On Thursday, Kislev 23 (December 24), Roselyn and I left for Miami Beach for a short holiday. We took Avrohom and Hindy with us. It was nice and restful. The temperature was between 76 and 80 very pleasant degrees. Every afternoon Avrohom and I had a shiur in Gemora. I was quite pleased with his progress.

The fourth day of Chanukah was Tuesday, Kislev 28 (December 29). At 4:45 p.m., whilst I was learning with Avrohom, I was interrupted by a telephone call from New York. It was Rabbi Shemtov. He was most annoyed. “Tonight was the fifth light and the Rebbe was giving out Chanukah gelt to the Yeshiva bochurim that evening.”

I had no right to take Avrohom away from Brooklyn at this time. I must at once send Avrohom back to New York in order not to miss this unique opportunity of receiving the silver dollar, his Chanukah gelt, directly from the Rebbe.

“It is impossible,” I countered.

“Nothing is impossible,” declared Rabbi Shemtov.

Of course he was right. We tried over a dozen airlines and finally managed to obtain a seat on a new prop-jet flight which was leaving Miami at 10:00 that evening. This would arrive at New York at 12:30 a.m. His flight back from New York would leave the next morning at 9:30. I phoned Rabbi Shemtov in Brooklyn and informed him that I had booked the flight for Avrohom, but it cost £50 (about $150).

“It is well worth it,” he retorted.

Avrohom partook of an early dinner, changed into his winter clothes, packed a suitcase and he was almost ready to travel. Yes, almost, because as he was about to leave the hotel, there was another telephone call from New York for me. It was Rabbi Chodakov. He explained that the Rebbe had learnt that Avrohom had intended to come to Brooklyn to collect his Chanukah gelt. The Rebbe had indicated that 1) it was a pity to spend money on travel, which could be used for Yiddishe tzedakah, and 2) Avrohom would arrive too late in any case, as the Chanukah gelt was being distributed between 9:00 and 10:30. Therefore, says Rabbi Chodakov, “if Avrohom would give me power-of-attorney then I can collect the silver dollar on his behalf.” We agreed to this on the understanding that I should also receive a silver dollar from the Rebbe.

A few moments later, there was another telephone call for me. Once again it was Rabbi Chodakov. He had spoken to the Rebbe, who had pointed out that Chanukah gelt was only given to his talmidim (pupils) and/or to those who learnt Tanya. So, if I would promise to study at least two lines of Tanya every day, then I could be considered a talmid. (I, of course, learn far more than that anyhow.) I agreed to this with alacrity. Rabbi Chodakov then signified that as Roselyn and I were man and wife, we could only be treated as one unit, and were entitled to only one dollar between us. So Avrohom would obtain his, we would get ours and poor Hindy would “be left out in the cold.” Therefore, continued Rabbi Chodakov, if he would be given the power-of-attorney for Hindy, then he would collect her silver dollar, too. Clever Rebbe! We cancelled Avrohom‘s flight.