Wonders of Wonders
A selection of miracle stories, told by Rabbi Shneur Zalman Wilschansky, rosh yeshivas Tomchei Tímimim Lubavitch in Morristown, New Jersey. * From a tíshura given at his sonís wedding. * Part 1 of 2


Towards the beginning of the Ď70ís I met a bachur in the small zal who had come from England to have a yechidus with the Rebbe. In conversation I learned that his parents hadnít had children for many years. After they turned to the Rebbe Rayatz and received his bracha for children, they had the bachur I was talking to.

More than twenty years had passed since his birth, and now the bachur was about to get married. His parents asked him to travel to the Rebbe to receive his bracha. He had a yechidus the night I met him, and after a few minutes he came out of the Rebbeís room in a turmoil of emotions and amazement. We didnít have to convince him to tell us what happened. His story just burst forth from him.

"I went in to the Rebbe with the original letter my parents had received from the Rebbe Rayatz. I showed the letter to the Rebbe and asked for a bracha for my wedding.

"The Rebbe glanced at the letter. After he gave me his bracha, he told me that at the same time that he received my parentsí letter concerning children, he also received a letter from my uncle telling the Rebbe about his parnasa problems. ĎI didnít hear from him after that,í concluded the Rebbe.

"You can just imagine how many letters the Rebbe saw in those twenty years. The Rebbe remembered my parentsí letter and also the letter from my uncle about parnasa, sent at the same time!"


There was a yechidus on Isru Chag Simchas Torah 5719 (1958), and among the dozens of Chassidim who had a yechidus that night was a woman visiting the Rebbe for the first time. Before the yechidus she wrote a note with all the names of her family members, and when she stood before the Rebbe she handed him the note, anticipating a bracha.

The Rebbe glanced at the note and remarked, "You forgot to mention one of your children." Before she could recall who she left out, the Rebbe continued, "You forgot Yosef Yitzchok," and the Rebbe took a pencil and wrote Yosef Yitzchokís name in the right spot among his sisters and brothers.


They relate that when the Rebbe first came to the U.S., someone went to Rebbetzin Nechama Dina and described her son-in-law as a gaon. The Rebbetzin smiled and said, "You say heís a gaon? My husband says heís a gaon!"


I heard an amazing story from Rabbi Shalom Spalter, of Tomchei Tímimim in Morristown, which happened with his grandfather, Rabbi Mordechai Gershon Spalter, zíl, who was known as the Dayan from Sunik.

Rabbi Spalter was a great talmid chocham. The gaon, Rabbi Dov Berish Wiedenfeld, the av beis din of Tchebin and rosh yeshiva of Yeshivas Kochav Yaakov, testified as follows in an approbation to a seifer that Rabbi Spalter had written. Rabbi Wiedenfeld wrote: "I knew the rav haímechaber (author) back when everything was still in its proper place [referring to Europe before WWII] and then, too, he was considered a gadol in Torah and yira."

Rabbi Wiedenfeld once wrote a pamphlet on the topic of foreknowledge and free choice, explaining why Hashemís foreknowledge doesnít negate free choice. After writing the pamphlet, he decided to send it to two gedolei haídor whom he considered knowledgeable in deep topics such as this - the Lubavitcher Rebbe and the Satmar Rebbe. He asked them to give their opinion and to comment on what he had written.

Within a short time he received an answer from the Satmar Rebbe which highly praised his work. However, he did not get a response from the Lubavitcher Rebbe, which bothered him.

Some time later he had a yechidus with the Rebbe, and he used this opportunity to ask the Rebbe why he hadnít responded to the work he had sent him.

The Rebbe said, "I didnít see the kuntres. It didnít come to me. Please send it to me and Iíll look it over."

"I have a copy here in my pocket," he said, and gave the Rebbe the kuntres, thinking the Rebbe would read it later and then make his comments.

The Rebbe took the kuntres, flipped through it from beginning to end, and said, "Síiz a guter inyan" (itís a good thing).

The rav, who knew it was impossible to skim such a deep inyan, thought the Rebbe was just commenting in passing. Since he wanted the Rebbeís opinion on it, he said, "Ich ken efshar betten az der Rebbe zol geben a haskama oif dem inyan?" (Can I ask for the Rebbeís approbation?)

Said the Rebbe: "Vos meint ir, ich varf zich mit verter?" (What do you think - Iím just throwing words around? I already said itís a good inyan!)

Hearing this sharp rejoinder, the rav tried to explain himself and said, "I meant... that the Rebbe should respond to the subject matter... and perhaps comment on it."

The Rebbe put the kuntres down on the desk, looked at the rav and began quoting paragraphs from the kuntres by heart according to the order of the pages, commenting on every single inyan!

When he left the yechidus, the rav described this in awe and amazement, declaring that if he hadnít seen it himself - even if he had heard it from the most reliable person - he wouldnít believe it. "Itís just not possible that by flipping through the pages, a human being can grasp these deep inyanim with such depth and sharpness, to the point that he could quote them by heart and comment on them."


In 5736 (1976) a Lubavitcher woman came to New York for her sisterís wedding. Before she arrived, she and her husband composed a note to give to the Rebbe. At the time, the Rebbe had stated that there was no need to delay putting on Rabbeinu Tam tífillin. [Until then, it was customary to wait until age 18 and then to ask the Rebbe whether to begin wearing Rabbeinu Tam tífillin.] Since their son was almost bar mitzva, the woman and her husband wanted to know whether their son should start immediately.

The second topic in the note concerned a neighbor who lived in the house across from theirs. He was strongly anti-religious and did what he could to start up with them. The husband maintained that they should ask the Rebbe for a bracha that the man do tíshuva. The woman didnít feel comfortable asking that, but they did write the request in the note as well.

The woman arrived in New York a few days before Purim, and her appointment to see the Rebbe was for after Purim. Her note was given to the Rebbe as soon as she arrived, as was customary at the time.

At the Purim farbrengen, the Rebbe said the well-known sicha about wearing Rabbeinu Tam tífillin. The Rebbe said: "In answer to many peopleís question... whether to put on Rabbeinu Tam tífillin, my opinion is that now both pairs should be wornÖ In conclusion, since people have asked whether to begin wearing Rabbeinu Tam tífillin, and until now there was no time to answer them - and itís a shame to lose out on tomorrow morning - the answer is that they should start wearing Rabbeinu Tam tífillin...and so he should hurry and get his own tífillin, There is no need to wait until the wedding, or age 18, for the sooner the better.

When the woman heard what the Rebbe said, she turned to her mother who was standing nearby and said, "The Rebbe already answered my question."

After Purim, when she had her yechidus, the Rebbe looked at her as though waiting to receive her note, and said, "Nu..."

The woman felt overwhelmed in the Rebbeís presence, and with difficulty managed to say she had already submitted her note. The Rebbe said, "I didnít get it. Maybe you could tell me what you wanted to ask."

She couldnít muster up the courage to answer the Rebbe, but she thought: The Rebbe already answered my first question in the Purim sicha, and Iím not comfortable asking the second question. In the end, she managed to say that it was nothing special.

The Rebbe looked at her and said with a smile, "I already answered your first question at the farbrengen yesterday, and about the second question and the request for brachos - zol zain a bracha." The Rebbe ended by giving brachos for her family and herself.

The happy ending to this story is the children of that neighbor are G-d-fearing and observant Jews. I heard this story from the husband.


A baal tíshuva from Miami, who came with his family for their first visit to the Rebbe, wrote a note before his yechidus that turned into a lengthy missive. Before the yechidus, Rabbi Groner told him it was customary to write a brief note. The man took out the megilla he had prepared and showed it to Rabbi Groner.

Rabbi Groner took the megilla from him and said it could not be brought into the Rebbe. He said that he would take the long note into the secretariesí room, and at the yechidus he should give the Rebbe a short note.

The man got angry and tried to argue with him, but when he saw he had no choice, he wrote a note with only his family membersí names on it. This is what he brought into the Rebbe.

After the yechidus he went to the office and asked Rabbi Groner whether he had given the long letter to the Rebbe. When Rabbi Groner said he hadnít, the man said in amazement: "The Rebbe blessed me, and included in his bracha all the details I had written about in the long letter!"

I heard all about it the next day when he was still in shock over the G-dly revelation he had witnessed.

(To be continued.)




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