From the time the organization was founded and on, we searched for ways to inform the Rebbe about our work, but this proved to be difficult. Reporting about our activities in writing was too dangerous, and for a while we were unsuccessful in sending out any information. Instead, we decided to wait for the opportunity to do so when someone would be leaving the country; through him we could convey a full report to the Rebbe.

In 1958, R. Boruch Duchman left Russia. We gave him detailed reports about our work but never received a response.

In 1961, R. Berke Chein received permission to leave Russia. As soon as R. Moshe Nissilevitch heard about this, he went to meet with R. Berke. He quietly told him the story of the founding of Chamah and about our activities, and asked him to give a detailed report to the Rebbe.

The next day, a day before he left, R. Berke approached R. Moshe with great excitement.

“After our conversation last night,” he related, “I studied the daily Torah reading, which on that particular day was the third section of Vezot Habracha. There, Moshe blesses the tribe of Yosef, that their land be blessed with "the sweetness of sun's produce." By way of explaining the blessing, the commentator Rashi writes that Yosef’s land was well exposed to the sun, which helped sweeten the fruit of the land. But instead of using the Hebrew word used in the verse for 'sun'—shemesh—Rashi uses the word chamah:This is a clear allusion to your organization, Chamah!”

R. Berke was so enthused by this sign of Divine approval that he asked R. Moshe to accept him as a member of the organization before leaving Russia.

After R. Berke left, we hoped to receive some indication from the Rebbe that he had heard about our work. The hope was that a message would be transmitted by way of the secret letters that we occasionally received from abroad. These letters were written by Rabbi Nissan Mindel, a member of the Rebbe's secretariat, under various fictitious names, and all of them were signed 'Zaide'—grandfather—the code name for the Rebbe. The body of the letter was written as though it was addressing relatives and inquiring about their welfare in Russia, but between the lines some secret message would be conveyed.

To our sorrow, the political situation in Russia at that time was still precarious and people were extremely fearful, especially when it came to communicating with the West. As such, we did not receive any response from the Rebbe. Despite the hardships, our work expanded throughout this time, and we drew many young Bucharian Jews closer to our community, as will be related at length.

Before Rosh Hashana of 1966, when Naftali Estulin, one of the first students in our underground yeshiva, left Russia, R. Moshe once again gave him a detailed report about all of Chamah’s activities and asked him to pass it on to the Rebbe. We asked him to reply with a letter written in Russian. Letters written in Hebrew were censored by a Jewish translator, and there was reason for concern that such an individual would understand any hidden messages contained within.

About a month later, we finally received the long-anticipated letter. In the letter, Naftali wrote that “Zeide wants to know how Aunt ‘Nechama’ is doing and if she has enough helpers.” 'Nechama' was of course a common Jewish name, but it was obvious who, or rather what, it referred to. This line, short but quite meaningful, inspired us greatly. The very fact that the Rebbe had heard about our activities and inquired about them encouraged us tremendously.

By that time, our work at Chamah had expanded and R. Moshe wrote to the Rebbe that Aunt Nechama believed she needed additional people to help her. A while later, the Rebbe responded by saying that Aunt Nechama should look for helpers from within her own social circle.

At that time we received another letter from Naftali Estulin. Naftali managed to slip into the letter references to statements the Rebbe had made at recent farbrengens along the lines of the Talmudic adage, “If the ox falls down, sharpen your slaughtering knife.” R. Moshe interpreted this as a reference to the Soviet Union, alluding that it would soon collapse. This caused a great upsurge of activity amongst our members, especially by R. Moshe. There was an aura of anticipation felt in the air, a feeling that we were preparing for the coming of Moshiach. In fact, R. Moshe was unwilling to paint the walls of his house because he expected all of us to be traveling to the Land of Israel shortly.

The Rebbe’s answers encouraged us to expand our activities. Although the KGB would spy on regular citizens in order to uncover illegal activity, they did not actually carry out many arrests at that time. We took advantage of this relative liberty by expanding our communal work.

To fulfill the Rebbe’s directive to increase the number of Chamah activists from amongst our group, we looked for youngsters who had the ability to keep a secret, even from their parents. We taught the most trustworthy boys, and they, in turn, transmitted their knowledge to additional boys. We were thus successful in teaching the Hebrew alphabet, Torah, and Talmud to hundreds of Jewish children.

We saw from experience that the boys who joined our communal work would progress in all areas. Their association with our group set them apart them from their irreligious environment and infused them with a passion for Torah and Judaism.

Over the course of the years, we occasionally encountered various hardships. One such time, during the 1960s, we wrote to the Rebbe, describing the difficult situation to him. The response we received encouraged us immensely. I personally was tremendously affected by the reply, to the extent that I made a number of copies which I sent to fellow Chassidim in Tashkent and other cities.

The following is a free translation of the Rebbe’s response:

“One must constantly remember that it is the nature of [G‑d, who is called] the Good, to perform acts of goodness. And, when one thinks positively, things will improve all the more; and when one is constantly happy, any concerns will dissipate. When one merits to assist another Jew materially, and all the more so spiritually, one is fortunate of that which there is no greater fortune. Everything has its end, and when the end arrives one sees that there is nothing to worry about.”