Last year, upon learning that there would not be a farbrengen one Shabbos, I asked the Rebbe and, in the end, we had a farbrengen.

Now, here once again this year, after the above-mentioned yechidus, I realized that I had not asked the Rebbe for a farbrengen for the coming Shabbos. And after that one, there was still another Shabbos, too.

In addition to which, all the students at 770 were driving me crazy to ask the Rebbe for a farbrengen. Under no consideration would they ask the Rebbe themselves. Although they all wanted a farbrengen so badly. When there was an expected farbrengen on a Shabbos or Yom Tov, some students walked the six miles from the Borough Park neighborhood especially to be present. They said they could not have the chutzpa to ask for one; but poor me, I had to be the scapegoat. Well, since I wanted the farbrengen too, I had no option but to ask.

So I wrote to the Rebbe asking for two farbrengens. (Through this method of writing and leaving the letter in the Rebbe’s office, I normally received a reply on the same day). The Rebbe replied that as he himself had to open and read all the letters addressed to him, many of which were very confidential, this took a long time. He, therefore, had no time to prepare a farbrengen.

I wrote back saying:

In view of the enormous amount of correspondence which the Rebbe received, would I not be doing him a favor by not writing so often (every two weeks or so) and making more work for the Rebbe?

The Rebbe has said that my z’man (time) for coming to see the Rebbe was Shavuos. In the social and business department I was doing very well indeed, exceedingly well. I fully expect the same in the ‘learning department’, as talmud torah k’neged kulom (the study of Torah, equals all other mitzvos).

Furthermore, I think the Rebbe will agree that one farbrengen is not really a sufficient injection to last for twelve months. Since we find that brochos normally go in threes, as in birchas kohanim (priestly blessing), so too, I propose should it be with farbrengens; and I want two more.

And about the Rebbe not having enough time to prepare, I wrote the story about Winston Churchill who, when asked how much preparation he required for a speech, replied, “For a one-hour address I can start right away; for a twenty-minute talk, I need an hour of preparation; and for a three-minute address, I need a week’s preparation.” So, l’havdil, our Rebbe does not need any preparation for a five hour farbrengen.

Well, Thank G‑d, there was a farbrengen that Shabbos, Sivan 14 (May 31) parshas Nosso. It was a very lebedik and freilich farbrengen. During the farbrengen, the Rebbe wished me Mazel Tov for two of my daughter Hindy’s children’s birthdays, Yossi (now age 5) and Yenta Chaya (2). He told me to take a bottle of vodka and make a farbrengen in London, not at Lubavitch House but at Shmuel and Hindy’s home.

The Rebbe said “The children were to be the iker orchim (main guests) and, after they had finished their share of the vodka, everybody else could then partake of the drink.”

(This extraordinary and unlikely birthday party subsequently took place with the children sitting “on top”, with about forty or fifty adults present; and I told stories about the Rebbe).

An interesting sicha was the one about bikurim (the first fruits, one brought to the temple in Jerusalem). The Rebbe said that this also referred to unusual and unexpected business deals, on which maaser should be paid immediately.

After the farbrengen, the yeshiva boys thanked me, and began nagging me right away, for another farbrengen for the following Shabbos.

After havdalah, I was at the door of 770 when the Rebbe was leaving. I was alone - everybody else had fled - when the Rebbe approached. I held the door open and wished the Rebbe, “Gut voch.”

The Rebbe smiled and wished me the same and asked: “tzufridden?” (satisfied?)

“Yes,” I said, and then, thinking about the following Shabbos, added “so far so good!”

After having said this, I was terribly ashamed of my boorishness and chutzpa. The following day I decided that I had to apologize for my lack of good manners, and sent a contrite and sincere letter of apology to the Rebbe, but still expressed hope for another farbrengen.