Rabbi Nissan Telushkin (1881–1970), a respected rabbinic leader in Belarus and then in the US, was invited in 1947 to partake in a gathering of rabbis in what was then known as Mandatory Palestine. Traveling from America to the Holy Land in those years was an arduous journey (by boat it would take around two weeks). However, he felt that the matters that would be addressed there were important enough for him to put aside his own comfort and travel.

When he arrived, he was warmly greeted by the organizers of the event, who thanked him for undertaking the difficult trip. Indeed, the sessions dealt with important matters of halachah (Jewish law) that were especially pertinent at that time.

During one of the intermissions, Rabbi Unterman (who later became the Chief Rabbi of Israel) and a few other rabbis (I believe Rabbi Herzog, the Chief Rabbi at the time, was present) asked him the following question:

“You are a chassid of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Yosef Yitzchok Schneersohn, so you have certainly heard his rallying cry of le’alter leteshuvah, le’alter legeulah, ‘immediate repentance [will bring about the] immediate Redemption.’ He said that over five years ago, and during the past five years, the Jewish people have certainly repented. So where is the Redemption?”

“Before I left New York to participate in this gathering,” replied Rabbi Telushkin, “I also had that same question. I decided to go to the Rebbe himself and ask him. I told one of his assistants that I would like to speak to the Rebbe, and he informed me when I would be allowed to enter his room for a yechidus, a private audience.

“That was the only question I was planning to ask. However, as soon as I entered the Rebbe’s room and looked at him, the question slipped my mind; it simply disappeared. I stood there with nothing to ask. The Rebbe looked at me and asked, ‘Why did you come to me? What would you like to ask?’ Not knowing what to reply, I simply said, ‘I came to see how the Rebbe is feeling.’

“As soon as I left the room, I remembered my question and I felt very embarrassed. But the question truly bothered me, so I asked to be allowed to reenter the Rebbe's room. The assistant refused, but I was persistent. I went to Reb Eliyahu Simpson, who is also a member of the Rebbe’s staff, and told him about my dilemma. He said, ‘Nissan, I will allow you to reenter.’

“So I went into the Rebbe's room for a second time. But once again, as soon as I entered, the question slipped out of my mind and I stood there speechless. I went in for yet a third time, and, yes, the same thing happened once again.

“So gentlemen,” concluded Rabbi Telushkin, “what the answer to your question is—that I don't know. But this I can say with certainty: in the Rebbe's room, the question doesn't exist at all!”

I heard the above from Rabbi Nissen Mangel (may he live and be well) who related that Rabbi Telushkin shared this anecdote at one of his sheva brachot.