Our grandchildren were enjoying a very fine holiday. The five eldest attended school every day and, surprisingly to me, loved it. Twice a day poor SR was busy calling up the electric and gas companies. On the second day after we arrived, a brand new fridge was delivered to Hindy’s apartment. Now they had two fridges, but no electricity to make them work!

Slowly but surely, day by day, everyone gradually settled in. Unfortunately, the Lews had not even received a key to the main front door of the apartment building. Fortunately, there were hundreds of people living there and all the Lews had to do was wait outside a little, five or ten minutes, until a resident came along and opened the door, allowing them to also slip inside. (A different technique which proved quite effective in gaining entry, involved ringing random apartment bells until someone just buzzed them into the main building.) Yet, even with all these faults and aggravations, they all seemed content.

When we were already back in England, I asked Hindy whether she had a nice time in Brooklyn.

“It was fantastic,” she replied.

“Even with all the children?” I persisted.

To which she answered, “I have all the children in London as well.”

I do really admire her placid nature.

The boys were exceptionally good at school, so Shmuel rewarded them with a gift: the mishna on cassette. They were so pleased! Yes, I mean it!

Shmuel once promised Yossi a nice present if he would recite two pages of gemora by heart. Yossi accomplished this feat. I later asked Yossi what he had received as his reward.

Yossi replied, with utmost pride and delight, “Sefer Hamaamorim Tof Shin Lamed Daled (Book of the Rebbe’s Chassidic discourses).” How nice!

One day the Rebbe was at the ohel, standing all day at that sacred spot, clothed in his long kapota (jacket) and his heavy hat, in a temperature of 95° with no air-conditioning, no food and no drink. This was the third visit the Rebbe had made to the ohel within ten days. The Rebbe prays, meditates and receives inspiration at this holy place. This was self-sacrifice for the sake of klal Yisroel in general, and particularly for those who had appealed to the Rebbe to intercede on their behalf for a brocha and/or for advice.

Upon returning to 770, the Rebbe met one of my granddaughters, Chaya Lew. He waved to her, she waved back. From this short interaction, people deduced that she was my granddaughter! (Chaya – who turned eight a few days after Shavuos – confided in me that she simply loves the FUNbrengen.)

On Chaya’s eighth birthday, Sivan 9 (May 19), she wrote a letter to the Rebbe asking for a brocha. Her letter included, “I am attending school while here in America.” The Rebbe underlined “I am attending school” and added: "and it is very appropriate."

Our grandson, Pinchas Lew – age five and a half – ran into the service road (immediately in front of the Rebbe’s room) and was hit by a car. We notified the Rebbe and requested a brocha that everything should be all right. Later, Hindy wrote, “I would like to tell the Rebbe that my son Pinchas seems to be doing well, thank G‑d.”

The Rebbe responded: "It should be a speedy and full recovery."

The following day, I was pleased to drop a note to the Rebbe to the effect that Pinchas was now obviously doing much better, as he was once again “running about all over the place.”

The Rebbe thanked me for the good news and added (to my abovementioned quote): “with his tzitzis." Hindy later told to me that on the very morning of the accident, Pinchas had donned a brand new pair of tzitzis, since the older one was in tatters and not kosher.

One morning after davening, I unintentionally left my tefillin on a table in 770. The next morning I could not find them. Someone told me, “Hard lines, you will never find them now.” Someone allegedly asked a rabbi when does something left in 770 become “hefker” (public property). The rabbi responded “after one minute” (presumably because of the vast number of people continuously coming and going). I was lucky though, because I later did find my tefillin.

Our apartment was very nice, except for one small matter. There was a tap separating the hot water from the central heating system, but no one knew where it was situated. When we wanted hot water for washing up the dishes and so forth, we had to turn up the central heating. So we had outside temperatures of 85° and inside it was 105°. Upon returning from shul one morning, I found all the windows in the kollel steamed up. The young men, with red hot faces, were perspiring freely and gasping for breath.

To everyone’s relief, the oil company came to the rescue. They sent a man to fix this problem; it took him just three minutes to do it. Regrettably, he only arrived three days before we left!