By Rabbi Shmuel Pevzner
The Siyum Horambam was truly historic. According to police estimates, between 12,000 and 13,000 people participated. The police chief said that it’s the most people gathered on Eastern Parkway in the past 27 years (referring back to Gimmel Tammuz 5754).
The atmosphere was electrifying; everyone felt that they needed to be there. One of the participants spoke to one of the event’s organizers about the Siyum Horambam on Eastern Parkway. Suddenly he cried out, “I’m telling you — the Rebbe was there!” This was a shared feeling amongst the Crown Heights residents. Many said, “The Siyum is the Rebbe’s.” The children gathered in front of their father’s window.
Feedback is steadily coming in from all sectors of the Jewish world how they are rejuvenated by the Siyum. As a result, many have resolved to join the daily study of Rambam. This is exactly what the Rebbe wants, that the Siyum should have a lasting and continuous effect.
Interestingly, the chairman of the “International Siyum HaRambam,” Rabbi Shmuel Butman, related that at 3:39 PM on the day of the event, he received a phone call from one of the organizers on site that it was starting to drizzle. Rabbi Butman right away contacted the Ohel and asked the Rebbe for a brochah that the rain should be delayed and stop immediately so that people won’t get discouraged from coming. Within the hour, he received another phone call stating that “it’s a clear blue sky!”
Again, in the middle of the program, at 8:19 PM, one of the organizers approached him and told him that the skies are darkening with clouds. In an interlude, Rabbi Butman contacted the Ohel and again asked for a brochah to that the rain be delayed. A few minutes later, the weather improved and the Siyum continued as planned. The next day it rained!
The Rebbe’s niggunim “by the Rebbe’s window” sung by Avraham Fried and the Kapelle had their desired effect, entering deep into the hearts of the crowd and inspiring a feeling of hiskashrus -connection and a yearning for the grand event when the prophecy quoted at the conclusion of Rambam will be fulfilled: “The world will be filled with the knowledge of Hashem as water covers the sea.”