After mincha, Rabbi Chodakov rushed into the main office from the Rebbe’s room and said, “Zalmon, the Rebbe is making a special farbrengen immediately after maariv at 9:30; it will probably be a short one.” Well, this was an unexpected windfall, a wonderful surprise and pleasure! A farbrengen on Erev Shavuos! This was certainly something new.

I was not sure whether I had heard Rabbi Chodakov correctly and whether he had said the Rebbe was holding a farbrengen especially for me. Subsequently this was confirmed. There seems to be - thank G‑d - no end to the wonders of the Rebbe for me.

I dashed to our apartment – which was not a minute away – and found Roselyn already in bed. She was absolutely exhausted and “all in.” Besides, for us it was now 2:30 in the morning, so she was entitled to be tired, with so much traveling and then the clean-up effort.

She was also entitled to be at the farbrengen. So within a few minutes we were again at 770. The Rebbe was due to arrive in about ten minutes. The shul was already filled to overflowing – packed – jammed tight. I tried to force my way through the solid mass of students and men, in order to get to my usual place. It was just impossible, especially as I was also rather tired. I needed to be at the peak of my physical condition to make any headway. I had to give up, admit failure and stand at the rear of the hall.

At 9:45 the Rebbe arrived and almost immediately commenced a maamar! So, instead of having this maamar at 3:00, early on the morning of

Shavuos, we were listening to it at a “reasonable” hour, on the evening before Yom Tov. Perhaps we were being present at a new innovation. Incidentally, last year the Rebbe omitted the pre-Shavuos maamar altogether.

After the maamar, Leibel Groner and others who had noticed me standing at the back, made active and aggressive signals and signs to me that I should go and sit in my usual place. So I did, by climbing onto the table and walking on hands and heads, belonging to others, of course. (As it happens, Leibel was right, I should have gone to my usual place at once (!?), because Rabbi Dvorkin asked me the next morning, why I came so late to the farbrengen and even missed the maamar!)

We then sang a couple of niggunim and the Rebbe said a sicha about the humility of Moshe Rabeinu. He was such an onov (humble person) he felt that with all the help and guidance he had received from Above, he should have done much better. In fact, he maintained that someone else in his place, with the same opportunities, would have indeed done better than he!

The whole farbrengen took one-and-a-half hours. Roselyn said it was wonderful and just long enough, too; for in another five minutes she would have been sound asleep!

The next morning, Sivan 5 (May 18), which was a Thursday, I was fortunate to have hagbah at the Rebbe’s minyan right after I bentched gomel.