A deeply troubled Jew decided to visit the Rebbe Rashab in hope of finding some solace. His condition was dire and warranted much help, but the Rebbe declined from offering assistance saying, “There is not much I can do at this time.”

Upon hearing this, the Jew left the room brokenheartedly and burst out in tears. In the midst of his sobs, he happened to cross paths with Reb Zalman Aharon (the RaZa), the Rebbe’s brother, and in great anguish related his astonishing experience with the Rebbe to him.

Baffled by the man’s experience, the RaZa resolved at once to approach his brother the Rebbe and ask him for an explanation of his seeming lack of compassion for this man’s painful request. When he met with the Rebbe, he informed him how great this man’s disappointment was at the Rebbe’s unexpected response to him.

The Rebbe’s countenance changed. He immediately donned his gartel and asked that the Jew be summoned. As soon as he stepped foot into the Rebbe’s study, the Rebbe granted his blessing and shortly afterwards, the man’s condition began to improve.

The radical change came about because the Rebbe saw that the man’s brokenheartedness had fundamentally changed him. Originally, the Jew was not a fitting vessel for G‑d’s benevolence, but when the man examined himself with a broken heart, he became worthy of the blessing.

Likkutei Sichos, vol. 15, p. 126