When we expanded our activities and began engaging and educating the local Bucharian children, we would often bring them to participate in our farbrengens. However, there were some elder Chassidim who claimed that this was not the way of Chabad.

“In Lubavitch,” they said, “the yeshiva students knew that when new boys arrived they were to be befriended. But to actively seek and attract new people to our community?! Such a thing was unheard of in Lubavitch!

“And what’s more,” they continued, “this is a dangerous project and you can be arrested. At such a time, when we are all in danger of spiritual annihilation, we must first look out for our own community, and only afterwards can we be concerned about others.”

We, however, thought and acted otherwise. Nonetheless, when the opportunity arose to ask the Rebbe, when my sister and her family left for Eretz Yisrael in 1969, we spoke with my brother-in-law R. Eliyahu Mishulavin and asked him to pose the question to the Rebbe. We agreed that he would write back to us in code. The sign would be: does grandfather—the Rebbe's regular alias—like only “yellow shoes,” or does he like “dark shoes” as well.

A short while after they arrived in Eretz Yisrael, we got an answer: Grandfather didn’t understand what difference the color made. He liked them all equally, and they were all important in his eyes!