The “Surprise Farbrengen” of Naso 5751




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    The “Surprise Farbrengen” of Naso 5751

    On Shabbos Parshas Naso 5751, hours after the regular Shabbos Farbrengen and Mincha had finished, a few minutes before Shkia, the Rebbe MH”M Shlita suddenly entered the Shul, with a kvort full of water in his left hand and a towel on his arm for a surprise Sicha full of special expressions about Moshiach Expressway 358 Magazine presents a Yoman of the extraordinary event • Full Article

    Suddenly the Rebbe walked in

    On Shabbos Parshas Naso 5751, hours after the regular Shabbos Farbrengen and Mincha had finished, at about 8:05 (a few minutes before shkia), the Rebbe Shlita suddenly entered the Shul, with a silver-colored kvort full of water in his left hand and a pink colored towel on his arm, and his Siddur under his right arm, and began walking towards the mizrach of the Shul.

    The Rebbe’s face was very serious; his eyes looking especially big, and his beard was turned to the side.

    770 looked like a typical Shabbos afternoon. Here and there sat Chasssidim, old and young, involved in learning, “chazara” on the sichos of the farbrengen or stam talking. The floor had already been cleaned from the Farbrengen, but the tables (“pyramids”) all around, like on every Shabbos, stayed in their place until Motzei Shabbos.

    At first commotion broke out, no one understood what is going on, but quickly the few people around (about 50 to 100) calmed down and hastily followed the Rebbe Shlita.

    On the way the Rebbe stopped when he reached a place in which the tables were stacked on top of each over (a “pyramid”) and blocked the way, and several of the Tmimim pushed the tables out of the way. As they were pushing, Sichos, Chumoshim etc. fell on the floor and the Rebbe Shlita waited until they picked them up and then continued straight to the Aron Kodesh and asked the Tmimim standing there if there is a Challah (R’ Leibel Groner and R’ Binyonim Klein were at this point not in attendance).

    The Rebbe Shlita stopped next to the Davening Bima – between it and the Krias HaTorah Bimah which is used during the week (not a very wide space). There was a Minyan for Mincha being held there and they were holding in the middle of Krias HaTorah (on that Bima). As is understood they finished extremely quickly (the Sefer Torah was a small one making it easy to take off quickly). The Rebbe Shlita placed the kvort on the Bimah, and asked that a “Shisl” should be brought in order to wash before Shkiah (which was at 8:14). Shouts of “Shisl, shisl” were heard, and the Rebbe Shlita waited for about two minutes facing the Aron Kodesh – until it was brought.

    The vessel (the big coffee container which is used before the Farbrengens) was brought by R’ Avrohom Holtzberg (who pushed among the crowd in order to be zoche to hold the vessel himself for the Rebbe Shlita, the remainders of the coffee within it spilling over in all directions…), and the Rebbe washed his holy hands.

    Afterwards he motioned with his hand towards his mouth (and those present shouted, “challah, challah”) and waited for his chair to be brought. The chair (which was still on the Farbrengen Bimah) was brought through the benches until the Davening Bimah, and from there on the floor space behind where the Rebbe was standing. Afterwards he motioned twice that they should bring it to him, and sat down with his face diagonal to the Aron Kodesh – at a bit of an angle facing the Krias HaTorah Bima, and waited for a Challah. In the meantime he wiped his hands together several times and dried them for a while.

    “If it’s possible to go up, everyone will be able to see”

    In the meantime, R’ Binyomin Klein was called and when he heard that the Rebbe needed a challa – he immediately ran and brought from the neighbor Slavin (through the chotzer) one whole challah in a plastic bag. He brought the challah, took off the bag and gave it to the Rebbe Shlita. The Rebbe Shlita smiled to him, said “HaMotzi” and broke the challah into two and – being that there was no salt – touched one piece into the other with a smile, and ate a bit from the challah. When salt was brought – the Rebbe again smiled and dipped the challah into it. Afterwards the Rebbe said to R.B.K. (while motioning in direction of the Bima): “If it’s possible to go up, everyone will be able to see”, and instructed to bring up his chair (next to the stairs). The crowd moved away and the Rebbe Shlita ascended the Bima with the challah in his right hand and the Siddur in his left and sat on his chair which had been placed at an angle facing north-west – in the direction of the crowd. The Sidur the Rebbe placed on the wide part at the corner of the staircase, and continued to eat from the challah.

    The crowd present included Tmimim and Anash who were in 770 or close to it at the time (about 100 people) and filled mainly the place next to the Aron Kodesh – to the north of the Bimah, and the Bimah itself as well – at a distance from the Rebbe Shlita, later on “pyramids” were also erected. The great anticipation which gripped the crowd was able to be felt, a feeling of “what’s going to be next” after this sudden entrance by the Rebbe Shlita.

    The Rebbe Shlita instructed that “Bnei Heicholah” be sung, took his Sidur with his hand and opened it to the place and sang with the crowd following in his Sidur. When they finished singing, the Rebbe turned to R.B.K. and asked: “Did they already finish until the end?” When he answered in the negative – the Rebbe Shlita motioned for the nigun to be finished, and the last part of the nigun (without words) was repeated.

    After the end of the singing of the nigun (which itself was a very unusual, special event), he placed his Sidur back on the staircase, and motioned several times to all directions to those who stood on top of
    the tables – that they should get down, and started the first sicha which lasted about half an hour.

    At the beginning it was spoken that the Yemei HaTashlumin of Shavuos are ending, and being Shabbos – the Tashlumin are b’shleimus, and explained the connection of k’dushas Shabbos and the date to each other and to the Parshah, Naso, next week’s Parshah – Behalosecha and to Shavuos. Later on spoke of the connection of Shavuos to Geulah, when mentioning the roshei teivos “MiYaD” (Moshe, Yisroel Baal Shem Tov and Dovid) and “Nami Lachem” being gematriyah “Keitz”. During the sicha the Rebbbe expressed a heartfelt wish that we should see immediately how Atzmus u’Mehus “sits and farbrengens” with every Yid. Afterwards mentioned regarding the “Nsius Rosh” of every Yid, saying that this is also regarding his physical body – “Gufa Dilhon Kodosh” as we say in Ma’ane Loshon by the Kevorim of Raboseinu Nesienu. When mentioning the Sefer “Torah Or” of the Alter Rebbe, said that it is “a lichtike Torah”.

    Seder Niggunim

    During the sicha the Rebbe said that in Farbrengens like these it is customary to sing the nigunim of all the Rebbeim, and mentioned all the N’si’ims names – until the nigun of Nosi Doreinu, saying: “and with this we shall go out from Golus” [According to another Yoman said: “and with these nigunim we shall lock up the Golus”].

    During the sicha the news spread throughout Crown Heights, and immediately the streets were full of hundreds running from all directions to 770. From minute to minute the Shul filled up more and more, with everyone trying to get as close as possible to the mizrach, in order to merit to hear and see as much as possible. Quickly the benches were set up and “pyramids” were formed from all directions; those who came late were not even able to get close…

    After the sicha all the nigunim of the Rebbeim were sung (the nigunim were started by R’ Nachum Kaplan). The Rebbe Shlita joined in the singing, his face very serious in an indescribable way, and at certain points nodded his head to the nigunim.

    The following nigunim were sung: Shlosh Tnu’os of the Baal Shem Tov, the Magid and the Alter Rebbe,
    Keili Ato” of the Alter Rebbe, the “Kapeliah” of the Mittler Rebbe, “Yemin Hashem” of the Tzemach Tzedek, “Lchatchilah Ariber” of the Rebbe Maharash, Nigun Hachono of the Rebbe Rashab, the “Beinoni” of the
    Fridiker Rebbe and “Hu Elokeinu” of the Rebbe Shlita.

    When Sholosh Tnu’os started, the Rebbe Shlita motioned with his hand to the crowd that they should get off of the tables and “pyramids” (this was repeated several times between the sicha and every time “pyramids of people” fell…). This nigun the Rebbe Shlita encouraged with his holy hand very strongly in all directions, and so too during “Yemin Hashem” the Rebbe encouraged with his hand.

    During the singing of L’chatilah Ariber the Rebbe Shlita’s face was more serious than in the other nigunim and motioned strongly with his head with his eyes closed tight – to repeat the nigun ten times.

    Afterwards the Rebbe started the second sicha which lasted about 40 minutes. In this sicha it was discussed how in our period in time, standing right before the Geulah, the basic Avodah of the Yidden has been completed, and what is asked of us is something extra – avodah done with oneg, meaning – adding in learning Torah with chayus and ta’anug, and connected this with this time (Rava D’Ravin of Parsahs Naso meaning “lifting up”, at the end of the Yemei HaTashlumin etc.).

    Kos Shel Bracha

    Later on, the Rebbe Shlita announced that the farbrengen will end with “Kos shel Brocha” (and therefore those not present will also be able to participate) and said that this is a hachono for the kos of Dovid Malka Meshicha. Later the Rebbe stressed the fact that in Birkas HaMozon we say “בונה ברחמיו ירושלים” – present tense, and davka on this brocho we say “Amen” and added that we also say “ברוך הגבר אשר יבטח בה’, והי’ ה’ מבטחו” teaching that everyone must be sure, anticipate and hope “בכל יום שיבוא” – that Moshiach will come today. Among other things mentioned, was regarding Dollars on Sundays, saying that being that this has been done for more then three years it is an eternal thing which will not stop.

    After this sicha the Rebbe began to sing the Nigun Hakofos of Reb Levik. At this time the Shul was already completely full; with all those standing (or hanging on to the side of a bench…) nearby joining the singing ecstatically.

    Afterwards the Rebbe Shlita began the third sicha which lasted about 10 minutes. Among other things he said there is a need to find out if ten people joined in to the meal to be able to bentch with a zimun and say “Nevoreich Elokeinu”, or at least three, and the Rebbe smiled saying that even if there is only one – because of Ahavas Yisroel, one person includes within him everyone, as we say before davening “Hareini Mekabel”, and spoke at length regarding Kos of zimun saying that it was seen by Gedolei Yisroel that they did it even when eating alone etc. and ended with his heartfelt wish that from 12 Sivan we should come to the Geulah shleima.

    It should be noted that during the Farbrengen there were many unusual terms used about the Geulah, and the specialty of the place and time, and every one of them raised the excitement of those present.

    After the third sicha the Rebbe Shlita dipped the challah three times in salt and ate a bit and drank some water.

    Afterwards the Rebbe Shlita asked R.L.G. if there were ten or at least three people who washed and he answered in the affirmative. The Rebbe asked that they come close and washed his fingers for Mayim Achronim.

    The Farbrengen ended at about 10:15 and the Rebbe Shlita bentched Birkas HaMozon on a Kos with a zimun (of ten) as usual. In the nusach Hazimun said: “B’rshus rabonon ve’raboisai (without “moronon”) and continued: “Nvoreich Eloikeinu” and motioned that they should answer and repeated twice the words: “Boruch Elokeinu”.

    Afterwards he washed his hands for Maariv and stood up for Davening in his usual place by the Bimah.

    After Davening, the Rebbe Shlita went back to place he had farbrenged at (on the Davening Bimah) and made Havdolah facing the crowd (on a table which was brought for that purpose).

    Afterwards he went down from the Bima, and at 10:33 began to give out “Kos shel Brocha” to everyone from the above-mentioned table (which was later covered with towels etc.). At 12:08 “Kos shel Brocha” finished, and the Rebbe sat down and said Brocha Achrona and then stood up to say “VeYitein L’cho”, gave a few more people and left shul at 12:14. A few minutes later the Rebbe went outside for Kiddush Levana, at the end of which he shook his Tzitzis three times and announced: “A gutten voch, a gutten chodesh”, and turned to his room encouraging the song strongly.


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    Published in Expressway 358 Magazine. For full archive visit

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    1. Anonymous

      If I am not mistaken, I think that the nigun hishtatchus was sung, and not yemin hashem?

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