One day, a very distraught woman showed up in the town of Lubavitch. Women usually did not wander about all alone one hundred years ago, but this poor woman had made an arduous week-long journey because someone told her that the Lubavitcher Rebbe could help her.

"Is this where Rebbe Shalom DovBer is? I must see him," she pleaded to one of the Rebbe's secretaries. "I've come from so far away, and your Rebbe is my only hope. Please, I must see him! Only he can help me." But her cries were to no avail; the Rebbe wasn't receiving.

"If you write your request on a paper I promise that I will give it to the Rebbe and the Rebbe will see it, but I can't promise more than that. I'm sorry," he said apologetically.

With no other choice the poor woman found a quiet place to sit and write her request. She was an agunah, a living widow. Her husband had strayed from Judaism about two years ago and then upped and left her. She had no source of income, three hungry children to feed, and she could not remarry without receiving an official divorce bill (Get) from her husband. But she had no way of tracking him down, and no one even knew where to begin. The woman was at the end of her wits; she had no money, no husband, no experience, and now her last hope, the Rebbe, was vanishing before her eyes.

"The Rebbe probably won't even pay attention to my letter," she said to herself. But she handed it in and hoped for the best.

The answer was fast in coming. Less than an hour later the Rebbe's secretary stood facing her with good news.

"The Rebbe says that you should travel to Warsaw."

She was overjoyed! But her smile faded as she realized that there was no more to the message.

"But where in Warsaw? What should I do there?"

"That is all the Rebbe answered," answered the secretary. "I'm sorry, there was no more."

She even wrote in another letter asking for some details, but no response was forthcoming this time.

When the Chassidim heard the story they took up a collection and bought her a round-trip train ticket with enough money for a month's room and board. Two days later there she was, standing bewildered in the Warsaw train station with her old suitcase and no idea where to go or what to do next.

People were rushing by her, occasionally bumping into her, someone almost knocked her over, but she just stood there. She had the address of a hotel on a crumpled piece of paper in her hand. She took it out of her pocket but she didn't want to walk anymore, she was tired, she just wanted to give up. "The children are in good hands," she thought to herself. She was alone and confused and she wanted to cry. Someone else bumped into her. "Maybe I'll just go back home." The thought was still in the corner of her mind when she heard someone say, "Excuse me."

She snapped out of her reverie and saw standing before her a neatly dressed Jew with a reddish beard. "Excuse me," he said in Yiddish, "I notice that you are standing for a long time. Are you feeling all right? Perhaps I can be of some help? Are you waiting for someone?"

"I'm here because the Lubavitcher Rebbe said...," and she mechanically repeated her entire story. "Tell me," said the man when she had finished, "what was your husband's name and what did he look like?"

"Ehh, well..." She was still in a semi-daze. "His name was Feivel, but I'm sure he changed it. And he was heavyset. He walked with a sort of a limp, and he had a thick black beard, but I'm sure he's shaved the beard off, and he has a sort of mark on his forehead. It's been two years, who knows how he looks now...." She almost began to weep when he interrupted her. "I think I know where he is. Please follow me. It's not far from here." He escorted her out of the station, down the street to a large busy intersection, and gave her directions how to go from there to a certain tavern. "I believe that your husband is sitting in the back of that bar, playing cards and gambling."

After everything she'd been through, she asked no questions. She just nodded to the stranger and began walking according to his directions. And after an hour she found it! She took a deep breath and entered the dimly lit tavern, dragging her suitcase and feeling terribly out of place.

She made her way through the smoke and noise to the back of the room and stared blankly at the figures sitting there, waiting for her eyes to adjust to the dark.

Suddenly one of the gamblers turned, looked at her and let out a cry of horror. "Sara!!! How did you know I was here? How did you get here?!" She could see more clearly now, and the man who was speaking looked something like her husband. He was thinner, with no beard... but it was him!

When she explained how the Rebbe had sent her and how some Jew gave her directions from the station, he began pacing back and forth like a madman, running his fingers through his hair, waving his arms and repeating to himself, "I don't know any Jews, I don't know any Rebbe!! How could anyone know? How?"

He was so affected by the miracle that he began weeping, and then fell to his knees begging her forgiveness. One thing led to another and one month later, he shamefacedly returned home with her and repented completely of his evil ways.

The next year she traveled again to Lubavitch, but this time to thank the Rebbe. The Rebbe's secretary arranged that she would stand outside the Rebbe's door, and when the Rebbe would come out, she could thank him personally and give him a letter of gratitude.

She took her place and stood there, holding her letter and waiting nervously. Then the big moment arrived, the door opened and the Rebbe emerged. She took one look at him... went into a swoon, and fell unconscious to the floor!

When she came to, a doctor was kneeling over her. "You were so excited that you passed out," he explained, as she began to sit up.

"Was that the Rebbe?" she asked. "Was that him?"

"Why certainly," the doctor answered, "Why do you ask? Didn't you know that that was the Rebbe?"

"Because," she said, "that was the man I saw in Warsaw. He was the one who helped me in the Warsaw train station!"

Later, the Rebbe's secretary made some calculations. He recalled that on the same day on which the woman claimed to have seen the Rebbe in the Warsaw train station, he had entered the Rebbe's room and found the Rebbe sitting motionless for a long time, oblivious to his surroundings, as though he were "somewhere else."