The following day, Sivan 20 (June 13), was the kinus hatorah. Rabbi Mentelik had again informed me that he expected me to address the yeshiva boys as, at the Rebbe’s instigation, I have been addressing them every year for the past five years. I could not think of a reasonably good excuse for not speaking this time. (Except the usual one, that I cannot see how I fit in with all the roshei yeshivos and great talmidei chachomim (Torah scholars) who give such interesting pilpulim and droshos (talks).) Still, the boys always seem to appreciate my little funny stories, and my speech certainly gives them a little light relief from the “heavy stuff.”

I enumerated to them quite a long list of men who were doing the Rebbe’s work all over the world and who, only a short time ago, were studying in 770, “just like you are doing today.”

This was uforatzto in the true sense of the word. Thank G‑d, every year scores of students were leaving Brooklyn with their families and spreading Lubavitch doctrines everywhere.

The Japanese invented a system of self-defense. They called it ju-jitsu or judo. If someone attacked them, they were so well trained that they could throw their assailants by means of a flip of their hand. To show their proficiency they are given colored belts. Presenting them with a black belt marked the highest standard that they could achieve. A chossid had worn a black belt - or, as we call it, a gartel - for hundreds of years. This gartel is a sign that he had given himself over entirely to the Almighty, and G‑d will look after him. This is the best form of self-defense.

I concluded with the hope, which I always express, that the students will never be tzorrus chassidim, but will write regularly to our Rebbe, always including good news.


At a farbrengen during this visit, the Rebbe said that in England, the leader of Her Majesty’s Opposition in Parliament actually received a large salary for opposing the government. “We have an Englishman here who can confirm this,” the Rebbe said in a loud voice and looking at me.

On Shabbos I had an aliyah in the shul. It was the best one - shviee. I got to remain on the bimah during the Rebbe’s reading of the haftorah. I could follow the Rebbe’s finger in the chumash and I could also hear it well. Afterwards, I was also ensured a safe and speedy return to my place, near the Rebbe, by following immediately and literally in the Rebbe’s footsteps.


My brother Moshe, who lives in Israel, once asked Israeli President Shazar why doesn’t the Rebbe, who had so many scores of thousands of chassidim as well as yeshivas, schools and three villages in Israel, not come himself to see the country even just once.

Shazar replied, “Moshe, the Rebbe is a much more clever man than you or I and he will come in his own time.”

The Rebbe also remarked to my brother Moshe recently, “Don’t you realize that my heart aches just to daven even a small mincha at the kosel.”