Harriet Thompson, a judge of the New York City Civil Court in Kings County, toured 770 Eastern Parkway, home to Lubavitch World Headquarters and the Shul where the Rebbe davened.
Thompson was welcomed by representatives of the two groups claiming ownership rights of the building – Agudas Chassidei Chabad and Merkos L’inyonei Chinuch vs. Congregation Lubavitch Inc.
Present from the Chabad establishment was Rabbi Mendel Sharfstein, and from the congregation associated with the Meshichistim were Gabbai Zalman Lipskier and Rabbi Eli Cohen and Rabbi Yaakov Chazan.
Also there were David Abramson, the lawyer for Aguch and Merkos, and the lawyer for the gabboim, Ed Rudofsky.
The Judge began her two hour tour by visiting the original 770 building where she heard of the original purchase of 770 and how when the Frierdiker Rebbe entered the building he went straight into the room that was to be the Shul, and said that it should be G-d’s will that the prayers offered here will be accepted.
Then she entered the Rebbe’s room where she stood briefly in reverence in front of the Rebbe’s desk.
The judge also toured the upstairs of 770 with its small ‘zal’ shul, the WLCC broadcasting room, Kehot, Suite 302, Chabad.org offices, the Library, the women’s Shul, as well as the large Shul on the ground floor from which Chabad establishment officials are often barred entry.
In the main Shul the judge watched a video of the groundbreaking when the Rebbe placed the cornerstone for the expansion of the Shul in 1988.