In recent years, much has come to light about the activities and achievements of the Rebbe’s shluchim behind the Iron Curtain, during the years of the Soviet Union. For example, Aryeh (Lova) Eliav recently publicized the details of a secret meeting with the Rebbe around thirty years. In those days, Mr. Eliav was the first secretary of the Israeli embassy in Moscow, and he was in contact with dozens of the Rebbe’s secret emissaries.
In those days, these activities had to take place in secrecy, and any conversations with the Rebbe were subtly coded. Mr. Eliav described the hours that he spent with the Rebbe that night, from 11p.m till 6 a.m. the following morning:
“The Rebbe gave me a tour of the map of the Soviet Union, its length and breadth. In his unique way, without giving away any details that I might not know or need to know, he guided me to tell him more and more. He encouraged me to tell him about the gabbai in a certain village, and the shoemaker elsewhere, about the shammash here, and the red-bearded Jew there. I felt that he carried all of the responsibility of maintaining Jewish life there upon his shoulders.”
Such dedication was yet another sign of the Rebbe’s tremendous leadership qualities.