With the Rebbe’s permission, we once again stayed at the apartment above the kollel, adjacent to 770. Chaya and Golda, our granddaughters, were also lodging with us. Rabbi Slavin had enrolled ten bochurim into a working party to tidy up and clean the apartment. They did quite well (for bochurim and volunteers), but one thing they forgot to do was switch on the hot water boiler. So, I descended to the cellar and turned it on myself.

About thirty minutes later, the water was still cold, so I went downstairs to investigate.

The boiler was banging, shaking and trembling, almost ready to blow up. It was going chug-chug-chug, and belching forth thick blue smoke, which completely filled the basement. Suddenly, to my utter horror, I was confronted by a half-dozen shadowy figures in shirtsleeves, peering through the fog and brandishing glistening razor-sharp knives. They screamed at me to turn the switch off. Not wishing to argue or become embroiled with well-armed, aggressive and hysterical madmen, I hastened to comply with their order.

After the smoke and haze abated, I realized that this was the kollel-sponsored shechita (slaughter) class. They had been sharpening their knives when the pall of smoke descended and enveloped them.

Anyway, Rabbi Klein himself was soon able to fix this hot-water problem. All it was missing was 500 gallons of oil!