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Sunday
Oct092016

CHOL HAMOED SUKKOS: his face was on fire

REfraim Yechiel Halperin wrote in his diary of Tishrei 5762/1961:

On Wednesday, the first day of Chol HaMoed Sukkos (the second day of Chol HaMoed in Eretz Yisroel), the sixth annual gathering of Tzeirei Agudas Chabad in the United States took place in Brooklyn (in a large hall not far from 770 Eastern Parkway). The Rebbe said about this gathering that the beginning took place already at the farbrengen on Motzaei Yom Tov, and that the kinus was in the middle of the farbrengen. So, if it started at the beginning of the Motzaei Yom Tov farbrengen, obviously, our leader, the Rebbe himself, participated in it.

At this gathering they spoke about the activities of u’faratzta around the world and divided it into two parts; the first part had to do with activities of recent years and the second part was devoted to welcoming the guests who came from all over the world to bask in the Rebbe’s presence.

At this gathering, they spoke about the outreach being done in Morocco among the Jewish youth there, by founding schools and yeshivos, and the religious revolution taking place there.

At the end of the kinus there was a big farbrengen in the sukka, of course, which was attended by the Rebbe, and which lasted until late at night. The Rebbe said a number of sichos and in between the sichos the Rebbe explained a maamer of the Alter Rebbe in the style of a sicha. The Rebbe then referred to the kinus that just took place, and on the spot those who chaired the gathering submitted reports of the two parts of the kinus. The chairman of the first part of the kinus was R’ Sholom Dovber Gordon, and he gave a report. Then the chairman of the second part of the kinus, R’ Yosef Wineberg, gave a report about the part that he emceed, which, as mentioned, was a welcome to the guests who came to spend time with the Rebbe.

Between the first and second reports, R’ Yisroel Leibov, the chairman of Tzeirei Agudas Chabad in Eretz Yisroel, briefly repeated what he said at the kinus about activities being done in Eretz Yisroel, both u’faratzta and spreading the wellsprings.

It should be mentioned that the Rebbe asked each of the three who gave reports to say l’chaim before they began giving their report, and if one began before saying l’chaim, the Rebbe smiled and motioned to him, as though asking and requesting, that he say l’chaim.

After they finished giving the reports the Rebbe said, “And all those who spoke at the kinus should say l’chaim.” Then the Rebbe asked, “Is that all?” Then the Rebbe asked that they sing a niggun and they sang, “Ki Anu Amecha.”

Throughout the rest of this farbrengen, the Rebbe was very upbeat and he smiled nearly the entire time. He motioned with his hands that certain people say l’chaim over a full cup. To one of them he said, “You are pouring (giving) away the entire Gan Eden.” The Rebbe waved his hand with every one of the niggunim they sang during the farbrengen, and sometimes he waved both hands and when that happened they sang louder. It also happened that when they had to go up for a high part of a niggun that the Rebbe moved his hands even more forcefully. As he did so, his face was on fire. Naturally, the volume went up far beyond the level of the octaves of the niggun, as though it wasn’t humans standing there but angels. The Rebbe’s appearance at this part of the farbrengen was so different and unusual that it is indescribable.

Before the farbrengen ended, the Rebbe said to sing, “Ani Maamin.” Then he said the bracha of al ha’michya and left the sukka. When he rose to leave, he began singing, “Ki B’simcha Seitzei’u” and then he walked out.

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