Sunday morning, Nissan 11 (March 26), was the Rebbe’s seventieth birthday. At 770, it was like this past Shabbos, but packed with even more people than ever. The only difference was that on this day, there were long lines of meshulochim (money collectors), all wanting money “lekoved the Rebbe’s birthday.”

The Rebbe had announced on Shabbos that all heads of Lubavitch branches should call at Rabbi Chodakov’s office on Sunday, where they would receive seventy-one dollars from the Rebbe. Only the heads would be given this money and the size of the actual branch did not entitle them to more. For example, London, with all their huge staff and ramifications, would get the same amount as, say, Glasgow, which was a relatively small operation. I had arranged to go with Rabbi Chaim Farro and Bernard Perrin.

By 12:30 Bernard had not yet arrived, so Rabbi Farro and I decided to go without him.

Rabbi Chodakov wanted to know why two of us had come. I explained that I was here on behalf of Manchester Lubavitch and Chaim had opened his own account for students and publications. Rabbi Chodakov remarked that he could see that I was a “socher” (businessman) and after a pleasant conversation, he handed to each of us a fifty-, a twenty- and a one-dollar bill. When we left his room, we found a huge crowd had congregated outside, waiting their turn to enter and collect their seventy-one dollars.

I hurriedly went searching for Shmuel, and told him to get his “rations.” I told him that since he was the head of the student department in London, he may be able to receive his own seventy-one dollars, besides that which the main London organization received. He ultimately went in and was thrown out. Rabbi Sudak’s seventy-one dollars covered his department too. Bernard Perrin was more fortunate. As he helps Rabbi Chaim Jacobs of Glasgow quite a lot, he collected on behalf of Glasgow.

The busiest place in Brooklyn these few days had to have been the milchig restaurant. If one wanted lunch, one had to reserve a table after breakfast, give in the order right then and there, and in three hours time one would be lucky to receive the food – that was NOT ordered!