Here is an abridged version of my address at this year’s kinus haTorah:

First of all, a thank you to Rabbi Mentelik, and also a couple of topical jokes.

The Rebbe’s theme over the past months has been, “Who is a Jew?” The goyim, l’havdil, here in New York, have realized the dangers of pollution in the air, atmosphere and water, and were taking immediate steps to safeguard the health of the nation. In Israel, they are trying to pollute the whole spiritual existence of the Jewish nation – deliberate pollution – by injecting goyim into our midst.

Thank G‑d we have a leader who realizes these dangers to klal Yisroel. The peculiar reaction of some Jews is that the Rebbe has no right to interfere.

They forget that the greatest Jew who ever lived was Moshe Rabeinu, our teacher. He, under the guidance and instruction of the Almighty, took the Jews out of golus in Egypt, away from the cruelty and slavery, and made them into one - a united - nation. He taught them laws - the Torah - and made them into the world’s first decent and civilized nation on earth. He led them until they reached Israel. Even though he could not personally enter into Israel with them, he left the Jewish people with further instructions on how to conquer and divide the land amongst themselves. But, unfortunately, he never entered or lived in Eretz Yisroel.

Can anyone imagine Yehoshua telling the Jewish people that they did not intend to be influenced by Moshe because he never actually lived in Eretz Yisroel? That they were going to keep the second day of the week as the Day of Rest instead of the seventh, as directed by the Almighty through Moshe? Every generation has a tzadik, and today we have our Rebbe, who receives Divine inspiration and guidance on urgent problems affecting us all.

I told the yeshiva boys that they were living so near the mountain they could not visualize the impressive greatness and inspiring dominance of this great mountain unless they are many miles away from it. The same applies with the Rebbe. We, in England, Australia, Israel and all over the world, can see full well and realize the greatness of our Rebbe much more easily than you living next to and near our great leader.

Could anyone have visualized fifty, or even twenty, years ago that our Lubavitcher Rebbe would be celebrating a Purim farbrengen with 3,000 chassidim in Brooklyn, whilst thousands of chassidim in almost every continent of the world would be listening to the Rebbe’s words at the same identical moment? Do they appreciate what the Rebbe is doing for them and for all the Jews with mesiras nefesh? The Rebbe never leaves his office, works almost twenty-four hours a day, takes no holidays or vacation. Erev Yom Tov the Rebbe is kept busy with farbrengens. This Shavuos season alone, there were fourteen hours of Torah! This all must need terrific preparation. Where could anyone find today, or at any time, such a brilliant brain and scholarship in one man who cannot only find twenty questions to ask on a couple of words of Rashi, but can also find and give the answers too?

The Rebbe told me to speak only good about Jews! So I cannot tell you how badly most of you behave by going about with glum and miserable faces. When you have a chance to help me by singing for the Rebbe’s enjoyment and pleasure, you just turn the other way and grumble and mumble. All of you seem obsessed with your own secret sorrow. Where are all the happy faces and smiles we used to see here years ago?

Most of these happy faces belonged to students here, just like you, who are now doing the Rebbe’s work, and doing it well in many different countries over the world and going from strength to strength. The Rebbe does not need thanks, but everybody wants a little appreciation.

I will conclude as last year. Please G‑d, don’t make me a tzorrus chossid. Give me the merit and opportunity to write good news to the Rebbe every week or so. You do the same with a happy heart and manner and so put our beloved Rebbe into a happier and more joyful frame of mind.

I was gratified to receive a tremendous amount of applause and acclamation. Rabbi Mentelik said, “Zayer gut (very good), Mr. Jaffe. You have given a big chizuk to the bochurim.”

Rabbi Chodakov said he heard laughing during my speech, and another older Rabbi said he didn’t understand a word but, “Alle hoben gelacht hob ich aich gelacht! (Everyone laughed, so I too laughed.)”