We then were taken to see The Rebbe. We were instructed by our guide to keep our quiet when entering his Dining Chamber.
We opened the double-doors, silently filed in, and closed them behind us.
The Rebbe was wearing a green wrap dress, typical of those of women, except that it had cargo pockets. He was seated in a comfortable chair, at his table, holding a glass of wine in his right hand, which he was slowly swinging back and forth.
He was listening to the chamber orchestra which was playing on the other side of the room, near the air conditioner. The music sounded to be Vivaldi.
The table was all set with various platters of cut-up fruit, and other things to eat, in addition to bottles of white wine and other beverages, including water. The Rebbe motioned for us to come to the table and sit down.
He said to us: "I am so glad you have come here! You have come just in time for the beautiful poetic berakha over the wine, found in the Cairo Geniza. Unfortunately, the original version of it, in which it itself makes up the berakha, was declared forbidden by the Geonim, because it turns a 'short berakha' into a 'long berakha'. So, we will use the trick which medieval communities did with other berakhoth mefuyyatoth -- instead of sticking the poetic expansion after the opening words of the berakha, such that the word אשר continues from מלך העולם, we'll tack it onto the end of the berakha, so that the word אשר continues from the appellation of God there. Plus, we'll cut out the חתימה at the end."
He poured us each a glass of wine, and raised his glass with his right hand. With his other hand, he motioned to the pianist to accompany him on the piano.
He sang out:
ברוך אתה יי אלהינו מלך העולם בורא פרי הגפן
We said "Amen", and he drank a sip, but then, quickly, removed the glass from his lips, and continued:
אשר ברא יין עסיס / ותירוש טוב מעצי גפנים
והוא ערב לנפש וטוב לאדם / ומשמח לב ומצהיל פנים
והוא תנחומין לאבלים / ומרי נפש ישכחו רישן
והוא רפואה לכל שותיו / למי שישתנו בטעם ובדעת
הוא שמחת לבב ששון / ורב גילה לשותין אותו.
הוא אלוהינו יצרו מאז / להתענג במעשים כוננו מראש
שכל שותיו יברכו לאל / וישבחו ליוצר בינה
המכין מעדני תבל / ויָצַר למתוקי ארץ
אשר ברא תירוש מן הגפן / והתקין עסיס מן ענבים
להשביע נפש רעבה / ולמלא נפש שוקקה
שותיו ישמח לבו / על פרי מעשיו יברכו לבוראהו.
המלך המרומם לבדו
האל הקדוש / בורא פרי הגפן.