The first night of Shavuos, at 3 in the morning, following “tikun leil Shavuos,” the Rebbe said a maamar, a forty-five minute, deep and penetrating talk on chassidus, tough and difficult - for me at least. After the Rebbe left at 3:45, Rabbi Yoel Kahan repeated the entire maamar. It is uncanny - like a human tape recorder.

After every Shabbos and Yom Tov farbrengen, there is a chazorah. I have strayed into the shul at 1 o’clock in the morning after the end of Shabbos, and found about fifty yeshiva boys listening to Yoel Kahan repeating all the sichas and the maamar from that day’s farbrengen. Many pull him up and correct him and/or help him out. One of the yeshiva boys is, at the same time, writing it all down in special shorthand; and by Monday, the entire farbrengen is already in print.

This does not refer to a mid-week farbrengen, like Yud Tes Kislev, when the Rebbe uses a microphone and all the proceedings are also recorded on tape.

On the second day of Yom Tov, at 8:00 p.m., the Rebbe led the usual Shavuos farbrengen. There is a long platform at one end of the large hall. The Rebbe sits alone at the table surrounded by about 100 rabbonim. In the well of the hall, the baalei battim sit at tables surrounded by tier upon tier of benches on which stand the yeshiva boys, reaching almost to the roof, something like a large auditorium. About 1,000 people are present normally and, on special occasions, even double that number. The Rebbe wishes everyone l’chaim and, during the course of the farbrengen, one takes the opportunity of saying “l’chaim” to the Rebbe. The Rebbe will say a sicha, a twenty to thirty minute talk on the parsha, or on another timely theme, followed by a niggun and more sichas. Normally, a maamar is also said by the Rebbe, during which everyone stands and listens enraptured and quietly for the forty minutes or so duration.

During this farbrengen, the Rebbe said a strong sicha about bringing up children. The Rebbe explained that our guarantors at the giving of the Torah were the children. The Torah is Toras Emes - truth. It cannot be changed or altered; it is the truth! The parents were not accepted as guarantors, only the children. A parent using his own ideas, doing away with a particular mitzvah, has demonstrated something to his child. Then the child takes away two more; he uses his so called “head” to justify that.

Much of this is up to the Jewish women, the mothers! They teach their children the proper way; even a few-weeks-old child is being imbued, like when the mother sings a Yiddish lullaby to the baby about Torah being the best way. Or even before the child is conceived, by the parents keeping the laws of family purity. Then we can be assured that the child will be perfect and, in turn, will be a perfect parent and then grandparent.

During the farbrengen, the Rebbe asked me why I was “unemployed.” for I had not said “l’chaim” for a while.

During the course of the farbrengen, we also had visits from New York City Mayor Lindsey who was seeking reelection and from some other local political candidates.

This farbrengen took seven-and-a-half hours and ended at 3:30 a.m., when the Rebbe started distributing kos shel brocha - wine from havdalah - to everyone who filed past him with a cup into which the Rebbe poured wine. This took another hour or more.

(Last year during a farbrengen, the Rebbe handed me his large plateful of cake. “What should I do with it?” I asked the Rebbe.

“Zei vellen dir vaizen vos tzu ton mit dem” (they will show you what to do with it), said the Rebbe, looking at the yeshiva boys.

I was practically mobbed and just managed to salvage a few pieces of cake for my wife!)