The beautifully set Razag Ballroom, with large screens displaying photos of the Rebbe transmits an authentic Chassidishe vibe combined with an elegant touch.
The music, a band of highly talented musicians, infuse attendees with soul-stirring melodies that transport to an older time, to another place; leading the group is orchestral-vindicator and musician R’ Yossi Cohen, together with R’ Berl Zucker; to their right, stands the podium, from where speakers and orators will address the esteems invitees.
There’s an aura of suspense in the dimly-lit room that is enveloping all the guests – thousands of Shluchim who by now are being comfortably seated around the oval, stylishly bedecked tables.
It’s approximately 8:00 when New Jersey Shliach and Vaad HaKinus member, emcee Rabbi Yosef Carlebach opens the Gala Banquet with a warm Bruchim Haba’im. Large video screens project a Talk of the Rebbe blessing the Shluchim, and expounding and addressing different difficulties Shluchim face. That was soon followed with the famous Rosh Chodesh Kislev Video of 5753, when the Rebbe affirms and reaffirms, indeed enthusiastically encourages, the Shluchim’s singing Yechi Adoneinu.
After reciting the Rebbe’s Perek of Tehillim and pronouncing Yechi, led by the Shliach to Central Brooklyn, New York, Rabbi Moshe Chaim Levin; the emcee invited member of Badatz Rabbi Aharon Yaakov Shwei to the podium.
Rabbi Shwei blessed the Shluchim as a representative of the host community. After concluding, Rabbi Sholom Ber Drizin, Chassidic philanthropist and sponsor of the Kinus, gave a short, but rousing address. The emcee then gave him a big Brocha for success in everything and long, health years.
The Hebrew speaker of the evening Rabbi Moshe Kurnveitz, a Shliach and Rov in Nof Hagalil, and a Rov of Machon Halacha Chabad, shared his personal journey to Lubavitch and how through Torah a Shliach can accomplish everything.
Following the inspiring words from evening Rabbi Kurnveitz, the emcee invited the children who performed for the Shluchim.
Major General (Res.) Gabi Ofir, previously the commander of the Golani brigade, commander of the Judea and Samaria Division, and last served as head of the Home Front Command, was the guest speaker of the evening and spoke about the specialty of the Shluchim and the importance of protecting Eretz Yisroel.
A video was shown of Rabbi Sholom Mendel Simpson, OB”M, one of the Rebbe’s Mazkirim and director of Merkos L’Inyonei Chinuch, speaking at the Kinus Hashluchim in 5764.
Next, Rabbi Yosef Yitzchok Pewzner, the Shliach in Paris and head of the Sinai Lubavitch institution in Paris, France was invited to speak. He shared a few emotional stories and gave the Shluchim strong Chizuk to continue the Shlichus and bring Moshiach.
The grand finale of the banquet was an inspiring, touching and encouraging speech by Rabbi Mendy Turen, Shliach of Springfield, Illinois. Rabbi Turen brought into focus the connection between Shivi’im Shana and the Shlichus of Kabbalas Pnei Moshiach Tzidkeinu, that is so relevant today.
Shliach of Poughkeepsie, New York, Rabbi Yakov Borenstein was honored with leading the after-blessing.
With the conclusion of the official banquet program, the busses took all the Shluchim back to 770 where spontaneous Farbrengens commenced, lasting to the wee hours of the morning….
ChabadInfo.com captured the inspiring moments, uplifting atmosphere, gallant speeches, and Chassidishe Farbrengens throughout the event, and presents a final photo gallery.