On Sunday, Sivan 8 (May 21), the kinus hatorah took place. This year, for the first time, it was held downstairs in the large shul. Rabbi Mentelik, whose big day this was, had made sure that I would be speaking “as usual.”

“The boys like it,” he said. As was the custom, the kinus hatorah commenced at about 3:30 after mincha, and went on until almost time for maariv, at about 9:00.

I will admit that most of the speakers were interesting. Each had a stack of gemoras and other seforim for reference. Every year, there was always someone who disagreed with their arguments and reason, and so started further arguments and reasoning. Unlike at the Rebbe’s farbrengen, men and boys were interjecting their comments and continuously walking in and out of the hall. The audience had changed over completely many times during the afternoon.

Rabbi Mentelik ensured that I should listen to at least three pilpulim, two whilst I was waiting for my turn to be called up, and one after I had given my talk, as I could not insult the next speaker by immediately walking out after my address.

To save myself the trouble of preparing a paper, I took the easy way out by reading excerpts from last year’s diary. They loved the section dealing with the Rebbe’s 70th birthday (this past Yud-aleph Nissan.) They lapped it up and enjoyed it immensely. They all clamored for copies of the diary. I could have made a fortune!

And yet, a number of students were disappointed that I had not told them a few jokes, as I normally do. One cannot please everyone!