1 Let us begin with a blessing: Blessed be G‑d for liberating us, and bringing us out of the straits of distress to a place of tranquility.

The law prescribes2 that if a person is overjoyed to see a cherished friend [whom he has not seen for over 30 days], he should recite the blessing of Shehecheyanu, thanking the One “Who has granted us life, sustained us, and enabled us to reach this occasion.” Moreover, in the Laws of Birkas HaNehenin,3 the Alter Rebbe, the author of Tanya, also writes that a blessing should be recited on every occasion for heartfelt joy that he experiences.

The wording of the blessing varies, depending on whether the cause for rejoicing is shared by others. If there are no partners, the blessing to be recited is Shehecheyanu; if there are partners, the blessing to be recited is HaTov VehaMeitiv, thanking the One “Who is good and Who is benevolent.”

In my heartfelt joy I have partners – the Agudas Chabad4 and the public figures who had a major share in the departure of myself and my family, with the help of G‑d, from the straits of distress to a place of tranquility. In the merit of my holy forebears, whose souls are in Eden, may G‑d grant them success in all their endeavors.

It is painful for me to disturb the heartfelt joy of all those who are present, and to disturb my own heartfelt joy – but the calamitous suffering of our brothers and sisters who are being mercilessly tormented gives me no rest. Wherever I go and wherever I may be, I am followed by the anguished cry of our brothers and sisters, and in particular of my numerous students in the yeshivos in Poland. I can allow myself no rest until with G‑d’s help they are rescued. At this first encounter with American Jewry, I appeal to you from the depths of my heart: Do everything you possibly can to rescue the students of the Tomchei Temimim Yeshivos, and all Jews, from the gehinnom of Poland.

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I am deeply touched by the warmhearted welcome with which the Jewish community of New York has honored me, with its esteemed delegations – representing the Mayor, the Agudas HaAdmurim, the Agudas HaRabbanim, and the various institutions of Torah scholarship. In fact I ought to have highlighted each praiseworthy delegation separately, but in order not to impose on all those present, I must be brief. I thank you all, and bless you all with success in all fields.

In this openhearted and loving encounter I perceive G‑d’s blessing – to find favor in the eyes of G‑d and man, so that there will be a desire to help me continue my work in the dissemination of Torah study together with a fear of Heaven, as well as my other activities for the public good, as in the past.

Let me repeat my thanks, and offer my blessing: May G‑d send us the Righteous Redeemer and gather together our dispersed exiles from the four corners of the world and lead us upright to our land!

May you all be blessed.