Sep 28, 2014
Memories of Tekios by the Rebbe
Motzei Rosh Hashana in 770*Photo: Meir Dahan

A Shlucha remembers what it was like to cram into 770 with thousands of others to witness the Rebbe blowing Shofar on Rosh Hashana: "The sound seemed to shatter all mechitzos, to uplift yet break the heart in one moment, with the cry 'Tatte!'"

By A Shlucha

770. In the second shul on the Eastern Parkway side. I was 13 years old and there for my first Tishrei with the Rebbe.

We girls were crowded together, heads bent slightly forward, looking through the gap under the stained glass, where we could see downstairs 770 in real color. An added benefit of looking under the glass was the cool air. We were packed together, almost too tight to breathe, but nobody minded. The only thing that mattered - and was of the greatest urgency- was to be able to see the Rebbe during tkios!

Down below, the famous washing machine had started its cycle. The immediate circle of men and boys standing crushed together tightly around the bima was called the washing machine. Only the most determined dared enter.

Down below, they called it the washing machine, because anyone who stood there came out with their clothes completely soaked from shvitz. But we in the Veiber Shul, with the view from above, called it the washing machine because of its spin cycle. Somehow, with so many people so tightly crowded in a circle, the slightest movement or push would start the whole crowd heaving in either direction in a slow spinning cycle, very reminiscent of a washing machine.

A hush falls over the tremendous room. Thousands, packed together stand and await the awesome moment of Tekios. The enormous crowd miraculously parts, like krias yam Suf, and the Rebbe makes his way from his place in the front towards the bima. The Rebbe is followed by the mazkirim carrying large brown paper bags full of Panim sent from all over the world.

Bags of tefillos, of tears and beseeching. Bags carrying thousands of white folded papers, holding the deepest of silent tefillos, for a shana tova umesuka, for teshuva ilaah, for children, health, life, sustenance, and nachas, for the Rebbe to be gezunt, for an end to Golus.

The Rebbe stands on the bima, the bags of panim placed on the table before him. Lamenatzeach is said seven times, and each time, the heart pounds more in trepidation. The last note of meod naala fades.

The Rebbe bends forward and covers his holy face completely with his tallis, and then spread the tallis out to the left and the right, completely covering the panim with the white tallis. The Rebbe stood in tefilla for a long time. There was absolute and complete silence. Moshe Rabeienu standing in tefilla before Hashem, with the bakoshos fun gantz klall Yisroel. There are no words that
can possibly describe that scene. I beg the Aibishter that I should never forget it, as long as I live, beezras Hashem.

The tears cannot stop, the heart breaks into a thousand pieces. Our tayere Rebbe, who loves his people so much, stood motionless, sometimes shaking with what seemed like silent sobbing.

Who can know how the heavens were torn open at that awesome and fearful moment? During those precious moments, which one can only describe as a gilui shechina do lematoh, one could see the Rebbe...

Then - piercing through the stillness- comes the low and true voice of the Rebbe: "Min hametzar karasi Kah..."

Like enormous waves of the sea, held back for eternity, now crashing and roaring, swelling and filling the room in a great crescendo, an answering cry from thousands of throats, "Min hametzar karasi Kah..."

As the pesukim end there is another pin drop silence. And then the brochos.. Every word distinct...

'Boruch atoh...asher kidshanu...' the Rebbe's voice lilting upwards, true, clear and pure 'lishmoa kol shofar."

The amen was thunder.

Another bracha: 'shecheyanu, vekimanu, vehigianu lizman haze.'
Another thunderous amen followed by a silence so absolute, it seemed the very world was holding its breath, awaiting...

The shofar sound that followed was clear, low in tone, yet piercing the heart, traveling upwards, piercing throughout the heavens.

Ubashofar godol yitoka...when the great shofar is blown, or when the great one blows the shofar...kol demama daka yishama...a still, fine sound is heard...umalachim yechofezun...and the malachim tremble...

The sound seemed to shatter all mechitzos, to uplift and yet break the heart in one moment, with the cry 'Tatte!'

The huge crowd was utterly still, yet a wave of teshuva seemed to ripple through the stillness.

After the tekios, the Rebbe again led the pesukim:
"Ashrei haom yodei serua..."

The great answering roar that poured forth from the crowd was a powerful wave, wherein trepidation had turned to joy and gratitude.

"Ashrei haom.."
Happy are the people who know the terua...

"Beshimcha yagilun kol hayom..."
Exultation. A joy and a love for Hashem so pure, so whole.

After the pesukim, the sea split again, and the Rebbe returned slowly to his place, against the glowing, white wall in the front of 770.

As the Rebbe reached his place, he slowly turned to face the olam. There was always a light shining on the Rebbe's holy face, but the lichtigkeit after tkios defies description.

There is actually an inyan to see the face of the Baal tokeia after the tekios. I don't know what the source is, but what was shared in 770 was that if you see the Rebbe's face after tekios, mochlin al kol avonosov - all your sins are forgiven. One thing was sure- after seeing the Rebbe's face, who would WANT to sin again?

So an amazing thing would happen. The huge, sweeping expanse of black hats and white taleisim - as seen from above- would begin to bob wildly up and down, like rolling waves in the sea during a storm, as people jumped in the air to catch a glimpse of the Rebbe's holy face.

Now no one could talk because there were still the musaf tkios to be heard ( these were not blown by the Rebbe), yet people jumped and tried urgently to see the Rebbe, despite the huge crowd in front of them.

Please Hashem, look down on Your people. We have been waiting way too long.

Retzoneinu liros es Malkeinu...

Most Read Most Comments

Opinions and Comments
a bachur
thanks for a great article
(9/28/2014 3:23:37 PM)
So important for this generation to read..
Thank you Shlucha
(9/28/2014 3:32:38 PM)
This is so beautifully written!
Thank you so much for sharing
(9/28/2014 3:33:24 PM)
Post Gimmul Tammuz Girl
Thank You so much for letting us share in the experience of Tekius by the Rebbe I yearn for the day that I will be able to see it with my own eyes.
(9/28/2014 3:42:59 PM)
gemar chasima toiva
Awesome. I feel like i was there.
(9/28/2014 3:50:36 PM)
Brilliant and vivid. Take a bow
(9/28/2014 4:11:24 PM)
(9/28/2014 4:22:33 PM)
So necessary
Thank you for posting!
Very well written
(9/28/2014 4:23:19 PM)
Beautifully written
I was zocha to hear tekias for 10 years from the rebbe. I just cried reading the article. I lost my small machzor which u would have loved to share with children and grand grandchildren- the pages all strained from the tekias sweat and torn pages from tekias.may we be zocha to hear the shofar godol of moshiach Now!!!
(9/28/2014 5:17:38 PM)
Thank you!
Thank you, shlucha for a truly beautiful and accurate description (yes, I was the girl with one foot on the back of the bench behind you and one foot standing on nothing).
Thank you COL for posting inspirational material like this. Looking forward to more of the same.
(9/28/2014 5:28:31 PM)
Very heartwarming!
After all of this; is there any programs for american buchorim that came in from all over the world?.. Someone has to do some type of thing for americans that came to be with the Rebbe?
(9/28/2014 5:41:53 PM)
higia zman
Thank you thank you. Crying for what i never had personally
(9/28/2014 5:52:12 PM)
The Rebbe's Shofar still cries.....
I lived in Crown Heights till about age 11 and we then moved to another neighborhood - but still in Brooklyn and always came in for the Rebbe's (weekday) farbrengens or after Yom Tov, Kos Shel Bracha etc.
I read your amazing, precious description and how very sorry I am that this cherished scene was so within reach, but for me the lessons of "Yagati Umotzosi" and "Ki Korov Eilecha HaDavar Meod" were yet to be learned.....
Your sensitive and poignant writing takes us back to 770 of the 1960's and 1970's and the tears don't stop - for what we had, for what was missed, and for what we so deeply want once more.....
What a true zchus that at 13 you appreciated and memorized the details so vividly...
The Rebbe is surely shining with the most radiant smile and having true Nachas from a sincere and genuine Shlucha!
T.H. Israel
(9/28/2014 6:03:39 PM)
Very beautiful
Thank you for sharing.
(9/28/2014 6:06:20 PM)
To 11
Vaad Hatmimim
(9/28/2014 6:23:04 PM)
BS"D from a mans point of view- an excellent ,poignant, vivid,realistic blow by blow (there has to be a better word) description,which re lives the real moment. Thanks so much.Forgot what it was like. Did the washing machine one year but couldn't do it again
(9/28/2014 6:57:55 PM)
Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!!!
Dear Shlucha,
The most beautiful description...
May you have much success in your holy work, with much health harchava & nachas.
May we be reuinited together with the Rebbe lmata very soon!
(9/28/2014 9:09:40 PM)
Please sign your name.
(9/28/2014 11:42:11 PM)
Agree with number 4
Being of the generation born after gimmel tammuz, we NEED more of these kinds of talks and articles! They are our source of motivation and give us koach to continue until Moshiach comes.
Thank you so so much for taking the time to write this beautiful piece.
(9/28/2014 11:53:54 PM)
Thank you for taking us back to the scene of life!!
I am very proud and emotional to know the person who wrote this!
You took me back step by step as i remember.
This was so beautifully writen!
(9/29/2014 12:24:54 AM)
Wow! Thank you for sharing!!
I rarely comment, but this time I just had to tell you thank you for describing all that in such a beautiful, powerful and vivid way. I literally felt as if I was there. The feeling you describe while the Rebbe would stand under the Tallis with the panim, is so incredible. To imagine everyone standing there knowing Moshe rabbeinu (as u perfectly put it) is shaking the heavens and who knows what the rebbe was accomplishing lemaala, I'm just jealous I couldn't be there to watch that live.
And I love how you said that after seeing the Rebbe, who would want to sin, it's just so powerful!!
When you people from that generation share with us your memories, it gives us so much; you have no idea!!
Thank you for sharing this and please continue to share more experiences you had with the Rebbe!
(9/29/2014 12:37:56 AM)
Biggest Thank you!
This piece brought me to uncontrollable tears. Although I was too young to remember seeing the Rebbe during Tekiyes, I remember very much the aura and atmosphere of being in 770, being lifted to see the Rebbe, the crush of the crowd, the unreal realness of the whole atmosphere..... How I wish and yearn that my kids grow up with this!! Ad mosai... it's been too long
(9/29/2014 1:11:33 AM)
The machzor alive!
Reading this article is like reading the section of avodah in the Yom Kippur davening. In details how the kohen gadolinium would look and daven for all of Klali yisroel. How people would break their fast late into the night to get a glimpse of the kohen gadol. His face radiating.... The description of the rebbe is our modern kohen gadol. May we witness this experience ice again by this Yom Kippur!!! Thank you col for posting meaningful articles like this.
(9/29/2014 1:12:32 AM)
Wow, this sure brings back memories.
I recall one year managing a place up front at the plexiglass windows with the little opening at the bottom (you refer to this in your article) ......I took my shoes off , it was impossible to stand in them with a whole pack of people leaning on me. By the time I had to walk home I could not wear my shoes - my feet were swollen and I could not get them into my shoes.. But it was worth it!!!! As time goes on I miss the Rebbe more and more......with a strong longing.
We are told that with time loss gets more bearable - I find that with time the longing for the days with the Rebbe is much more fierce. We desperately need Moshiach!!!
May it be right now!!!!
(9/29/2014 1:16:32 AM)
Please write again from your memories of Yom Kippur and Simches Toira
(9/29/2014 12:04:32 PM)
amazing !!
incredible !!! rezoneinu lirois es malkeinu !!
(9/29/2014 2:38:40 PM)
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