On Shavuos night we were informed that the Rebbe had now discontinued the practice of saying a maamar at 3:30 in the morning, a practice the Rebbe had continued for quite some time now. So, officially, no one had any excuse for being late for the Rebbe’s shacharis. Before we commenced shacharis, I approached the chazan, and informed him that we would be singing “ho’aderes veho’emuna.”

Well, the moment had now arrived. The Rebbe was leaning against his shtender with his arms folded and was seemingly engrossed in a sefer. The chazan was waiting and turned around and looked questioningly at me. I took a deep breath, and a deep plunge. (I can now well realize and understand how Nachshon felt, when he plunged into the Yam-Suf (Red Sea), ahead of everyone else.)

The first two lines I sang alone, amidst complete silence and wonderment. The Rebbe was still not responding and he was studying his sefer, arms akimbo and body slightly inclined away from us all. It seems that I had made a bad blunder. I had just decided to retire gracefully and end my solo when I heard a deep croaking behind me. I suddenly realized that Tzvi Fisher had joined me, and it was now a duet. Good old Tzvi! He had not let me down! And, what wonderful croaking this was! I felt a lot better, and in spite of the Rebbe’s seemingly cold shoulder, we concluded to the last verse with a number of men and boys joining us in the singing. My ego was slightly restored.

Later in the davening we also sang “kailee atoh.”

Once again, the Rebbe seemed to show his disapproval by not reacting to the singing and, therefore, of course, so did all the congregation.

The following day I was in a dilemma. Why should I push myself forward and be made to look foolish? The Rebbe had shown, in no uncertain terms, that he is not interested in this singing. Really, I suppose it was also a chutzpa on my part to continue such. On the other hand, as Tzvi Fisher had also pointed out, I was doing the correct thing, because the Rebbe himself had told me to sing on Yom Tov; so the Rebbe must have been pleased, but I could not see that.

By the time the chazan (a different one this time) had reached “ho’aderes,” I was sill not sure if we should again sing. But then, without warning, without giving me a chance, the chazan started dashing off the “ho’aderes veho’emuna.” He was a quarter of the way through when I suddenly jerked to life. I am normally a stubborn and obstinate fellow, and here was another fellow – the chazan – ignoring me completely and treating me with every contempt. A chutzpa! So, off we go with “ho’aderes veho’emuna,” in a strong, purposeful voice and Tzvi and many others joining with gusto!

At “kailee atoh,” I did not even hesitate. We all sang again. During both of these “repertoires” the Rebbe had once again completely ignored us and his arms were kept folded just as the previous day. After the davening, I received a good telling off by the chazan. He emphasized that no one had the right to sing when the Rebbe had his arms folded.