By the way, every Friday, in preparation for this reading, Rabbi Yehudah Clapman, a long-time sofer in the community, checks the Sefer Torah to make sure all is in good order for the upcoming reading on Shabbat.
After a few more cursory inspections, they began wrapping up that Sefer Torah, returned it to the Aron Kodesh, and took out another one to replace it.
It turns out an entire word was missing from the text. This happened Tevet 21, 5755. That was Shabbat, parshas Shmos. The verse was 4:1,
... and they will not believe me ....
The word לי was missing!
My own reaction to what happened was - I was stunned. To me this was a significant providential message with huge impact. Here was Moshe Rabbeinu telling God the Jews will not believe him. His mission was to tell the Jews he will be redeeming them and the Jews, in turn, may well not believe him.
We were about 6 months away from the 3rd of Tammuz, 1994. The trauma was still raw; Emotions still ran fresh. Many of us believed nothing had changed from what the Rebbe had charted out for us, while plenty of others, local and remote, felt what the past held in store was now down the drain.
No verse in all of Torah could better have depicted the schism the 3rd of Tammuz created. But now, on this Shabbat, those of us who believed the Rebbe's agenda remains sturdily on course, and hadn't changed one iota, felt vindicated - a surreal relief!
It was as if the leader of the generation, the Rebbe, was telling us "They won't be believing in me", as if many would continue to believe (regarding some far future) - BUT NOT IN ME!