1 “Blessed be He Who manifests kindness to those who are liable, and Who has granted me kindness.”2

Tuesday, 9 Adar Sheni, 5700 (1940), N.Y. 3:00 PM, Greystone Hotel

On Tuesday, 25 Adar I, at 8:30 PM, the Rebbe Shlita and all his family left Stockholm. At 10:00 PM they took the train to Goteborg and arrived there on Wednesday at 8:00 PM.

At 1:00 AM on Thursday, 27 Adar I, the ship3 set out, and sailed along the coast for about five hours until nightfall. In reply to our question we were told that we were sailing directly to New York. The voyage would take between seven and nine days, and the weather at sea was typical for this time of year.

At 11:00 PM the ship came to a halt because of fog, and since there were many rocks on our route it would be dangerous to continue in the dark. We waited until 6:00 AM. At 10:00 AM we were told that we were heading for the coast of Bergen, Norway. We anchored there at 4:00 PM on Friday, 28 Adar I, and left at midday on Shabbos.

On Sunday, the first day of Rosh Chodesh Adar Sheni, thirty hours out of Bergen, the ship stood still and sounded various horns. We could see white dots a few miles away, and also fishermen’s villages on the coast. A rumor spread that something had to be repaired and that the ship could not move. A couple of hours later a small boat brought technicians who worked through the night, and on Monday morning, the second day of Rosh Chodesh, the ship began to move. Within an hour it reached a small unnamed port and docked there for about four hours.

Late on the same day it set out, but stopped at midnight. Within minutes the footsteps of passengers could be heard, and despite the late hour, the halls were filled within minutes with men and women in a state of shock. The deputy captain announced that there was no cause for anxiety, but since this was a rocky area and there was a thick fog, we would wait for daylight and then proceed to directly to New York. He calmed the passengers and wished everyone Goodnight.

Early on Tuesday morning the ship sounded a long blast and by eight o’clock we were out on the sea, which was quiet until turbulence began at four o’clock.

At nine o’clock on Friday night, 5 Adar Sheni, the ship came to a halt. Word soon got out that a warship nearby had signaled our ship to stand still and get ready to be inspected. Within half an hour, however, that ship came near us, lit up our ship with a projector and, to the relief of the passengers, signaled us that we could now proceed.

At midday on Friday, an announcement authorized by the captain instructed all the passengers from age 15 to over 70 – that is, all those who had the strength to do so – to put on their safety belts and go up to the deck. There, two sailors would teach each group of 15 or 20 passengers the emergency routine, in case stormy seas threatened that the ship would founder.

On Motzaei Shabbos our ship was held up three times by order of patrolling British warships, but (thank G‑d) no one came on board for inspection. The stewards told us that during the previous voyage of this very same ship it had been held up two or three times, and had reached New York a week late.

At 4:00 PM on Monday, 8 Adar Sheni, after twelve days at sea, we could see the coast of New York, and two hours later we reached the dock, but the law does not allow passengers arriving after 4:00 PM to disembark until the following morning.

At 9:00 AM on Tuesday, 9 Adar Sheni, delegations arrived to welcome the Rebbe Shlita, and after they offered their greetings it was time for the checking of passports.

The immigration officials suggested that the Rebbe disembark immediately, to avert the crowding and noise during the exit of some 800 passengers. Thus it was that at 11:30 AM the Rebbe left Cabin #13 which he had occupied since 9:00 AM on Wednesday, 26 Adar Rishon – in all, 13 days and two-and-half hours. The Rebbe then went up to the top deck and briefly thanked the captain and his co-workers for their helpfulness.

The quay and the nearby area were packed with men and women. The moment they caught sight of the Rebbe Shlita, you could hear people crying out Shalom Aleichem! and exclaiming the blessing of Shehecheyanu. Cameras were clicking on all sides.

When the Rebbe Shlita entered the reception hall, he was greeted by delegations from the Association of Admurim, Agudas HaRabbanim, Vaad HaRabbanim, Degel HaRabbanim, Agudas Yisrael, Mizrachi, Tzeirei Agudas Yisrael, Poalei Agudas Yisrael, Tzeirei Mizrachi, Young Israel, and the following YeshivosYitzchak Elchanan, Chayim Berlin, Yaakov Yosef, Ramaz Margolios, Torah VaDaas, Toras Emes, Ahavas Torah, Toras Chayim, and others. The Mayor’s representative delivered a speech of welcome, to which the Rebbe responded with brief words, and he then gave his blessings to every delegation individually.

At 12:30 he left the reception hall and went out to the nearby courtyard, where thousands of men and women greeted him with Shalom Aleichem! And as he took his place in the waiting car, which proceeded very slowly, the Chabad niggun that was being played was accompanied by hundreds of voices.

At 1:00 PM he arrived at the Greystone Hotel and went up to Room 609, which comprised a study, a bedroom, and a small lobby. Room 608 next door was set aside for daily davenen with a minyan.

Motzaei Shabbos Parshas Tazria, Parshas HaChodesh, Midnight

I was allowed to copy the following, verbatim, from the diary of the Rebbe Shlita:

“I was contemplating the great difference between Lubavitch in Lubavitch, and Lubavitch in New York. In the former, even the most ordinary of the visitors would bask in the light of Lubavitch, because when they arrived Reb Chanoch Hendel would talk with them. With some of them he would learn a few lines of Tanya, or offer words of spiritual arousal. The visitor would be admitted for yechidus, where he would ask about all his affairs, and all in all, he would absorb a measure of chassidic warmth. That was the case with the weekday visitors who were nicknamed “mashinove chassidim” – that is, chassidim who had come by train. They would arrive in town, ask for advice about their material affairs, and return home.

“By contrast, when visitors came for Shabbos, Reb Chanoch Hendel would speak with them on Thursday night, and on Shabbos, and on Motzaei Shabbos. If my father had not issued the [newly-delivered] maamar in writing, Reb M[oshe] the Chozer,4 and later others, would make a written draft of it. The visitors would study it repeatedly and take home a handwritten copy. When they returned to their hometowns they would repeat it, either from that copy or from memory, and all the local chassidim would listen to their descriptions of life in Lubavitch. Their visit would thus yield doubled and redoubled benefits.

“But now?! I find it hard to write about Lubavitch in New York, because my heart is pained.”

Monday, 29 Adar Sheni

A delegation from Lakewood proposed that the Rebbe Shlita spend Pesach there, where the weather was fine, and take a respite from the tumult of the city. The trip was set for Tuesday, 8 Nissan.

Tuesday, 8 Nissan, Lakewood, 8:00 PM

Representatives of the Lakewood community arrived at midday, and at 1:15 PM the Rebbe Shlita and all his family left New York. At the border of New Jersey they were greeted by a delegation representing the governor.

On the way, the Rebbe’s car stopped twice to greet the delegations of Anash and temimim from towns near Lakewood, who then joined the convoy while singing Lubavitcher niggunim – a reminder of the luminous days in Lubavitch.

Numerous lifelike memories were then aroused of those days at this time of the year, a few days before Pesach, when the Rebbe Rashab returned from abroad and the temimim went out of town to greet him.

After about an hour and a half, as the Rebbe Shlita and the chassidim reached the outskirts of Lakewood, they were met and welcomed by a carload of municipal and police officials.

At 2:30 PM, when they arrived at the house in which the Rebbe Shlita was to be hosted, he was welcomed in the spacious living room and he responded with a short sichah. At 5:00 PM he reappeared, wearing his Shabbos garb, farbrenged with Anash and temimim, and delivered the maamar entitled Ohr LeArbaah-Asar.

Isru Chag, 23 Nissan

In the course of Pesach:5

About 60 people were present at Maariv on the first night. The Seder began at 9:00 with a minyan at the table, and some dozens of additional guests came to observe and listen, [after having completed their own Sedarim at home].

The Haggadah and the interspersed sichos went on until 11:00, and the festive meal and benschen were completed before midnight. The further sichos and the conclusion of the Haggadahcontinued until 2:00 AM.

From 10:00 PM until 1:00 AM the room was filled with the additional guests mentioned above. About 100 people attended Shacharis, and the Yom-Tov meal that followed, including niggunim and sichos, lasted three hours.

The Seder on the second night began at 9:00 PM; the Haggadah and the meal continued till 1:00 AM, and the Seder ended at 3:30 PM. About 120 people participated in Shacharis, and the seudah, which included niggunim and sichos, lasted two hours. At 7:00 PM the Rebbe Shlita delivered the maamar entitled Ki Yish’alcha Bincha.

The evening and daytime seudos of Shabbos were accompanied by niggunim and sichos, and at 7:00 on Shabbos, the Rebbe Shlita delivered the maamar entitled VaYakem Edus BeYaakov.

Many guests arrived for the last days of Pesach. The evening and daytime seudos of the Seventh Day of Pesach, with their niggunim and sichos, each lasted three hours. At 7:00 PM, the Rebbe Shlita delivered the maamar entitled Az Yashir.

The seudah on the eve of the Last Day of Pesach also included niggunim and sichos, and went on for two hours. The daytime seudah on the Last Day of Pesach, complete with niggunim and sichos, went on for about five hours, and after benschen, those at the table were joined by all the other invited guests in a lively dance.

Sunday, 27 Nissan

The Shabbos guests participated in the evening and daytime seudos, at which a number of sichos were delivered. At 7:00 PM the Rebbe Shlita delivered the maamar entitled Oteh Ohr KeSalmah.

Sunday, 4 Iyar

The guests who arrived for Shabbos attended the seudos and listened to the sichos, and at 7:00 PM the Rebbe Shlita delivered the maamar entitled Rebbi Omer: Eizo Hi Derech Yesharah.

Wednesday, Greystone Hotel, New York

The Rebbe Shlita left Lakewood at 7:15 PM, and at 9:00 PM arrived at his apartment in the Greystone Hotel (Room 609), New York.

Lag BaOmer

About 300 people – Anash, guests and yeshivah students – attended the two-hour farbrengen which began at 5:30 PM. It included the maamar entitled Chaviv Adam, as well as a sichah urging a spiritual awakening, and the sharing of oral traditions.

Friday, Isru Chag Shavuos

The seudah of the first evening of Shavuos, with niggunim and sichos, was held in the room which served as a shul, and continued till 1:30 AM. About twenty people were invited to the seudos, while another thirty sat and stood [as above, in the entry dated Isru Chag, 23 Nissan].

On the morning of the First Day of Shavuos,the Torah was read in the room of the Rebbe Shlita, who was called to the Torah for maftir. The daytime seudah went on for two hours. and at 7:00 PM the Rebbe Shlita delivered the maamar entitled VaEhyeh Etzlo Amon.

The evening seudah, with niggunim and sichos, took about three hours.

A number of Anash walked for four or five hours in order to participate in the daytime seudah of the Second Day, which went on for four hours. The Rebbe Shlita shared and explained many stories and oral traditions, and each narration was followed by a meditative niggun that was sung with unhurried sweetness. Many souls were stirred, and a few of the old-time temimim tried to hide their tears. They were no doubt reliving their luminous days in Lubavitch.

When the Rebbe Shlita rose from his place at the table, he blessed all those present and honored them by joining them all in a brotherly chassidic dance.

Thursday, Yud-Beis Tammuz

A large gathering of Anash and temimim arrived for the farbrengen, from 7:00 to 10:00 PM. There were niggunim and sichos kodesh, and the Rebbe Shlita delivered the maamar entitled Kol HaMaarich BeEchad.

Thursday, 11 Menachem Av

Today permission was granted to copy part of the notes (reshimos) of the Rebbe Shlita that were headed “Lubavitch.” They speak of the history of the township; its founder; its rabbanim; the learned mochiach (mussar-preacher) Reb Yosef and his erudite son-in-law Reb Yissachar Ber; the visits of the Alter Rebbe; and the stages in the crystallization of Chabad Chassidus in its first and second generations.6

Friday, 12 Menachem Av

Today the purchase of 770 Eastern Parkway, Brooklyn, NY, was closed, and the keys were presented to the Rebbe Shlita.

Tuesday of the Week of Parshas Nitzavim

On Sunday the Rebbe Shlita came to his new home at 770 Eastern Parkway, Brooklyn, NY, for the first time. He first entered the shul on the ground floor, and said: “May it be G‑d’s Will that the tefillos should spring from within, and that the davenen should well forth spontaneously, with a relish that is inspired by genuine inner avodah.”

The chanukas habayis (housewarming) was celebrated today. After a number of sichos, the Rebbe Shlita delivered the maamar entitled Al Shloshah Devarim HaOlam Omed: Al HaTorah, VeAl HaAvodah, VeAl Gemilus Chassadim.

Erev Rosh HaShanah, After Minchah

This was the blessing that the Rebbe Shlita gave:May G‑d grant that the year with its curses will come to an end, and that there will begin a New Year with its blessings. May this coming year, תש"א (Taf-Shin-Alef), be a year in which “You will raise up (תִשָּׂא) the head of the Children of Israel!”7