Tuesday, March 21, 2006

A Poignant Video

This video was most likely taken in 5753 (1993) when the Rebbe came out on the balcony built at the back of main shul downstairs in 770. I originally wanted to place a video on the blog as a test but when I found this it brought back poignant memories.

I visited Crown Heights for a few weeks in 1993 to see the Rebbe. As can be seen from the video the Rebbe was quite frail and the stroke had affected his right side. The Rebbe would come to the balcony for davening and they would open the curtains for a few minutes so that everyone could see the Rebbe and the Rebbe could see the olam.

On a number of occasions I was able to get a spot on bleachers high up and to the right of the Rebbe - approximately 15 feet away. There were times when he was obviously unwell and tired and the mazkirus kept the curtains open for only a few minutes or less. Other times, as in this video, he was much more in control and came out for much longer. At these times the Rebbe's eyes were quite bright and he was actively looking around and, as in this video, waving his arm to encourage the singing. As can be seen at the end of this video the Rebbe obviously and deliberately motions for the mazkirus to close the curtains. This was a sure sign to me that the Rebbe was still in charge even in his weakened state.