The final Shabbos of our stay, Sivan 14 (May 27), parshas Nosso, had now arrived. Because Yom Tov was on a Shabbos this year, we had missed an “ordinary” Shabbos. There were five chasonim, and for the first time since I have been coming to 770, I did not have an aliyah. This proves my point about the tremendous growth of Lubavitch.

Thank G‑d (and the Rebbe) there was a farbrengen.

During this farbrengen the Rebbe also addressed the issue of mixed dancing at weddings:

Marriage is, as the choson says to his bride to be “harai at mekudeshes lee,” meaning you are consecrated to me - to me only. Shortly thereafter he is forced to see his wife - his bride - dancing with other men. What kind of holiness is this? Holiness means to be separated and special. Husband and wife are “holy” to and for each other.

Mixed dances at weddings means that G‑d’s Shechina (Divine presence) is not present and no mazel for the future. It is contrary to what we wish the choson and kallah.

Incidentally, there were three sets of sheva brochos during this farbrengen.

During the farbrengen, the Rebbe gave me the three bottles of vodka I had requested for the three chasonim in England.

(After the farbrengen, two Russian chassidim begged me for a small drop for their families. It was not mine, really, but how could I refuse? I am sure that the chasonim would be very happy to know what pleasure they had given to these people.)

During the last sicha, the Rebbe spoke about tzeischem l’sholom (wishing well to people who are leaving) and then quoting the pirkei avos of this Shabbos, said:

Shamai says... “Greet everyone with a happy smile.” Usually we would associate such a teaching with Hillel, as Hillel always leaned on the side of chesed (kindness). But, we accepted this ruling from Shamai, who was always stricter, to show us that it was not “kindness” to greet our fellows with a happy smile, but a definite duty.

The Rebbe said he loves to welcome everyone who comes especially to spend Shavuos, the time of Matan Torah, with him. But, although we are leaving the Rebbe’s presence, we are always connected spiritually.

Please G‑d, the Rebbe looks forward to seeing us personally again next Shavuos.

Going Home

The day of our departure had arrived, Sivan 16 (May 29). Although we did not have our second yechidus, the Rebbe approached us as we were standing near the door ready to leave back to Manchester and said, with a lovely glorious smile, “Fohrt gezunterheit un lost grissen alemen in dee heim.” (Travel safely and convey my regards back home.)

And with this nice brocha for a safe journey, we left 770, well pleased with this year’s encounter with the Rebbe.