Chiali was such a miserable, impoverished outpost that even obtaining a simple loaf of bread was a difficult process. Every three days everyone lined up to receive their ration of one loaf, which weighed about a kilo or less and was often moldy. Unfortunately, there was not always enough to go round. Only those who managed to reach the front of the line were lucky enough to receive any bread at all. Anyone standing further back than the middle of the line would be sent home empty-handed.
Many different types of people joined the breadline. They included prisoners and criminals of various backgrounds, who spoke different languages but all knew how to push. Apart from the shouting and cursing that accompanied the ceaseless shoving to reach the front of the line, there were often violent incidents.
Although Rabbi Levi Yitzchok wore simple clothing and was very unassuming, his noble appearance and Jewish features attracted the attention of these coarse peasants. Even the most boorish among them understood that Rabbi Levi Yitzchok was no ordinary prisoner, and they treated him with respect. On more than one occasion they even sneaked him into the front of the line to save him the inconvenience of waiting for bread.