Roselyn and I arrived at 770 at 4:00 p.m. on Wednesday, Sivan 4 (May 17), the day before Shavuos. Everyone was delighted to see us and gave us a warm welcome.

It seemed like only yesterday that we were standing here in 770 with Rabbi Krinsky, worrying about the condition of the apartment on Union Street. A year had now passed and we were once again standing in the office at 770. This time we were complaining, but not to him as we could not find him – he had taken the Rebbe to the ohel.

We had been to the apartment and found that it had been taken over by hordes of “squatters.” They were busy cooking their own meals in the kitchen and the stove was black with old grease and oil. No one was interested in cleaning up the apartment; each one left it to the others.

Rabbi Binyomin Klein told me that someone approached him many weeks ago and begged him for permission to stay there for one night only. How could he refuse for one night? He therefore gave them the key.

The following day, Mr. Weinstein from the hardware store was kept busy all day long making duplicate keys, as brothers, sisters, cousins, friends and acquaintances were all invited to join this new commune in Union Street. They were very friendly and actually invited us to join them too, the fridge was full, but we would have to partake of our own meals in the bedroom.

Rabbi Klein was very pleased that we had now arrived, because until now, they had refused to budge, in spite of entreaties, pleadings and threats. Rabbi Leibel Groner and Binyomin, in the absence of Yudel, were indeed helpful and things started moving. The first things to be moved were the squatters themselves. Some were soon fixed up at various houses, whilst the others promised to leave the next morning. We were left to tidy up the place (a gross understatement).

We were pleased to notice that the worker had made a start to clean up the apartment. He had filled the bucket with clean water and had not been seen since. Maybe he became discouraged by the squatters and left the job.

Being the next day was Yom Tov, we were now fighting against time. I rushed to Weinstein’s and purchased another bucket, mop and plenty of powders and detergents. When I arrived back I found Roselyn already scrubbing and cleaning and – a miracle – the worker had also returned and was helping too. By the time Rabbi Krinsky brought the Rebbe back from the ohel at 8:00 p.m., the place was looking a great deal cleaner and better.

Rabbi Chodakov had heard of our predicament and complaints, and even our sleeping arrangements had not been finalized. He consoled me by saying that Jews did not sleep at all on this night. Yes, I replied, that is all right for one night, but we would be here for twelve nights!