In the book of Tanya it states that in our days people do not have the strength or ability to fast as frequently as in past generations. The Rebbe proves the exception to this rule.

The Rebbe visits the ohel (the resting place of the previous Rebbe) at least twice a month – some months six times – and he fasts every day that he goes! During the first half of the month of Nissan (before Pesach) the Rebbe goes almost every other day. The Rebbe, of course, also fasts on the six usual communal fast days. I am quite certain that I am correct in stating that the Rebbe fasts an average of about seventy days of every year! That is tough. Thank G‑d, so is the Rebbe. [The Rebbe made a correction to this last paragraph. See “Yechidus” in Chapter Two. –Ed.]

Of the thousands of people in 770, almost everyone has a story to tell of the unique, exceptional and miraculous advice the Rebbe has given them in response to their queries. This is especially so regarding surgical operations. The Rebbe’s advice is always proved right, in spite of any prevalent medical opinions; it is uncanny!

In my personal opinion, it is only in the perfect solitude, undisturbed and uninterrupted (without even a break for food or drink), right besides the resting place of his father-in-law, whose soul lingers over this holy site, can the Rebbe concentrate and plead for klal Yisroel (the Jewish people).

It is alleged that the Rebbe once told someone, “You need a Rebbe; I too have a Rebbe.” It is a good answer for some.

Today was erev Rosh Chodesh, so the Rebbe went to the ohel. He did not return until 9:00 p.m. The day is obviously not long enough for our Rebbe. He has ever increasing requests from people of all walks of life who require his advice, assistance and special prayers in so many diverse matters.

At about 6:00 p.m., I delivered (to the Rebbe’s secretariat) my regular package of letters, requests, etc. from friends and family in Manchester. I included the latest My Encounter with the Rebbe (the fourth installment), the “One-Page Tanya” and my own cover letter. Incidentally, I also mistakenly included a letter which I had brought from Rabbi Chaim Farro, in Manchester, to his brother-in-law, Rabbi Yarmush. It was returned to me the next morning; it had been through “very good hands.”

I also took note that Rabbi Groner had about thirty-five letters prepared for the Rebbe’s signature. Contrary to “popular opinion,” many hundreds of letters are definitely sent out every week from the Rebbe. Somebody somewhere is receiving a letter from the Rebbe at any given time. With tens of thousands of people writing to the Rebbe every year, we must have patience – when waiting for a letter of response, but – in the meantime continue writing to the Rebbe regularly. In due course, it will be our lucky turn to get a letter in return.