One Saturday night, shortly after the conclusion of the Sabbath, the phone rang in the home of Rabbi Leibel Groner, the Rebbe’s personal secretary. An elderly chassid was on the line asking for a blessing for his wife. She had been in the hospital for several days, and her condition was critical.

“Could Rabbi Groner ask the Rebbe for a blessing?” the chassid asked.

Rabbi Groner offered some words of reassurance to the chassid but told him that it was often difficult to establish contact with the Rebbe on Saturday night. He would try, but if it was not possible, he would communicate the message first thing Sunday morning.

As Rabbi Groner had suspected, he was unable to contact the Rebbe that night. Sunday morning, as soon as the Rebbe came to 770, Rabbi Groner told him of the chassid’s wife. The Rebbe listened and told Rabbi Groner to call Rabbi Chodakov, the Rebbe’s senior aide. Rabbi Groner got Rabbi Chodakov on the line.

After speaking to the Rebbe for several minutes, Rabbi Chodakov told Rabbi Groner to call the chassid so that he, Rabbi Chodakov, could communicate a message from the Rebbe.

Several moments after Rabbi Chodakov spoke to the chassid, the elder man called Rabbi Groner back and told him the entire story.

His wife had been severely ill for several days. On Friday night, her condition had become so desperate that the doctors abandoned all hope. Early Saturday morning, however, her condition took a sharp turn for the better. Nevertheless, since it was still serious, as soon as the Sabbath ended, the chassid had called Rabbi Groner to ask for the Rebbe’s blessing. During the interim, her condition continued to improve, and now the doctors were confident that she would recover.

“Rabbi Chodakov said the Rebbe had instructed him to tell me that my wife’s condition had begun to improve about 5:00 a.m. on Saturday. He emphasized that, in case I might think this was due to other factors, the Rebbe told me to tell you her recovery came about because she had been brought to mind at that time,” [i.e., the Rebbe had thought about her].

On that Saturday morning, no one had told the Rebbe about the woman’s condition. There was no way the information could have been given him, and yet he had sensed the woman’s need.

Not only could he sense her predicament, his positive thinking was able to bring about her recovery.

Yud-Aleph (11th of) Nissan: The Rebbe’s Birthday

The above story is not an isolated phenomenon. Documented evidence has forced even the most hardened skeptics to admit that the childless were blessed with progeny, the ill with health, and that fortunes were made and/or saved because of the Rebbe’s blessings.

What does this mean to us today, several years after the Rebbe’s passing?

First of all, the Rebbe has never stopped keeping people in mind. After the passing of his father-in-law and predecessor, Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Schneersohn, the Rebbe told the chassidim to continue writing to him and he would find a way to answer. As countless stories indicate, even in the present years, the Rebbe himself has found a way to answer those who seek his blessings.

But more importantly, the Rebbe’s greatest miracles are in the realm of ideas. He provided us with clarity and insight, an awareness of who we are and where we are going that rings true and empowers. Each person whose life he has touched has become deeper and richer and a source of inspiration for others. The chain reaction that this dynamic initiated continues to produce change in many people’s lives.

Yud-Alef Nissanis the Rebbe’s birthday. Our Sages teach us that on a person’s birthday, his or her spiritual potentials and goals are given additional power. This is the day when the Rebbe’s goals and purposes are highlighted and given greater expression.

Looking to the Horizon

In one of his letters, the Rebbe writes that from his earliest childhood, he would picture the future Redemption in his mind. Perhaps the most appropriate birthday present we could give to the Rebbe is to do something to advance that purpose, and the Rebbe has told us exactly what he would like us to do:

a) Learn about the era of G‑dly knowledge, peace, and cooperation that Mashiach will initiate, and share that awareness with others; and

b) Be proactive by reaching out to the people around you with deeds of love and kindness.

By living with the Redemption, anticipating the knowledge, harmony, and peace of that era in our day-to-day lives, we can precipitate the time when these values will spread through the entire world with the coming of Mashiach.