In my first audience with the Rebbe (see The Forgotten Bandage and Doing a Good Deed), we spoke at length about many personal issues.

In the course of that audience, I told the Rebbe that for many years I had been coming to pray on Shabbat at the synagogue in Lubavitch World Headquarters, "770." While I regularly studied the chassidic teachings of my Rebbe, the Rebbe of the Radomsk chassidic dynasty, I also studied the works of other chassidic masters, such as Rabbi Levi Yitzchak of Berdichev, Rabbi Elimelech of Lizhensk and others. In 770, however, I noticed to my puzzlement that the people learned exclusively the chassidic teachings of the Chabad-Lubavitch Rebbes.

The Rebbe gave me a lengthy explanation, of which I remember only a few details that touched me very personally.

"Ten years ago," the Rebbe (paraphrased) explained to me, "Drs. Alexander Fleming and Ernst Chain created penicillin, a monumental breakthrough in the medical world.

"At the very beginning, doctors did not prescribe high dosages, so as not to cause damage to the patient. After several months, however, the bacteria became immune to the antibiotic, forcing doctors to prescribe greater dosages. This pattern continues: increasing immunity combated by increased medicinal doses; a great battle between the doctors and the infections.

"The mystical 'inner' teachings of the Torah, chassidism, existed before the times of the founder of chassidism, the Baal Shem Tov. However, those teachings were taught only amongst a select group of scholars. Slowly, the chassidic masters began to disseminate the teachings, in order to combat the spiritual diseases of the day. However, the winds, the infectious influences began to become immune to the medicine.

"The founder of Chabad Chassidism, Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi, realized that the 'dosage' that other chassidic masters were offering – 90% 'water' and 10% 'penicillin' – was not sufficient. The teachings of Chabad philosophy are similar to the teachings of other great chassidic greats; Rabbi Schneur Zalman, however, added more penicillin...

"If it is correct what you are saying, that people are not studying the teachings of the other chassidic masters, it is because they want to have 100% medication."

I was very moved by the Rebbe's metaphor; the example touched me personally, as my father passed away from an infectious disease at the young age of 52. At the time I felt that if the doctors had prescribed more penicillin, he would have healed. I clearly felt that the Rebbe knew this via prophetic vision.