Some of the boys who came to us from the Carpathians traveled through Chernovitz in order to meet the righteous Rabbi Chaim Zanvil Abramowitz, of blessed memory, known as the Ribnitzer Rebbe, and to ask him his opinion regarding their travel to Samarkand. He told them all to go and gave them his blessing for the trip.

Ben-Tzion Rubinson, one of the top talmidim in our yeshiva, actually came from Chernovitz, the city of the Ribnitzer Rebbe. He arrived in Samarkand at a young age: his father had been sentenced to ten years in prison, and he was left alone with his mother and younger sister Tamar. R. Mendel Futerfas, who was a relative of theirs and lived in Chernovitz after being released from imprisonment, arranged that young Ben-Tzion should travel to Samarkand.

Every year, Ben-Tzion would travel to Chernovitz to spend the summer with his mother and sister. His family, like all of the Chabad Chassidim in Chernovitz, was friendly with the Ribnitzer, and Ben-Tzion would visit him when he returned home. The Ribnitzer never asked him where he was learning, but he understood from conversing with him that he was studying somewhere, and he would give him 1,000 rubles as a donation for the yeshiva. In those days, a large sum like that would cover the salary of a teacher in the yeshiva for almost an entire year.

An incident on one of Ben-Tzion Rubinson's returns to Samarkand gave us all a serious fright. Upon arriving at the airport, to Bentzion's shock, he was apprehended by the police and taken to an interrogation room. He began to panic, trying to determine the reason for his arrest. Had the authorities finally gotten wind of the underground yeshiva?

As the police prepared to search his belongings, Ben-Tzion's heart froze: in his suitcase was a pocket sized Tanya, printed in America. G‑d forbid that they should find that, he thought. Ben-Tzion looked on at the search in dread.

The police turned over his entire suitcase, but miraculously, paid no attention to the little Tanya. Then they found his tefillin, and asked him what they were. Ben-Tzion claimed that he didn't know, only that someone had handed them to him, and said he would pick them up from him later. If so, said the commanding officer, leave them here, and if anyone asks for them, make sure to send them to us. They then let him go.

Understandably, after this reception, Ben-Tzion was in no rush to continue on to my brother Berel's house and risk leading the police to the learning then hosted there. Instead, he went over to the home of Rivkah and Chaim Volovik, whom he knew from Chernovitz.

Some time went by, and the tefillin remained sitting at the police station; no one dared to go and ask for them. One day, the details of this story made their way to Raphael Chudaidatov, who was a bold, defiant man. "How can we just leave the tefillin in the hands of those people?" he said. He went over to the police, claimed that the phylacteries were his, and demanded that they be returned to him. After he proffered some money to the young clerk, he was handed the tefillin.

Apart from the Ribnitzer Rebbe, we also received large donations from R. Moshe Goldis, another Jew from the Carpathians. R. Moshe was a successful businessman and an unusually kind man, with a heart of gold. When he heard about boys from the Carpathians learning in Samarkand, he decided to visit. When he arrived in Samarkand and began to inquire about these boys, we were very nervous. We did not know who he was and in those years, when we kept secrets even from people we knew well, we certainly did not share information with strangers. But within a short period of time we recognized what sort of person he was, and R. Moshe Nissilevitch befriended him and ultimately had a great influence on him. From then until we left Russia, R. Moshe Goldis donated large sums of money to our yeshiva and to our other activities. Thanks to his charitable donations, we were able to arrange learning programs in many locations in the cities and towns near Samarkand..

R. Moshe Goldis was eventually able to leave Russia, arriving in the Land of Israel in the 1970s. The Russians did not allow him to take out valuables from Russia and all of his wealth was relinquished. The members of Chamah, who located him in Israel, helped him travel to New York in order to raise some money. I was in New York at the time and I brought him to meet with local philanthropists. I also traveled with him to Montreal and introduced him to some wealthy Jews there. I told them about his generosity in Russia and, with Hashem's help, I was successful in inspiring them to open their hearts and wallets. R. Moshe returned to Eretz Yisrael with a nice sum of money which enabled him to buy an apartment in Bnei Brak.

R. Moshe died without children. May his many good deeds serve as an everlasting merit on his behalf.