FØay,January 10, 1986 33
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The scene at a "Fahrbrengen," or gathering,
where the Lubavitcher Rebbe addresses thou.
sands of his followers. Women are seated behind
the partition, fronted by a one-way mirror. The
Rebbe can be seen seated at the long white ta•
ble, at the extreme right of the photo, just in
front of the pole.
9:15 p.m. Sardines never knew how
good they had it. The place is packed
with 3,000 people in a hall made for half
that number. To get to my seat I have
to walk on top of a bench squeezed bet-
ween two other benches, being careful to
• balance myself on the six-inch wide
People are literally lining the walls.
Bleachers have been set up against each
wall, one on top of the other, with lines
of students standing crunched together.
The heads of the students on the top row
actually touch the ceiling. But they all
hold on and sing and sing and singe
Upstairs, looking out from behind smolt-,
ed glass, are several thousand women.
9:25 p.m. Minutes to go, the singing
gets louder and louder. Dignitaries, New
York Mayor Edward Koch, Theodore
Bikel, New York Senator Alphonse
D'Amato; arrive and do the same balan-
cing act everyone else had to do.
9:30 p.m. The time is now. Though
there is not one square inch of clear space
on the floor as the Rebbe enters, as he
does, a wide path is cleared and he walks
tmimpeded to his waiting red velvet chair
and sits down. The singing stops. Then
in a clear, strong voice, he begins speak-
ing in Yiddish without notes, many in the
audience rocking back and forth as he
After about 45 minutes he stops,
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drinks a rchayim while the-assembled
sing and lift their cups of wine towards
him, waiting for a nod. A Hasidic hymn
is sung, the Rebbe picks up the rhythm,
shaking his head, bouncing up and down,
swaying back and forth._ The: snore he
moves, the louder the singing gets. He
then continues talking, mostly about the
value of time, why people shouldn't retire
• and how important it is that people make
the most of the time they have.
• Time here seems to fly. The Rebbe con-
tinues to talk, stopping only briefly once
an hour, until 3:30 in the morning. Bare-
ly a soul has moved, eyes always on the
Rebbe, including those who have been
standing for close to eight hours. While
talking for six hours may seem enough
work for. an 83-year old man, the Rebbe -
then announces he will do something he
hasn't ever done before — hand out
copies of the Tania, the teachings of the
first Rebbe, and a cornerstone of Luba-
vitch thought. Hand it out to everyone
• in the hall, all 10,000 people. And he does.
From 3:30 in the morning to 5, he hands
out copies to the men, complete with a
dollar bill inside to be used for charity.
Many of the men then run home, wake
their wives and children, so they could be
handed their own copies by the Rebbe.
• For the women and children, the Rebbe
stood — doing that until .6 a.m.
• Then he began his morning prayers.
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THE JEWISH COMMUNITY CENTER OF
METROPOLITAN DETROIT HAS INITIATED
A LECTURE SERIES REGARDING CURRENT
ISSUES AND SITUATIONS IN THE STATE
THE FIRST LECTURER OF OUR SERIES
• AUTHOR OF
AN ISRAELI CAESAR'
• editor bf the weekly magazine section
of Ha' Aretz.
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 15,/-\ \
Jewish Community Center
6600 West Maple
West Bloomfield, MI
For further informatiOn contact:
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