When it was time for our son Avrohom’s s’micha studying, we engaged Rabbi Dvorkin to supervise and help him. After only five years of intensive study since he had left Manchester, Avrohom had obtained his s’micha, his degree, which entitled him to be called Rabbi Avrohom Yosef Jaffe.

Except for 5723 (1963), Avrohom had been coming home to spend Pesach with us every year, and then he would rush back to 770 to be with the Rebbe during the last days of this festival. He wanted to take part in the march to Williamsburg, where the Satmar chassidim lived, and to participate in the Rebbe’s Moshiach Seudah farbrengen on the last day of Pesach. (Today, the Lubavitch boys walk to other neighborhoods and not Williamsburg, because the Satmars have altered the old saying of “If you can’t beat them, join them” to “If you can’t join them, beat them.”)

On the almost identical date every year, I received a letter from the Rebbe mentioning Avrohom:

On the 11th of Nissan, 5720 (April 8, 1960):

...I have also already received reports from London about the most favorable and lasting impression which your son has left there during his visit. I trust that this will be repeated even in a greater measure during his stay in Manchester, and that he will have the zechus to be instrumental in having other young men of your community follow in his footsteps. May G‑d grant you and Mrs. Jaffe true Yiddish nachas from him and from your daughter...

27th of Nissan, 5721 (April 13, 1961):

...I was pleased to see your son Abraham Joseph back and present at the farbrengen of the latter days of Pesach. Subsequently, he also visited me in connection with his birthday, and he gave me regards from you. May G‑d grant that you will always have true Yiddish and chassidic nachas from him, and from your daughter, in good health, happiness and gladness of heart...

27th of Nissan, 5722 (May 1, 1962):

...I was pleased to receive your regard[s] through your son Avrohom on his return. I was particularly gratified, of course, to learn how well he has used his visit, and of the nachas that he has given you. I asked Avrohom if his mother also attended his public speeches, and he replied in the affirmative, adding that she is a “severe critic,” yet she was satisfied. I further understood from him, despite his modesty, that Rabbi Golditch was also satisfied with his talk with Avrohom in learning.

May G‑d grant that you will always have nachas from him as well as from your daughter, and [you] will have good news to report about all your affairs, both personal and public, including a substantial improvement in parnoso...

26th Nissan, 5724 (April 8, 1964):

...I was very pleased to receive your personal regards through your son Rabbi Avrohom Jaffe. I trust that his visit was not only greatly enjoyed by yourselves and your family, but also had a stimulating effect in the community at large...

The first action a young man who has become a Rabbi has to take is to get married.

He and Susan Beenstock had known each other almost all their lives. They were attracted to each other and it was decided to arrange a shidduch. The Rebbe gave his blessings to this match and the marriage was arranged for the month of Elul.

Although we had a mechitza at Hindy’s sheva brochos in Manchester the year before (the children demanded it), many people in Manchester could not understand the importance of this partition.

We received a letter from Avrohom, whilst he was still studying in Crown Heights, in which he explained to us amongst other things:

It states in the Talmud that there is no shidduch which goes without arguments. [This present argument was about the height of the mechitza.]

A wedding, according to Jewish tradition, has in it not only simcha, but holiness. We preface the sheva brochos during bentching with the special phrase ‘shehasimcha bimono’ – that the simcha should be celebrated as “Above by G‑d Almighty,” and the only way we are allowed to make this brocha is when there is a mechitza, as in shul.

The main point is that the day of the wedding is the most important one in the lives of the choson and the kallah. It is their wedding day, and on this day they lay down the foundations of their whole life together.

...and if the choson or the kallah require the laying of this foundation to be with extra holiness and additional mazel which, according to poskim can be achieved only through “the simcha, Above, by Hashem” and which will give, automatically, extra joy to the lives of the choson and kallah. It is now understood why the choson and kallah insist upon a “proper” mechitza; because this has a bearing on their whole future lives together.

A very lovely letter from the Rebbe followed, dated the 20th of Tammuz, 5724 (June 30, 1964):

I received your letters of June 26th, and 22nd, as well as your previous letters.

I was pleased to read that you were present at the celebration of Yud-Beis Tammuz in London, where you were also the guest speaker. I trust that you will agree with me, and this is quite obvious to me, that your presence in London does not relieve you from being present at a Yud-Beis Tammuz celebration in Manchester. And although, of course, you cannot be in two places at the same time, there are two days, i.e. 48 hours, in which to celebrate the auspicious days of the 12th-13th of Tammuz. Surely, when G‑d granted the opportunity to transform an ordinary weekday into a Yom-Tovdic day and a day of seguloh, one should take advantage of it, particularly a public figure, especially a prominent one, like yourself, whose first loyalty must be to his own community where he is a leader and pace-setter.

You do not mention anything about the outcome of the negotiations with the director of the bank. I trust that this matter has eventually been resolved in a satisfactory manner.

With regard to the wedding arrangements, I do not understand at all the logic of... going to solicit the advice of a Dayan and then ignoring it and being broiges. At any rate it is not my business to complicate relations between one Jew and another, especially as it is of no practical consequence. I am certain that the chupah and the wedding dinner will be arranged and take place with a mechitza and with due dignity and splendor, certainly at least as at the ,ufrc gca [sheva brochos] of your daughter whj,, in a happy and auspicious hour. And if it is your zechus and that of Mrs. Jaffe to arrange this (if the Mechutonim will not change their mind in the interim), may G‑d grant that you should have the zechus to celebrate many simchas without, of course, any of the present complications.

I am only surprised a little that you should inquire in your letter if I am in agreement with you in regard to your decision to arrange the wedding dinner, etc., for there can be no question about it at all.

I am also pleased about another thing, namely that you saw at once that the g’russ which I asked to convey to Dayan Weisz was well worth the trouble of conveying it to him, although at the time I noticed that you were not particularly enthusiastic about it. Needless to say, not being a prophet, I had not foreseen that there would be an immediate reward, but I mention this to emphasize that when one does something good, which is connected with Ahavas Yisroel, the reward is very often instantaneous.

With a blessing for happy tidings in regard to all the above, and with joy and gladness of heart.

After his wedding Avrohom desired to study at the kollel for at least twelve months, but the Rebbe said no. Avrohom should now stay at home and join me in my business. He should also become Rov of our shul, the Kahal Chassidim Synagogue, in an honorary capacity.

In a postscript in a letter to me dated “In the days of Slichos, 5724 (1964),” the Rebbe wrote to me:

...I trust that after reading what I wrote to your son with regard to his sermons in the shul, he will no longer insist on a five-minute limitation. May G‑d grant that his words, coming from the heart, should penetrate the heart and be effective...