A short time after my father arrived in Nachalas Har Chabad, the Rebbe appointed him as director of the newly-founded Kollel, as we learned in a letter he sent to us in Samarkand. This was the first time we had even heard of the concept of a Kollel; the yeshiva was traditionally a place for younger men to study. He explained what it was, and wrote that he was now involved in Torah and prayer all day and this was where he invested his energy.

We wondered how someone who hadThe yeshiva was traditionally for younger men been a businessman all his life could suddenly start to run an institution dedicated to Torah study. Once again we realized what it meant to be a penimi, the "inner" person that the Rebbe Rayatz had called him so many years earlier. As soon as he heard that this is what the Rebbe wanted, he took to the directive completely and carried it out. He was totally unfazed by any other considerations, and had no need to first make any calculations.

Men who learned in the Kollel then told me that their best years of learning were the years when my father served as its director. He looked out for their welfare and took care of every detail. For example, when the shul in which they learned grew cold in the winter, he purchased a heater for them with his own money.

A former resident of Nachalas Har Chabad related to me that R. Efraim Wolf, the director of Agudas Chassidei Chabad, the umbrella organization for Chabad in Israel, once entered the Kollel and noticed a couple of baby carriages in the corner. Unhappy that the Kollel members were bringing their children along with them, thereby being distracting from their studies, he threatened to deduct the hours they had brought their carriages from the stipend they received for their studies.

My father began defending the young men: “What do you want from them? They are hardly earning much from learning in Kollel as is, and you want to make it even harder for them?”

But R. Efraim stood by his principles and deducted three hours of pay from their salary. My father couldn’t bear to see this happen, and he went ahead and made up the difference with his own money!

Over the years, many more people arrived in Nachalas Har Chabad who were quite capable of running the Kollel, but whenever R. Efraim Wolf asked the Rebbe about this, the Rebbe would not agree to replace my father without his consent. As such, my father remained the director of the Kollel until the last day of his life.

My father gave most of the money he earned from the Kollel to the free loan fund that he had founded in my mother’s memory, for the members of the Kollel. He and his wife lived off theHe wanted to be buried on Mt. Olives reparations she received as a Holocaust survivor. If they lacked some money for their essentials he would supplement their income from his salary, but most of it went to the fund. Often, the money he gave was more of a gift than a loan.

My father twice wrote to me that since he put all of his money into his fund, he didn’t know what would happen to him after he passed away. He wanted to be buried on Mt. Olives, but a plot there cost $3,000, and he would not be leaving behind money for this purpose.

What could I tell him—that he shouldn’t worry because we would pay for his burial? I opted not to reply. After some time, he told me that he had asked the Rebbe whether to continue giving all of his money to the fund or to save some money for a plot. The Rebbe told him to continue donating, and blessed him with long life.