Amidst the Sinai campaign of 5717, the Rebbe commended R’ Binyomin Levin for exerting himself to assist in farbrengen preparations. In fact, preparing the Yud Tes Kislev farbrengen was something both the Rebbe and the Rebbetzin did in their youth.
After an Israeli Major-General joined a 19 Kislev farbrengen, he notified the Rebbe of his “special experience and a feeling of elevation.” The Rebbe replied that as a Tzahal commander, he knows that what counts most is: action.
When R’ Shimon Neubort was asked by the Rebbe what he learns for Chassidus, he replied that he learns the daily Tanya. But the Rebbe wasn’t pleased with his reply.
In the small zal in 770, R’ Meir Harlig was sitting alone, when the Rebbe walked in and gave him matzos to take to the airport. Upon reporting back, the Rebbe shared powerful words on the meaning of shlichus.
When the question of building an eruv came up in Detroit, local shliach R. Yankel Krantz a”h consulted with the Rebbe. The Rebbe told him to oppose its construction since it would cause negligence in Shabbos observance and rejected the argument that it would save those who carry.
Speaking about how he had begged chassidim to learn and spread more Chassidus without avail, the Rebbe choked up and said that even a small effort would bring Hashem’s salvation.
When Dr. Mordechai Shani, the director of the Sheba Medical Center, was in yechidus in the autumn of 5737 (1976), the Rebbe brought up the issue of the place of technology in medicine.
When Reb Mendel Futerfass tried recruiting 770 bochurim for the Kfar Chabad yeshiva, they said they’d only go if they are “shluchim.” The Rebbe‘s sharp response shocked Reb Mendel.
During a Simchas Torah farbrengen, the Rebbe made a promise that pledges to tzedaka made at the farbrengen would bring a five-times return. When some people came forward after Yom Tov, the Rebbe said it was too late.
One of the Rebbe‘s first activities on American shores was a public farbrengen on Sukkos for non-chassidishe yeshiva bochurim. At one such farbrengen, before the nesius, the Rebbe explained to them the meaning of a minhag.
Traveling to the Rebbe, spending time in 770, has always been a cornerstone in the ruchniusdike life of a chossid. In one exchange, the Rebbe explained how this can also affect one’s livelihood.
“Luach Kolel Chabad,” published for the first time almost 100 years ago, is republished every year with relevant updates. The need for such a luach, the Rebbe explained, was to address shailos – or to inform that there is a shaila to begin with.
When American author Herman Wouk became involved in publishing a Chumash in braille for the visually impaired, the Rebbe was pleased but not satisfied, and he suggested a different sefer.
As a seminary student, Mrs. Esther (Chitrik) Piekarsky was mentoring high school girls and felt afraid of the responsibility. During yechidus, the Rebbe told her why it was good that she was afraid.
To utilize the month of teshuva properly, the Rebbe instructed the yeshiva staff to inspire their students with an extra seder of avoda’dike maamarim and by telling stories of how chassidim conducted themselves during this special month.
When twelve-year-old Yaakov Hertzog from London, UK, said that he learned about the “King in the field,” the Rebbe asked him if he ever met him. The Rebbe then told him where he could meet the King.
As a bochur, Reb Zalman Gopin, today the Kfar Chabad mashpia, was in a dilemma about regulating his mood. The Rebbe showed him how he could utilize whatever mood he was in to serve Hashem.
One Chof Av before the nesius, the Rebbe prepared to serve as chazan, when he noticed a bochur who had yahrtzeit on that day. What the Rebbe proceeded to do taught Reb Leibel Dubov a great lesson in ahavas Yisroel.
As a bochur, Rabbi Sholom Blank, approached the Rebbe to receive a bottle of mashke and extended his left hand. A nearby chossid told him to use his right hand instead, but the Rebbe knew better.
When Naftali Deutsch of Los Angeles asked in yechidus how to share Yiddishkeit with people of different backgrounds, the Rebbe advised him to take into account the audience’s mindset. As an example, the Rebbe explained how to describe Olam Haba.