Large English Delegation

Thousands of chassidim were converging on 770. Everyone wanted to be present on this important and historical occasion: the 70th birthday of our Rebbe and leader on Sunday, Nissan 11, 5732 (March 16, 1972), in order to pay their respects and homage.

Contrary to the usual practice and custom, most of these travelers had not even asked for the Rebbe’s permission this time. They spontaneously decided that they had to be present at this unique event. The Rebbe had sensed what was happening and had issued a general directive and order: All men who were coming for these celebrations, and were not accompanied by their wives, must return home in time for Pesach, so that families be together for Yom Tov. [The Rebbe’s birthday is four days before Pesach.]

Bernard Perrin and I left Manchester for London, from where we would embark to New York on Nissan 8 (March 23), the Thursday before the Rebbe’s birthday. We were booked to leave from New York on Monday morning, Nissan 12 (March 27), after the Sunday night big farbrengen. A visit of just over three days.

Rabbi Chaim Farro, his wife, and two daughters also accompanied us from Manchester. They all intended on staying in Brooklyn until after Pesach.

This Manchester delegation was also joined by the London contingent of Mendel Katch, Mr. Solomon, Bobby Vogel, and Rabbis Yankel Gurkov and his wife, Moshe Katzenelonbogen (a new arrival from Russia) and Shmuel Lew. Additionally, Rabbis Mendel Futerfas and Faivish Vogel were already in Brooklyn, together with Mr. Weingarten and his son Shimon. Rabbis Bentzion Shemtov and Nachman Sudak were traveling on a later flight. I should emphatically state that this was the strongest and most impressive delegation of the Lubavitch leadership from England to ever travel to see the Rebbe at one time.