puffed along in the rear, struggling with a large suitcase.

We reached street level, just in time for Hindy to overtake us. She had, of course, gone the wrong way.

Fortunately, we did obtain a cab almost at once. I emptied the contents of my pockets into Roselyn‘s lap and dashed out at 770 just in time for mincha, and Roselyn and Hindy arrived at Mendel‘s just in time for Shabbos. What a nightmare of a journey!

Still, we spent the usual very pleasant and happy Shabbos davening with the Rebbe. Rabbi Shemtov had just returned from a visit to Canada, so we all had a nice reunion at Sarah‘s. I had an aliyah during the Rebbe‘s Shabbos mincha minyan.

After Shabbos - on Saturday night - we returned to Manhattan.