It was exactly five years ago, June 2007, that my friends at Chabad of Riverdale were going to the Ohel, the resting place of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, of righteous memory. The group was to travel to the Queens cemetery in honor of Gimmel Tammuz, the anniversary of his passing. I had joined the group the year before, but when I recalled how hot and crowded it had been I refused to go again.

At the time I was unemployed and looking for a new teaching position. Prayers said at the gravesite of a righteous person are particularly potent, so a friend suggested I go along to pray for my job prospects.

Considering I had never been fortunate enough to meet the Rebbe during his lifetime, the idea of writing a letter requesting his blessing – and then praying to G‑d at his gravesite - seemed almost absurd. I felt I had a much bigger chance of success if I just worked on my resume and interviewing skills some more. But my friends pushed, and in the end we compromised: I would stay home, but they would go to the Ohel and ask the Rebbe for a blessing on my behalf.

Out of all the education-related jobs being offered, only one was for the resource room.

The next Shabbat my friend let me know that she had indeed prayed for me, and although I was still skeptical, I thanked her politely. Needless to say, I didn’t give it another thought.

I continued my job search, attending a career fair a couple of weeks later. I was specifically looking for a resource room position, which is often the hardest type to find because it is an out-of-classroom position. The fair was incredibly crowded and out of all the education-related jobs being offered, only one was for the resource room. The line was long, but I waited. I talked to the school representative and was – incredibly – among those invited for an interview.

The following day I put on my best outfit and headed to the school which was in a predominantly Latino neighborhood, in the Bronx. I parked, took one last glance in the mirror, locked the door and started towards the school. But as I crossed the street, something caught my eye. It was small and crumpled and looked like it had been run over by car after car for days. I picked it up and stared in disbelief. It was a picture of the Lubavitcher Rebbe! Whose was it and how did it get there? I had no idea. But I placed it in the pocket of my navy blue blazer and continued on to my interview.

Fortunately, I was offered the job and it turned into a wonderful teaching experience. I was happy, the school was happy, and I couldn’t help but think the Rebbe was happy too. In fact, when I told one of the counselors at the Chabad of Riverdale Gan Israel Day Camp about my experience, she smiled and said, “See, you refused to go to the Rebbe, so he came to you.”

It was small and crumpled and looked like it had been run over by car after car for days.

Within a few short years the school I loved was being phased out due to low test scores, and it eventually closed in June of 2011. I spent my summer sending out countless resumes and attending job fair after job fair, but nothing turned up. I was feeling very disheartened when my friend and Rebbetzin, Sorah Shemtov, suggested we go to the Ohel. This time I agreed.

So there we were, on a hot summer Friday, making the journey from the Bronx to Queens. I’d had an interview scheduled for that morning and suggested postponing the trip, but Sorah insisted we go after my interview. Despite my previous experience, I still had a niggling thought that I would probably be better off at home sending out yet more resumes. To add to the mix, it was a beautiful day and I couldn’t help but wish I was sitting poolside instead of driving through Queens. But Sorah obviously wasn’t fazed by the weather. In fact, going to the Ohel probably only added to the beauty of the day for her! So I took her cue and perked up.

When we arrived, I wrote my letter to the Rebbe, gave some coins to tzeddakah (charity), read the Maaneh Lashon prayer, tore up my letter and placed it at the Rebbe’s headstone.

By the time we were driving back to the Bronx,, I had received two phone calls from principals in two different schools. One I had interviewed with that morning; the other I had met with the week before. Both were positions I very much wanted, and both were positions in great demand.

And both were calling to offer me the job.