At a farbrengen in Paris in 5707, the Rebbe wept as he highlighted the Frierdiker Rebbe’s mesirus nefesh to rip himself away from davening and learning in order to make sure that American children know alef-beis.
When the Rebbe’s mother fled Russia in 5707 (1947), the Rebbe made his way to Paris to greet her. Once there, the Rebbe spent many hours teaching, guiding and inspiring Holocaust survivors, who gathered to drink his words of wisdom.
Reb Nochum Yakobovitch recalls the Lag BaOmer farbrengen of that year:
The shul was packed. The Rebbe sat at the head of the table, flanked by rabbonim and sons of rebbes, including one from the family of the illustrious Mareh Yechezkel. Everyone sat openmouthed as the Rebbe spoke with an inner fire, yet so calm and collected. We couldn’t take our eyes off his pure face.
At one point, the Rebbe began weeping openly, and said:
“The Alter Rebbe lived in Liozna, the Mitteler Rebbe lived in Lubavitch… All the Rebbeim had great chassidim, giants in avoda and in chassidic thought.
“But my father-in-law, the Rebbe, has detached himself from all his own inyanim, from the realms of yichuda ila’a and yichuda tata’a (higher and lower unifications of G-dliness), and has dedicated himself to teaching American children alef-beis.”
(Parshios Im Harebi, Bereishis, page 232)
From The Weekly Farbrengen by Merkaz Anash