29 Nissan – Erev Rosh Chodesh Iyar, 5735
During the afternoon before taking leave for the Ohel, the Rebbe notified the Mazkirim that a Farbrengen was to take place in the evening following Maariv, and that this was to remain a secret exclusively to them.
In addition, they were instructed to prepare bread for a meal and some empty bottles. Upon his return from the Ohel, the Rebbe was noticed to have been wearing a silk kapote (rarely worn on weekdays in those years).
All the while, an official announcement of the Farbrengen still had not been made until the conclusion of Maariv at 8:35. Only then was the public notified of the surprise Farbrengen to be held fifteen minutes later, at 8:50.
At exactly 8:50 p.m. the Rebbe entered the Shul and washed hands for bread, and began the Farbrengen by instructing the Chassidim to sing “ Mimitzrayim ” and “ Ana Avda ”. Then the Rebbe prepared himself to recite the Maamar while the Chassidim sang the Niggun Hachona. But then, a most puzzling thing occurred; the Rebbe interrupted in the midst of the nigun and began with the Dibur Hamaschil of the Maamar, “ Uveroshei Chodsheichem ...” The startled crowd was totally unprepared for the sudden outburst and everyone immediately stood up on their feet, as is customary. (When listening to the recording of the Farbrengen on tape, one can hear the noise of the benches and tables being rapidly moved about...)
It seemed that the Rebbe was desperate to begin the Maamar before the clock reached nine in the evening ...
The Maamar itself is largely dedicated to expound upon Hashem’s choosing the Yidden as His people, and the supernatural methods with which He handles them.
It should be noted that on that same night at 9:00 p.m., the President of the United States, Gerald Ford, was scheduled to address the nation on various issues regarding Foreign Policy. Among the many subjects he discussed were the US relationship with the USSR and the peace talks between Egypt and Israel in the Middle-East.
Mysteriously, there were many technical failures in the transmitting of his words to viewers on American television.
Who can ever know what it was that the Rebbe accomplished with this surprise Farbrengen and the rush to begin the Maamar ahead of time..