On Shabbos, Sivan 12 (June 5), the farbrengen was most enjoyable. The previous week the Rebbe had given as a moshel that the darkest place in a room was directly under the lamp. (Confirming what I always say; that the people in 770 are too near the Rebbe to appreciate his terrific greatness. We from afar can appreciate the Rebbe much more.)

I had a good practical example of this. My seat is normally right at the first row, bellow the dais where the Rebbe sits. This year, for some reason, they had widened the Rebbe’s table and so from where I sat, I could see absolutely nothing. I immediately changed my seat to a more central position.

The Rebbe was in good form. I cannot think of any famous conductor who could get the same spontaneous reaction from his musicians as the Rebbe does from his cast audience; and with a barely perceptible movement of his hand. The sheer ecstasy, the jumping and dancing whilst roaring the niggun when the Rebbe waved his arms, was unbelievable. When the Rebbe actually stood up and danced and urged on everybody to sing, well that scene is beyond any description!

The Rebbe handed to Mr. Katch (of London) and me a bottle of vodka each to distribute at this farbrengen, but warned us that there should be “no competition between London and Manchester.”

At one point during a sicha, the Rebbe paused a little to allow a fellow to finish yawning. The Rebbe is always considerate. He also remarked that a few people were sleeping and he did not want to awaken them!

As usual these days, the Rebbe was very perturbed about the “Who is a Jew?” law enacted by the Israeli government. He spoke very strongly against it at every possible occasion. All the Rebbe wants is that the words “al pee Halacha” (converted according to Jewish Law) be inserted in that Law. Meaning that only someone converted the Jewish way - the halachic way - should be recognized as a Jew by Israel.

I told the Rebbe that earlier this year, when I was in Israel, we had a family sheva brochos at the home of a Cabinet Minister; Dr. Warhaftig in Jerusalem. During the sheva brochos I discussed the “mihu yehudi?” (Who is a Jew?) problem with him and he told me he was now afraid to visit the Rebbe, as he normally does when in the US.

The Rebbe told me that Warhaftig should not be afraid to visit, as the Rebbe understands that though he is a Cabinet Minister, the “mihu yehudi” problem is not in his department and he could not speak against his colleagues in the Israeli Cabinet.