The following account was recorded by Rabbi Yaakov Kaidaner, 19th century author of Sippurim Nora’im.

My friend, who worked in the tobacco business, had set his sights on the town of Nyezhin in Ukraine. Although a close friend to many chassidim, he himself was not a follower of any rebbe. Nonetheless, before he embarked on his journey, I asked him to promise that he would pray at the burial site of the Mitteler Rebbe, who is interred in Nyezhin, and he agreed.

After that, I didn’t see him again for more than half a year.

While he was away, his wife fell gravely ill. One day, she lost consciousness, and her doctors spent the entire night trying to revive her. Nothing helped. By morning, they had given up and waited for her to draw her final breath. But shortly after 10 o’clock, under the disbelieving gazes of the doctors, the woman began to stir! She was soon strong enough to sit up by herself, and within a month, she had made a complete recovery.

When my friend returned to town a few months later, he ran directly to my house, seized my hands excitedly, and shook them up and down.

“Since when does a man returning from a long journey abandon his family to say hello to his friend?” I asked good-heartedly.

“Yes, it’s true,” he said, “but incredible things happened to me during my journey, for which I have to thank you.

“I lost a great deal of money on bad investments, leaving me nothing but debt. Failure after failure plagued every venture I dared attempt. I was sick, and I worried about my wife. Disturbing visions of her poor health tormented me, and I told myself that I should stop at the gravesite of a rebbe and pray there for her recovery. When I arrived in Nyezhin, I remembered my promise to you.

“After immersing in a mikvah, I entered the small mausoleum. I was wearing thick winter clothes capable of withstanding extreme cold, but they felt too thin and I began to shiver. Terror and panic descended upon me. Unable to bear the cold and fear any longer, I wanted to flee.

“But then I stopped. ‘A holy person,’ I reasoned, ‘is bound to G‑d with a strong knot. All is good and holy here, so why must I leave?’ Forcing myself to calm down, I began to read the verses of Zohar and Tehillim that are traditionally read at a gravesite. A plaque hung on the wall with passages from Ma’aver Yabok, and I read those too. I stared at the plaque, mumbling the words, hot tears flowing freely. I could not remember the last time I cried so much.

“I placed two petitions on the headstone, one for my family and one for my wife about whom I was constantly beset with worry. Immediately, a sense of euphoric delight surrounded me. A taste of Gan Eden, I was sure. Not wanting to leave, I stayed there for two hours.

“The feeling of peace and happiness lingered. When I finally came home, I immediately inquired about my wife’s wellbeing.

“‘Thank G‑d she’s still alive,’ I was told. I then learned the entire story: the doctors’ despair, her close brush with death, and her miraculous recovery.

“‘What was the date? When did she wake up?’ I asked. It was the same day I spent at the Mitteler Rebbe’s resting place.

“‘And the time?’ I demanded. She regained consciousness at the very same moment I left my heartfelt letters on the rebbe’s headstone.

“As you can see, I didn’t even remove my coat before dashing over to tell you and to thank you for the miracles.”

“If your Chassidic rebbes don’t cease to live even after their deaths, and continue to gleam like stars in the sky,” he marveled, “how much greater must they be during their lives!”

“On the contrary,” I said, “the righteous are greater after their passing—when no longer confined to the physical world—than before.”