The overflowing wine turned the white threads beneath it red.
The thousands of eyes staring at the Rebbe would not dare assume that he felt uneasy, but his appearance certainly suggested it. He would usually be waving his hands with an abandon both reckless and intentional, orchestrating whichever tune the moment called for. But, now he was silent. He stared down at his cup with the concerned eyes of a father to a sick child, opening his mouth to speak then stopping himself once more.
Not quite next to the Rebbe, but closer than many of the chassidim standing on bleachers surrounding the giant table at whose head the Rebbe sat, Moishe extended his head to try and catch the inaudible starts and stops emanating from the mouth of his holy teacher. He had travelled nearly a week to sit at this very table.
Stretching the fabric of his new bekesheh, yearning, almost desperately, to hear just a single word, Moishe felt the embarrassing beginnings of resentment. In brief pangs of anxiety that exposed the extent to which he could strengthen his faith, he found himself wondering who this Rebbe was to have him travel so long, and so far, to sit at a silent tisch.
And then, his story began.
"There were once children," the Rebbe started, "playing a game of hide and seek. A group would hide, and one would seek."
Moishe now relaxed, and he regained his joyful countenance.
"There is something very sad," the Rebbe continued, "about a hidden child who cannot be found."
"But," the Rebbe said more quietly than before, "there is something much sadder."
The room was still. Its very existence hinged on the next utterance.
"One day soon," he said, "there will be children who are hiding. And, nobody will be searching for them."