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
FOR THERE IS NO FORGETTING...
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!"
ALL WILL PASS BEFORE YOU
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.
WHAT A GAON!
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
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
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
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."
READING HER MIND
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
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
THERE ARE NO SECRETS
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
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.)