In the 1970s, I used to come from Gibraltar to learn in yeshivah in New York. With no direct flights between the two cities, I would always travel through England. On one occasion in 1979, while I was on a layover in London, I decided to call “770” from the airport. There were many hijackings in those days, so I requested the Rebbe’s berachah to arrive safely.

Usually, it took me quite a few tries to get through to the Rebbe’s office, but this time I got through right away. Rabbi Binyomin Klein picked up the phone. I explained that I was in London on the way to the yeshivah, and that I wanted the Rebbe’s berachah for my trip. He responded, “Call me in exactly twenty-five minutes.”

I did as I was told, and exactly twenty-five minutes later I called back. Rabbi Klein told me that the Rebbe wished me a safe flight, and he also inquired how my sister was doing.

I had not seen my sister for a couple of days, but I assumed she was fine. So I told Rabbi Klein, “She’s okay. Tell the Rebbe she’s fine.” “No,” said Rabbi Klein, “the Rebbe wants to know how she is right now. Call your sister.”

Rabbi Michoel Hazan being interviewed in JEM's studio
Rabbi Michoel Hazan being interviewed in JEM's studio

I hung up and I tried to call my sister, but there was no answer in her house. I called my parents next, but there was no answer there either. Just then, my flight was being announced. I took my luggage, boarded the plane, and I totally forgot about my sister and the phone call.

When I got to New York, my first stop was 770 to inform Rabbi Klein that I had arrived safely.

“The Rebbe is really concerned about your sister . . .”

He told me to wait, as he wanted to tell the Rebbe that I had arrived. He went into the Rebbe, and I remember waiting quite a few minutes until he finally came out. He said, “You know, the Rebbe is really concerned about your sister; you haven’t told him how she’s doing.” There was a touch of irritation in Rabbi Klein’s voice, and I was a little bit alarmed that I had forgotten. I ran out and immediately placed a call to my sister’s house, but again I could not get through.

Gibralter Aerial View
Gibralter Aerial View

I called my mother’s house and finally reached her. “Where have you been?” she asked me. “We’ve been trying to reach you!” My sister had gone into labor, and had suddenly been hit with a major complication. Her situation was perilous, and many people had been saying Tehillim for her. The doctors rushed her to the intensive care unit, and had been trying to stabilize her.

I told my mother, “The Rebbe was very concerned about her!”

“How did the Rebbe know?” she asked, incredulously.

My only response was, “The Rebbe kept telling me that I should call you. I tried a few times, finally getting through now.”

I went back to 770 and passed the information to Rabbi Klein, who in turn gave it over to the Rebbe.

When he came out of the Rebbe’s office, Rabbi Klein told me that the Rebbe must have sensed that my sister wasn’t well, which is why he kept asking about her. He went on to say that the Rebbe blessed her that she should have a full recovery, and that both she and the child should be healthy.

Baruch Hashem the baby was healthy—a boy, by the way—and my sister made a complete recovery.

Rabbi Michoel Hazan being interviewed in JEM's studio
Rabbi Michoel Hazan being interviewed in JEM's studio

When I had a chance to tell my sister about the Rebbe’s persistence, she became very emotional. She explained that as the emergency was unfolding, she was slipping into a delirium. She tried telling my mother to call me, so that I’d call the Rebbe for his berachah. But she was slipping in and out of consciousness, and my parents couldn’t make out what she was trying to say. She just couldn’t get the words out. When she realized that they wouldn’t understand her, she just closed her eyes and said in her mind, “Rebbe, please help me.”

This occurred while I was in the airport in London, when the Rebbe asked me how my sister was doing . . .

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