Dream Was Real”
Sackville is a Shabbos observant, traditional woman who lives in
Melbourne, Australia. She certainly wasn’t going to pick up the
telephone ringing in her home on Shabbos. There were five rings
before her answering machine picked up. “Shabbat shalom,
Sharon. This is Dr. Stein. I know you don’t pick up the phone on
Shabbos, but this is an emergency regarding yourself. Please, pick
up the phone!”
was a young woman when this story took place in 5750. Her family
had gotten involved with the Chabad community in Melbourne, and
she became a special ed teacher at Beis Rivka. The tragedy began
after that telephone call on Shabbos. Sharon’s heart skipped a
beat when she heard the doctor’s message on her answering
machine. She recognized his voice and knew this wasn’t a crank
call. With a trembling hand she reached for the telephone and
picked it up.
received a certain medication a few days ago,” said the doctor
when she answered the telephone. “We just realized that this
medication is not good for you and is even quite dangerous. It’s
important that you come to the hospital immediately. A team of
doctors will be waiting for you outside the emergency room.”
turned pale. “Perhaps I can push this off until this evening,”
Sharon suggested. But the doctor insisted that she come
immediately. “At least let me wait until my husband comes back
from shul,” she pleaded.
doctors will be waiting for you in fifteen minutes,” said Dr.
called for a cab and rushed to the hospital. Three doctors awaited
her there with a stretcher, and she was rushed in for tests.
Within a few hours she was given the terrible news that she had
lost her white blood cells as a result of an overactive immune
system, a disease known as leukemia, which was a result of an
allergic reaction to the medicine she had been taking.
couldn’t grasp what was happening to her, especially as she felt
fine and as strong as ever.
very next evening though, Sharon began to feel an overall sense of
weakness. Her white blood cells were quickly being destroyed and
she was completely sapped of energy. Only one week later found her
confined to her bed. Even the thin sheet covering her was too
unbearably heavy for her. She could no longer stand up or even
sit. She could barely move her hands. Her weight dropped to 88
in bed, she could hear the nurse speaking to her as though through
a fog. “Can you take a phone call?” She couldn’t even hold
the receiver. The nurse had to assist her. Mrs. Blesovsky, one of
the Lubavitch women in Melbourne, was on the line. She asked
whether Sharon wanted her to write to the Rebbe, asking for a bracha
on her behalf.
weakly answered yes. Then she added, “At least let me go with
the Rebbe’s bracha.” A few moments later she lost
doctors tried to rouse her by putting damp towels on her face and
massaging her temples, until her eyes opened again. As though from
the distance, she heard her husband talking to the doctor in the
corridor. They thought she couldn’t hear them. “What are her
chances?” asked her husband.
has a few hours left,” answered the doctor in a low voice,
though audibly enough for Sharon to hear.
head fell heavily on the white pillow, her eyes stared out
vacantly before her. Though, despite her critical condition, she
could still think.
white of the wall blurred and changed color from red to blue. A
long dark tunnel loomed ahead of her. She felt somebody silently
open the door to the room and enter. She looked up and saw Rabbi
Schneerson. He looked somber, and his blue eyes gazed upon her in
empathy. The Rebbe approached the bed and then motioned to her to
get up. His hands were outstretched towards her. “Get up, get
up,” she heard him say.
had never met the Rebbe, though she recognized him from the many
pictures hanging in the classrooms of Beis Rivka, and from the
many stories she had heard in the teachers’ room.
she sensed somebody else entering the room. She looked across the
room and saw her deceased grandmother motioning to her to get up.
Sharon looked back at the Rebbe and felt his penetrating gaze. The
Rebbe did not look worried. An inner peace emanated from him.
a nurse came into the room and the vision disappeared. To my
surprise, as well as to the nurse’s amazement, I was sitting up
in bed with my arms outstretched. It was the same motion the Rebbe
had made to me.”
nurse’s eyes opened wide. After all, Sharon had found it
difficult to lift her hands, and now she was sitting up with both
arms outstretched in the air. When the nurse tried talking to
Sharon, she discovered that Sharon was in a deep sleep.
she finally opened her eyes, she did not know how much time had
passed. Her mother was at her bedside. She saw that her daughter
had opened her eyes, and she leaned over and kissed her forehead.
“You received a bracha from Rabbi Schneerson,” she
whispered. “The Rabbi wished you a complete recovery.”
I will recover,” Sharon found herself saying with a deep inner
conviction. “I know I will definitely get better.”
brother, Jay, a tall and sturdy young man, arrived home exhausted
after a day’s work. He lay down, fell asleep in his clothes, and
began to dream.
his dream, he visited his sister in the hospital. He entered her
room and found her on the verge of dying. Not knowing what to do,
he stood not far from her bedside and cried. The door behind him
suddenly opened and when he turned his head he saw a rabbi with a
white beard. The rabbi approached the bed and after standing there
for a while, he extended his hands towards her and said, “Get
up, get up.” His sister suddenly opened her eyes and looked at
the man. A spark of life could be seen in her eyes.
sensed somebody else entering the room. He looked to the side and
saw his deceased grandmother sitting on a chair off to the side.
She also motioned to her granddaughter to get up.
sister sat up in bed with a slight smile on her lips. Just at that
moment, the man with the white beard turned and left the room.
woke up and, looking around him, saw he was at home. He felt
comforted by what he had witnessed until he remembered that it was
only a dream. He went to the hospital, knowing that his sister’s
condition was grave indeed.
thereafter, he met his mother at his sister’s bedside. He could
still recall the details of the dream, finding it hard to shake
off the wonderful vision he had seen. But he hesitated, wondering
whether to share his dream or not.
turned to her mother and said, “Mom, I saw something earlier. I
want to tell you about it, but you have to promise not to
laugh.” It was apparent that she felt somewhat better. Her
mother sat down to listen, and Sharon began describing the vision
she had had a few hours earlier.
saw Rabbi Schneerson enter this room,” motioned Sharon to the
door. “He approached me and motioned that I should get up from
was stunned. Sharon was describing precisely what he had seen
earlier. “I saw grandmother too, and she also motioned to me to
stood up and moved closer to Sharon’s bed. “Grandmother was
sitting in this corner, right?” Jay pointed to a corner of the
room. “The rabbi entered from here and walked this way, didn’t
looking at him in shock. Their mother had no idea what was going
on, and looked from her son to her daughter in turn. Jay finished
telling the dream and burst into tears. Sharon began crying, too.
Both cried and described what they had seen, each one filling in
the details of the dream the other had. She related what she had
seen from her perspective, and he related what he had seen from
where he had been standing — the same vision, but from different
they had calmed down somewhat, Sharon’s mother asked her,
“When did this happen?”
the afternoon,” Sharon replied after slight hesitation.
when did you see it?” she asked her son.
the afternoon, at 5:00.”
nodded. They had had the same vision at the same time.
New York on a Sunday morning, Sharon stood in line for dollars,
eager to encounter the Rebbe face to face and receive a dollar and
a bracha. Sharon wanted to thank the Rebbe for saving her
life, because from the moment she had seen that wondrous vision
she had begun regaining her strength. The ailment that had
threatened her life was cured. Her blood quickly returned to
normal and all tests showed that she was fine. The doctors were
a week, Sharon was released from the hospital, and she was back at
work at Beis Rivka a month later. She didn’t dare publicize the
story of her dream, for she felt people would just laugh at her.
She only told it to one of her good friends. (Though that very
week the story became the talk of the town in the Chabad community
she stood in line waiting to receive a dollar from the Rebbe, and
to express her gratitude. As she waited there, her good friend,
Mrs. Rivka Yurkowitz, daughter of Chabad shaliach in
Australia, Rabbi Yitzchok Groner, approached her. “My father is
calling you,” she said and she motioned to Sharon to follow her.
Sharon wanted to stay just where she was. “I have been standing
here for two hours, and will see the Rebbe very shortly. Then
I’ll come,” she explained.
Yurkowitz walked away but was back within five minutes. “My
father wants you to come right now. Don’t worry about your place
in line. We’ll be back,” she said.
left the long line and accompanied her friend. She wasn’t
familiar with 770, so she just obediently followed her. A minute
later she met Rabbi and Mrs. Groner. “Let’s go see the
Rebbe,” said Rabbi Groner brusquely and they arrived at Gan
Eden HaTachton in a roundabout way.
saw the Rebbe. He stood there with a watch in his left hand and
handing out dollars with his right hand. There was an atmosphere
of quiet respect as people passed by, one after the other.
Groner maneuvered them to the head of the line. Sharon was nearly
in front of the Rebbe when the Rebbe turned his head towards her.
She looked into his eyes and trembled, for she had seen that
penetrating gaze before.
Rebbe handed her a dollar, and if somebody hadn’t pointed it out
to her, she wouldn’t have noticed it. She burst into tears. Mrs.
Groner urged her to speak, but she couldn’t utter a word.
dream was real,” the Rebbe said. “I wish you a refuah
sheleima. Go to your family and everything will be fine.”