תמוז תשכ"ב - ר' זלמן יפה (אנגלית)

מתוך Yomanim

קפיצה אל: ניווט, חיפוש

תוכן עניינים

Arranging Our Flight

The first charter flight from England to the Rebbe last year had been a tremendous success. Many people had been given the opportunity of seeing the Rebbe for the first time, as well as meeting family members and friends whom they could never had hoped ever to see or visit. It also had a positive effect on Lubavitch in general.

We were receiving continuous inquiries about our next flight. We therefore decided to charter another plane from the Flying Tiger Airline.

I wrote to the Rebbe about various options we had for flying into New York, and I received the following reply from the Rebbe in the form of a letter dated 17th of Teves, 5722 (December 24, 1961):

I received your letter of Dec. 14th, as well as the cable. In the meantime your have surely received my letter in reply to yours of an earlier date.

With reference to the planned chartered trip, I see from your letter that you cannot dictate your terms to the air-lines, for they have their own limitations. However, it would be well if the trip can be so arranged as to take in two farbrengen in close proximity, such as Shabbos-MevorchimSivan and Shavuos, or Shabbos-Mevorchim Tammuz with Yud-Beis Tammuz. However, judging by your letter, I do not think the decision is yours. Therefore, the best thing would be to poll the opinion of the prospective participants and go by the majority within the limited choice available.

In the end, we again had to accept the one and only date that was available, which indeed would give us at least two farbrengens as the Rebbe had suggested.

We were scheduled to embark on Sivan 29, 5722 (July 1, 1962) and we would be leaving New York on Tammuz 16 (July 18). The return flight would leave on the evening of the sixteenth of Tammuz, and we would therefore be flying home on a fast day - Shiva Ossor B'Tammuz. Fortunately, we would have six hours less to fast, as we would be traveling from west to east.

For £35 round trip, it did not take too long to have all 118 seats booked.

Quick in-and-out

During that winter, I was experiencing difficulties in my business affairs, and I felt it necessary to travel to New York to consult, face-to-face, with the Rebbe about these matters.

I used to write to the Rebbe on a fairly frequent basis and I would receive a letter from the Rebbe a few times a month.

I sent a telegram to the Rebbe, in which I asked to call next week to discuss the general situation.

I knew that the Rebbe does not accept phone calls. I was requesting a personal call to the Rebbe, not a phone conversation. The Rebbe's secretary misunderstood my intentions and sent me the following response:

I am directed to acknowledge receipt of your cable, but the meaning of the words “May I call next week [to] discuss [the] general situation” is not quite clear.

If your intention is [to] make a telephone call, you are probably aware that the Rebbe shlita does not generally accept telephone calls.

Thankfully, my true intentions came to light in due course. In the post script the secretary had written:

Since writing the above, Rabbi B. Shemtov just flew in. Checking with him as to your intention, we gather that you meant a personal call. When I brought this to the Rebbe's shlita attention, the reply was that he is always pleased to meet with such friends as your good self. He wondered, however, that, unless there are compelling reasons, whether the same purpose cannot be attained via correspondence so as to save you the effort, time and expense?

I certainly felt there were very “compelling reasons” to make this trip. I was glad that Rabbi Shemtov had understood that I had not considered talking to the Rebbe on the phone, which I was well aware was not an option. And so, I made reservations to fly into New York, the following week.

I arrived to New York on Adar I 29, 5722 (March 5, 1962). There were such fierce gale-force 60 mph winds when we were landing, the sea was mountainous. We nevertheless, thank G-d, made a perfect landing.Avrohom, who was now studying in New York, picked me up from the airport in a borrowed car.

I had an appointment with the Rebbe for late that night and I spent a wonderful day with Avrohom, including a short nap in his dormitory room.

I entered the Rebbe's room for yechidus at 2:00 in the morning and remained with the Rebbe until 3:20.

I assumed the Rebbe well recalled that at our first yechidus, a little over three years ago, in 5719 (1959), the Rebbe had told me, that for the first three visits to him, I could and should sit during yechidus.

This being my fourth visit to New York, the Rebbe did not offer me a seat and I, of course, gladly remained standing, I did, however, shake the Rebbe's hand, as in the past. So, I am now, I should hope, well on my way to becoming a chossid.

Rabbi Shemtov had asked me to request of the Rebbe an answer for Rabbi K.R. in England who was very sick. The Rebbe said we should hear “gutte besuros (good news) this month.”

I mentioned to the Rebbe that a Dayan in Manchester was interested in hearing from the Rebbe about some changes the Beis Din were implementing.

The Rebbe's reply, “He should look in Choshen Mishpot regarding the hours of a beis din and the Dayonim.”

The Rebbe wished our upcoming Purim affair every success.

We talked about the business difficulties I was experiencing. The Rebbe gave me invaluable practical advice and encouragement. I left the Rebbe's presence, well assured in the Rebbe's brochos, that, please G-d, there would be substantial improvements.

I was staying in a hotel in Manhattan and although I did not get to bed until 5:00 in the morning, I was already up at 6:00. I davened shacharis in 770and actually received the third aliyah, just before the Rebbe had the fourth one. (When the Torah is read on Rosh Chodesh, four people are called up.)

Second Charter Flight

On Sunday morning Sivan 29, (July 1), before 10:00, we all arrived at Ringway Airport in Manchester to commence our journey. We were due to depart at 10:30. We discovered that although our aircraft was on the tarmac, it was not quite suitable to accept our passengers. It had brought a group of one hundred US servicemen from New York to Spain, from whence it came directly to Manchester. On arrival, it was found that this aircraft was only outfitted with one hundred seats, whereas we had contracted for and needed 118! It seemed that American troops required more comfort then the Rebbe's soldiers. We were assured, however, that there was no cause for alarm, as another airplane was on its way from Barcelona with the missing eighteen seats. There would be a short delay of about one hour.

Two hours later, at 12:00, we were informed that there would be a further delay and that we should not expect to leave before three o'clock. We were confronted with the problem of providing a meal for our passengers. There definitely was nothing kosher at Manchester Airport. In fact there was no place in all of Manchester that could supply kosher food for 118 people at a moment's notice - except maybe one - the Holmes Caterers. I telephoned the owner, Mrs. Fruhman. She said that she could provide only tea, cake and biscuits. That was the best she could do. She simply had no bread with which to make sandwiches. We were glad to accept anything.

As we had already checked in, the Flying Tiger was responsible for looking after all our needs. Therefore their representative obtained a fleet of buses to take us back to Manchester and promised to pay for our meals.

When we arrived at the Holmes, we were confronted with mountains of cold cuts and sandwiches. Mrs. Fruhman had waylaid the baker's delivery van and commandeered the whole load of bread! So many sandwiches had been made that every passenger was given a large bag full of food to take with, in case of any emergency.

We returned to the airport at 3:00 p.m. and learned that the extra seats had been delivered. I accompanied the representative of the Flying Tiger to the aircraft in order to ascertain the length of time still required to complete the job. I entered the airplane and my heart sank. The whole cabin was a wreck. Seats were strewn all over the plane; not one chair was in an upright position. All lay on their backs on the floor. Despite all that, we did leave at 6:30 p.m. - 8 hours late.

Quiet Arrival to 770

We arrived at 770 at 8:30 a.m. New York time, Sivan30 (July 2). The place was deserted. We subsequently found out that the Rebbe had waited for us until quite late. A few hardy and close relatives and friends were waiting for our group's arrival. They whisked away our weary travelers to more comfortable and luxurious quarters.

What a difference this was to the welcome we received the year before at 3:30 in the morning when the Rebbe greeted us personally. Then again, nothing will ever compare to our first charter or recapture the excitement and thrills of that first unforgettable experience.

The Rebbe Promotes a Shidduch

Our daughter Hindy, now 18 years old, accompanied us to the Rebbe.Avrohom “our son“ had been studying in the Lubavitch Yeshiva in New York for a year already, and he met us at the airport. He related to us all the latest news and happenings at 770.

He kept interspersing his comments with the name of one special friend, Shmuel Lew. This fellow seemed to be the paradigm of all virtues, a talmid chochom of the highest caliber, athletic and very good looking. Avrohom reminded us that we had met him at last year's visit to the summer camp in the Catskills.

I did not recall any such distinguished and outstanding young man. Anyhow, they all looked very much the same to my untrained eyes: medium to tall height, wispy beards, white short-sleeved shirts. “At any rate,” I interrupted, “why do you mention him?” Well, it seems Avrohom wanted to arrange a meeting between this Shmuel and Hindy. (Later we found out that the Rebbe was involved in this, and was spurring it along. At this stage, we had no idea of the Rebbe's involvement and consent to this shidduch.)

Roselyn said that on no account and under no circumstances would she consent to this meeting; she would not even consider it. “She is only eighteen years of age and there is plenty of time for a shidduch at a later juncture.” That was it!

We were in Brooklyn for a total of three weeks on this visit. During our entire stay, Rabbi Shemtov and our son Avrohom subjected Roselyn to extreme pressure. “You have to allow this meeting to take place.” “What harm could it do?” “They might not even like each other.” And so on. Roselyn therefore jumped at the opportunity of sending Hindy away - far away - to Detroit, Michigan, where there was a Lubavitcher camp for girls. “There she will be a thousand miles away from this Shmuel Lew.”

Hindy spent six wonderful days in Michigan and was always in the company of a newly met friend. This friend, Mindy Feller, took every opportunity to constantly and consistently tell her about a wonderful and attractive brother she had, what a talmid chochom he was! It became clear later - too late - that Mindy is Shmuel Lew's married sister.

Shabbos Tammuz 12

We were to leave New York on Wednesday, Tammuz 16 (July 18). Before our last Shabbos in New York, the Rebbe advised Shmuel, who was currently a counselor at the camp in the Catskills, to leave the camp in order to come to Crown Heights, where he could meet Hindy. (We were still kept in the dark as of the Rebbe's active participation).

After maariv on Friday night, as the Rebbe was leaving the shul, we all started singing a lively tune and the Rebbe encouraged the singing.

For that Friday night, Roselyn was finally prevailed upon to invite Shmuel over for Shabbos dinner; however at the last moment, she canceled the invitation.

Meanwhile there was an undercurrent of great activity going on with Rabbi Shemtov and Avrohom, whispering, plotting and maneuvering in corners.

At the Friday night dinner, Rabbi Shemtov made kiddush, and following that, had a few l'chaims. The lights were out due to a short fuse, and we were sitting around the candle-lit table. This put Rabbi Shemtov in a very emotional mood and he was reminiscing about his earlier days in Soviet Russia. In addition, he had a few more l'chaims. He then “took the chairmanship.”

In his opening remarks, he flayed Roselyn for her obstinacy and obduracy. He condemned her unreasonable attitude that prevented two young people who, in his estimation, were an ideally suited couple, from even meeting each other.

Avrohom was the second speaker. His theme was very similar to that of the “chairman.”

Under this concentrated attack, Roselyn finally relented; she consented to Hindy meeting Shmuel on Saturday night. She thought to herself “We are leaving on Wednesday, four days time, so it seems fairly safe to let them meet each other now.”

On Shabbos morning during shacharis, the Rebbe indicated that Ho'aderes vho'emunah be sung. This was definitely a break from the norm at 770.

After davening, there was a farbrengen. The Rebbe said three sichas and a maamar.

On Motzoei Shabbos, Shmuel took Hindy on the Staten Island ferry, which had become notorious and renowned as the “Lubavitcher Shadchonus Express.” (Or, as we will find out, “express” shadchonus!)

Lamplighters

The following evening, Sunday, Tammuz 13 (July 15), the Rebbe held a farbrengen in honor of Yud Beis and Yud Gimmel Tammuz [The birthday of the previous Rebbe in 1880, and the day he was released from Soviet jail in 1927]. The farbrengen began around 9:15 p.m. (following maariv). There were many visitors present as this farbrengen.

The Rebbe was in very cheerful spirits during this farbrengen.

We got off to a jolly start, as immediately at the onset of the farbrengen, during the first niggun, everyone was singing with the Rebbe encouraging the singing by swinging his arms and hands very energetically. We all tried to maintain the momentum of the singing in rhythm to the Rebbe's moving arms. Then the Rebbe suddenly stood up and in addition to continuing the hand motions as before, was literally dancing in his place for quite a few minutes. After this joyous round of singing, the Rebbe asked that avinu malkeinu be sung.

Then there were the sichas. The Rebbe was explaining a story about the Rebbe Rashab, the fifth Rebbe of Lubavitch, and I was able to understand more of what was being said than usual. The Rebbe talked about how a chossid is a lamternshchik (Russian word meaning lamplighter) and must actively seek out the “lamps” to ignite.

The Rebbe distributed mashke to many of the guests, including three Lubavitcher professors; Dr. Teitlebaum from Montreal, Professor Block and Yaakov Hanoka.

After a sicha about the plight of the Jewish people still behind the Iron Curtain, we started singing “Hoshioh es Amecho.” The Rebbe interrupted this song and requested that we instead sing Uforatzto. The Rebbe was very vigorously egging on this song and then he again stood up and danced and encouraged the singing. Afterwards someone remarked, “I only remember seeing the Rebbe so joyful on Simchas Torah.” I believe that it was very unusual for the Rebbe to stand up and dance on more than one occasion in a farbrengen.

During the course of the farbrengen the Rebbe called me up to the top table. He wanted to pour some vodka for me. I indicated that I had shtelled different bottles.

The Rebbe broke out in a lovely broad smile and said, “Misht zich nit in dee balebatishkeit, se'iz genug vos ihr misht zich in Manchester, doh farlost zich oif mir.” (Do not interfere with the management here, it is enough that you are involved in Manchester. Here, rely on me.) Then he said in English, “No hard feelings.”

He then handed me some cake from his tray and indicated that I give this to my daughter. (Rabbi Dvorkin, [the Rov in Crown Heights], informed me that this signified a blessing for the shidduch. Whilst this greatly pleased me, I was not expecting the Rebbe's brocha to be fulfilled with such speed.)

One of the elder chassidim present, who was also present when theFrierdiker Rebbe was released from jail, was reminiscing about 5627 (1927). He told the Rebbe how he well remembered in the Soviet Union, after getting the news of the previous Rebbe's release, they had to suffice with a very secret celebration, “but now, it is with greatpirsum (publicity).”

The Rebbe retorted, whilst waving his hand in a sign of displeasure, “Doss heist pirsum?” (Is this called publicity?)

That is the Rebbe's general outlook; what was good yesterday, must be increased today and tomorrow should be more than today. One must never look back to the past and feel complacent, but instead should feel encouraged by the successes to increase in an even larger measure than before. The Rebbe himself sets a very good example to his chassidim to that end.

The next day, Monday, Tammuz 14 (July 16), Hindy and Shmuel met for the second time.

That night, we were getting ready to retire for the night at our apartment, when we received a message that the Rebbe desired to see Roselyn and myself at once. Roselyn was unfortunately not able to go, so I went alone.

I admit I do not remember much about this yechidus; events were moving too fast for me. The current circumstances, over which I had no control, were carrying me along. The Rebbe suggested that “it” take place in three months time during the month of Tishrei or in about one year's time during next Tammuz. I surmised the Rebbe was discussing the tenoim (engagement), but the Rebbe was in fact talking about the wedding! Neither Roselyn nor I had yet made Shmuel's acquaintance! I protested to the Rebbe, “What will they do for parnoso?”

The Rebbe immediately answered, “He'll be a lamternshchik.”

We realized that we should be making Shmuel's acquaintance. The next day, Tuesday, I picked up Shmuel at 770, and took him to our apartment to meet Roselyn.

As we walked down Kingston Avenue together he said “You may think that this is very sudden; but you must remember that what it takes, l'havdil, “other people” a year or two to discover - namely, their backgrounds, family history and so forth - we already know. What we have to find out is our compatibility and whether we are attracted to each other.” He then quoted (from Bereishis, 24:67) that “Yitzchok met Rivkah, she became his wife and he loved her.” That is the Jewish way, leading to a lasting and permanent love.”

I was nonplussed. He had only spoken to Hindy on two occasions and he was already talking about compatibility and marriage! It seemed like a new concept to me, however I must admit it sounded admirable.

At the apartment Rabbi Shemtov and Avrohom were present. I introduced Shmuel to Roselyn. She remarked that she was very pleased to meet a friend of Avrohom's and if he liked Hindy and she liked him, they could correspond with each other for a year or so. After all, she was only eighteen. When they would again meet, next year, we could discuss matters that are more serious.

I am afraid that Roselyn was fighting a losing battle. She had mistakenly thought that there would be insufficient time. While Roselyn was talking about them writing to each other, they were arranging a meeting between us and Shmuel's parents at the dairy restaurant on Kingston Avenue, so we could discuss “serious” matters over lunch.

On Wednesday, Tammuz 16 (July 18), we met Shmuel's family for lunch. His father, Mr. David Lew, a practicing attorney, could not make it with such short notice. However, Shmuel's mother and grandmother, as well as an uncle, met us for lunch. (His father met us at the airport later that night).

Meanwhile, being in charge of the charter flight, there was a tremendous amount of detail to organize. Roselyn - who was my “right hand man” - and I were kept busy during lunch, because passengers were continuously interrupting our meal (and our conversations). There were so many problems that needed tending to.

I found out later that Rabbi Chodakov called Shmuel to a meeting on Wednesday morning, which was the day we traveled back to England, and told him that a decision with him and Hindy - either way - must be reached today, before the flight leaves. He told him that “The order is that first the boy and girl decide whether they are interested, then they obtain their parents' permission, and finally they ask for the Rebbe's brocha.”

The buses were scheduled to leave 770 for the airport at 3:00 p.m. The Rebbe had kindly consented to see every single member of our group - each of the 118 passengers - individually in his private study before our departure, as he also so generously did last year. Everyone was permitted to spend just a few moments to receive the Rebbe's parting blessings.

At 770, the scene was chaotic, utter confusion. All of the travelers, their friends and relatives together with hundreds of bochurim (who were always interested in anything connected with the Rebbe) were all milling around the vicinity of the hallway nearby the Rebbe's study. I was in the waiting room doing my best to keep the queue moving. Passengers would enter the Rebbe's study and then could not bring themselves to leave. We almost had to drag some of them out. It was very fortunate indeed that this was our personal chartered flight, as it could not leave without us. (We left New York three hours late due to this lack of co-operation by some of the members).

When it was Hindy's turn to go in to the Rebbe alone, she told the Rebbe, “I made up my mind.”

The Rebbe was visibly satisfied and said, “He is a very fine bochur.” He then gave her many fine brochos.

Rabbi Chodakov then went in, between one yechidus and another, with Shmuel's written note, requesting the Rebbe's blessings to get engaged. Rabbi Chodakov came out one or two minutes later, with the Rebbe's written agreement and blessings to the engagement.

Rabbi Shemtov arrived, holding a bottle of vodka and glass and wishing everyone “Mazel Tov, Mazel Tov.” He pushed a glass of vodka into my hand and said “Say l'chaim. Hindy has made up her mind and she is now a kallah.” What excitement! What a turmoil! Poor Roselyn hardly knew thechoson and we had not even met the mechuton. The one consolation, the anchor that kept us sane, was that the Rebbe had urged and promoted this shidduch and given his blessings. That alone assured our rationality.

I confess that I did find it inconceivable that our daughter, whom I had always considered a sensible and calm young woman, should be so quickly and completely “bowled over.”

Grand Send Off

Whilst our buses were departing from 770, the Rebbe honored us with a grand send-off, standing at the entrance of 770 until the last bus was out of sight. The Rebbe was surrounded with his entourage, extremely elated, with a look of great satisfaction.

We returned to Manchester to receive a great ovation and a tumultuous welcome. People showered us with congratulations and Mazel Tovs. The local Jewish newspaper carried screaming banner headlines, right across the page, announcing “HILARY JAFFE ENGAGED TO AMERICAN YESHIVA STUDENT.”

Shortly thereafter, I received a letter from the Rebbe, dated 28th Tammuz 5722 (July 30, 1962), which contained the following paragraph:

...It is gratifying to know that you had a pleasant return trip and a heartwarming welcome, including the many good wishes of Mazel Tov for your daughter's shidduch. It must have helped Mrs. Jaffe to get used to the idea that her daughter has grown up, and there is much to be grateful for in the thought that the Almighty has helped bring up such a suitable shidduch without undue strain and worry. May G-d continue to shower His blessings on you and yours from His open and generous Hand”.

A few days after we returned to Manchester, we received a letter from Rabbi Shemtov, written by himself - in English - perhaps it was the only letter he ever wrote in English. In the letter he also wrote:

...I very happy to see the nearness from the Rebbe shlita to everyone of your family. For the 47 years in Lubavitch, I never hear or see from the Rebbes to push a shidduch like the Rebbe shlita in the shidduch of Hinda Malka לאריכות ימים ושנים טובות בשעה טובה ומוצלחת. (Translation: For long and good years, in a good and auspicious hour.)

Wedding Preparations

I was anxious to have the marriage solemnized in Crown Heights with thechupah outside 770, with the Rebbe being messader kiddushin (officiating). I did realize that the Rebbe had officially stopped being messader kiddushin about three years before; but, as the Rebbe had himself sponsored this shidduch, I hoped that the Rebbe would make an exception and consent to officiate at Hindy and Shmuel's wedding.

I wrote to the Rebbe and explained how I could foresee that these two young people would be a tremendous asset to Lubavitch in general and to the Rebbe in particular. If the Rebbe would only give them his grand “send-off” to their married life together, then their potentiality as extraordinary and exceptionally good Lubavitch workers would be that much more fulfilled and realized.

Of course, if the Rebbe were to agree to be messader kiddushin then the wedding would need to take place in Crown Heights and not in England. I therefore decided to ask the Rebbe - not just when but also - where we should have the wedding.

On the 28th Menachem Av 5722 (August 28, 1962), I received a reply from the Rebbe:

...With reference to the time and place of your daughter's marriage in a happy and auspicious hour, surely this is a matter for both sides to determine. In general, it is the Jewish custom to arrange the wedding in the place of the kallah. As for the question of the date, and your mentioning that if the place is Manchester then it could be arranged during the winter months, I do not quite understand why this haste. Originally you and Mrs. Jaffe seemed to be against an early wedding or even תנאים [engagement], and now you seem to want to rush it in a few months' time? But you do not even mention any reasons for this haste.

If you desire to know my opinion, I would suggest considering the summer, which would enable the choson to end the year of learning without much distraction, and would enable your daughter too to complete her studies. What is no less important is the fact that it is necessary to have ample time to discuss and arrange for the couple's plans after the wedding. In view of all this, you should have an open mind about the date of the wedding and begin discussion on the above-mentioned points.

In view of the note of urgency in your letter, I have replied to your letter ahead of turn.

The Rebbe wished to know the reason for haste. As far as we were concerned, there was nothing to prevent the marriage taking place as soon as possible. Shmuel was in New York and Hindy in Manchester. The telephone bills were such that it would be cheaper for me to get them married at once!

The Rebbe had suggested that it should take place - in almost one year's time - during the summer. This confirmed what he told us at our last yechidus. We were now hoping that if we were to wait until the summer and have the wedding in New York, there was the very good chance the Rebbe may agree to being the messader kiddushin. I conveyed this understanding to the Rebbe. Then, in a letter to me dated 27th Elul 5722 (September 26, 1962), the Rebbe had added a postscript which read:

...With regard to my position relating to siddur chupah and kiddushin, you can gather it from the fact that in about two weeks a cousin of mine will be married in New York to a talmid of the Lubavitcher Yeshiva, but the messader Kiddushin will be one of the Anash Rabbonim.

This was a big blow to our ambitions of the Rebbe officiating at the ceremony. I discussed the matter with Rabbi Shemtov. He concurred with my viewpoint that although the Rebbe had hinted that he would not be messader kiddushin, nevertheless he had not expressed an unequivocal “no.” If the marriage took place in Manchester, then there was no chance at all of achieving our objective, whereas, if the location was Crown Heights, then there was still a possibility that the Rebbe would bestow upon us this great honor.

The Rebbe had also explained that being that I was a man holding a prominent position in the Manchester community, I could not transfer this simcha to another country. Ultimately, after much correspondence, the Rebbe permitted the wedding to be held in Crown Heights as long as I compensate Manchester by providing some large function connected to the wedding for my Manchester friends, relatives and colleagues. I therefore suggested that I would arrange to hold an elaborate sheva brochos in Manchester, within the week of the wedding. We intended to invite 450 guests.

On the third light of Chanukah 5723 (December 24, 1962), the Rebbe confirmed that this was in order by writing:

...You are right in assuming that there is no objection on my part as to the time and place of the wedding, in a happy and auspicious hour, as long as both sides agree on the time and place.

As for the young couple's plans after the wedding, there was here some discussion on this subject without final decision, as also in regard to their settling in general, for they had no definite suggestions to offer, not did I hear from them any suggestions that you or the choson's parents might have made.

From time to time I see the clippings which your son Avrohom submits to me; and, of course, I follow your communal activities with keen interest.

In these days of Chanukah, May G-d grant that all matters of Torah and Mitzvos and the material blessings coming through them advance in a growing measure, as taught by the Chanukah candles, and that all your affairs, personal and communal, likewise flourish in a steadily increasing manner.

We hoped the Rebbe would indeed bestow upon us the tremendous and exceptional honor of officiating at the wedding. With that in mind, we made plans to indeed have the wedding in New York.