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.
Reb Leibel Dubov was a bochur at the 770 yeshiva in the 5700s (1940s), during the nesius of the Frierdiker Rebbe. The yeshiva was then a small group of bochurim, a spot in the ocean of American materialism, holding steadfast to chassidishe values.
“We once learned a great lesson in ahavas Yisroel from the Rebbe, who was then the Rebbe’s son-in-law,” related Reb Leibel.
“There was a bochur at the yeshiva, somewhat timid by nature, who had lost his mother at a young age. Her yahrzeit was on the 20th of Av, the same day as the Rebbe’s father.
“On the 20th of Av, 5707 (1947), as the Rebbe stood at amud preparing to lead the mincha davening, all the yeshiva bochurim gathered in the main zal for this rare opportunity to daven with the Rebbe’s son-in-law. This bochur stood in the side room, wanting to arrange another minyan, but was somewhat intimidated.
“Suddenly the Rebbe turned around and seized the situation. The Rebbe said, ‘We will not begin the davening until there is also a minyan in the other room!’”
From The Weekly Farbrengen by Merkaz Anash