“When a tzaddik departs he is to be found in all the worlds more than during his lifetime.”1

In Tanya,2 the Alter Rebbe explains that this does not refer only to the spiritual realms. That is obvious. The intent rather is that even in this material world, a tzaddik’s presence is more powerfully felt after his passing than during his lifetime. For during his lifetime, his physical body, however refined it might be, restricts the extent to which his disciples can be nourished by the contact of their souls with his. After his passing, those restrictions no longer exist.

This means that the stories related above are not merely past history. Instead, they reflect an ongoing initiative that is as powerful as during the Rebbe’s lifetime, and indeed more powerful.

After the death of the Previous Rebbe, the Rebbe Rayatz, the Rebbe told the chassidim to continue directing their requests for blessings to the Previous Rebbe. “He will find a way,” the Rebbe explained, “to communicate his response.”

What the Rebbe told us about the Previous Rebbe certainly holds true with regard to himself.3 As the stories to follow indicate, he finds a way to respond.

Anyone who spoke to the Rebbe had the feeling that, at the time the Rebbe was speaking to him, the Rebbe’s concentration was focused solely on him. No matter how petty that person’s concerns were, the Rebbe invested himself in them, showing that person the utmost care and attention. Today that motif continues.

But that is only part of the story. Perhaps most significant is the fact that the Rebbe’s work Jewish outreach, and performing this in the most complete way, so that it will lead to the coming of Mashiach is still going on, and indeed, has continued to grow. It is hard to believe, but the number of new shluchim, young couples going to outlying places to put the Rebbe’s mission into practice, has grown year by year in greater numbers. New Lubavitch centers are continually springing up and the existing centers are widening their scope of activity. His influence is being felt more than during his lifetime.

Rabbi Dovid Goldwasser is a sensitive Rabbi in Flatbush who has dedicated himself to enhancing shalom bayis (peace and harmony between husbands and wives), and securing help for agunos (women whose husbands refuse to give them a get, a Jewish divorce). In many instances, he has been able to convince recalcitrant husbands to enable their ex-wives to remarry.

These efforts have gained him a reputation, and agunos from all over the world appeal to him for help.

In the winter of 5756 (1996), a well-known Jewish philanthropist called. “A woman has been separated from her husband for six years,” he said. “There is no hope of restoring marital harmony, and yet the husband refuses to give a divorce. Could Rabbi Goldwasser help?”

Rabbi Goldwasser told the philanthropist that he would make preliminary inquiries and contact him when he had more information. Upon investigating, however, he found that he was not the first Rabbi who had been contacted about this case. The woman had spoken to several, and they had tried all the channels which Rabbi Goldwasser would usually employ. The husband was unusually stubborn; no one had been able to budge him.

Rabbi Goldwasser called the philanthropist back and told him that he didn’t see what he could do. “Believe me, if there was anything I could do to help, I would. But I’m stumped. I wouldn’t know where to start.”

Several months later, the philanthropist called again. “Would the Rabbi at least sit down with the woman and hear her plight?”

Rabbi Goldwasser could not refuse such a request, and so an appointment was arranged. The philanthropist came with the woman, and for two hours, she told her tale of woe. When she finished, the philanthropist called a cab for her and remained with Rabbi Goldwasser.

“What do you say now?” he asked the Rabbi.

“What can I say?” answered Rabbi Goldwasser. “After hearing such a story, can I say No?! But what can I do, if I say Yes? I don’t see any openings. Nevertheless, I’ll try to do what I can.”

Thus began several months of protracted dealings between the woman, Rabbi Goldwasser, and the woman’s husband. At first it appeared that some headway was being made, but then suddenly, the door slammed shut. The husband absolutely refused to cooperate.

Throughout this time, the woman had been in touch with another woman in Australia who was experiencing similar difficulties. She too had been separated for many years, but her husband refused to give her a get. Over the years, the two woman had become friends, each one commiserating with and supporting the other.

At this time, the Australian woman was able to achieve a breakthrough. Her husband consented to give her a get. Overjoyed at this sudden and fortunate change, the first person she called was the woman with whom she had shared so much suffering.

Needless to say, the woman shared in her friend’s joy, and showered warm wishes for continued good fortune. When she hung up, however, she broke down and cried. Now she was truly alone.

Struggling to maintain her composure, she called Rabbi Goldwasser. She told him the good news she had received, but then could not hold herself back. All the pent-up suffering and anguish she had been feeling over the years exploded.

At first, Rabbi Goldwasser had nothing to say. He had no new suggestions for this woman. She had been told and she had internalized many teachings about bitachon, trust in G‑d. What more could he tell her? And yet he felt the woman should not be left without an answer.

Over the years, Rabbi Goldwasser had maintained a relationship with the Rebbe, and had heard of the miracles that had happened in response to prayers at the Ohel. “There is a place,” he told the woman, “where people from all over the world go to pray. And their prayers are answered. Go there and pour your heart out to G‑d.”

The woman agreed, so Rabbi Goldwasser arranged to have two attendants take her to the Ohel. She prayed there for an hour.

On the way home, she received a call on her beeper. An acquaintance had a message from her husband. He was prepared to give her a get! The woman quickly made her way to a pay phone and contacted the caller. She also called Rabbi Goldwasser, who immediately arranged for a scribe. The husband was called, and he also agreed to come.

But Rabbi Goldwasser was not yet ready to celebrate. He knew of too many incidents when a husband had agreed to give a get , but had not shown up at the appointed time.

This time, however, there were no difficulties; the husband arrived at the Beis Din even before Rabbi Goldwasser. The get was composed and given to the woman.

Within five hours after she had prayed at the Ohel, a woman who had waited seven years for a divorce had her get in hand.

Elozor Plotke works as a project manager for a California company that builds, launches and operates communication satellites. His job is to procure sophisticated and reliable electro-optical sensors which “lock” on to and track the Earth as the satellite circles the planet in geo-synchronous orbit. A small company in Connecticut builds the sensors.

Ron Carmichael is a California expert who helps companies reduce costs and lower risks so that they can meet critical budget and deadline goals. The company in Connecticut needed those services, and so Elozor and Ron had often worked together with that company on various projects.

A few weeks before Pesach in 1996, Elozor arranged to meet Ron at the Connecticut firm. Elozor’s plan was to fly to New York, go to the Rebbe’s Ohel , and then drive to Connecticut. The plane trip was uneventful, until Elozor looked up to see Ron. The latter had a big smile on his face and was striding down the aisle towards him. In that split second, Elozor thought: “Oh no! What about my plans to visit the Ohel ?!”

Ron greeted Elozor warmly, and explained his presence: “You know I really don’t like to drive, and even if I did, I always get lost. And by driving together, we can save the company some money.” Ron had (without Elozor’s knowledge) learned of his travel arrangements from his secretary and had purposely made reservations to be on the same flight.

Elozor was disappointed; he did not see how he could explain the importance of a visit to the Ohel to Ron, who is a gentile. Besides, Ron was probably hungry and would not have the patience to wait for dinner. Rather than broach the matter, Elozor kept his disappointment to himself.

On the same flight was a dapper gentleman who kept looking at Elozor and smiling. It seemed a little strange, but Elozor smiled back. After they left the plane, the gentleman came over and introduced himself as Amos from Tsfat, Israel. He asked Elozor if he knew of a way to get to the Rebbe’s Ohel.

At this point, Elozor decided to stop hesitating. He asked Ron if he minded making a slight detour to stop off at the grave site of his spiritual mentor, the Lubavitcher Rebbe. To his great satisfaction, Ron said: “Sure, Elozor. Anything you want to do is fine with me.”

Elozor felt very positive about the Divine Providence at work, as he, Ron, and Amos rented a car and drove to the Ohel.

On the way, Ron kept asking questions. Who was the Rebbe, he wanted to know, and what would they be doing at the Ohel ? Amos answered all of Ron’s inquiries. Amos had served as deputy mayor of Tsfat a few years before, and because of the large Lubavitch community in that city, had developed a long-standing relationship with the Rebbe, often visiting on Sundays to receive dollars, advice and blessings.

While they were traveling, he spoke of some miraculous events that had come to pass thanks to the Rebbe. He also explained the procedure at the Ohel how they would write notes asking for blessings and requesting that the Rebbe intercede with the Almighty on their behalf. Ron was interested; he wanted to write his own note!

So at the Ohel , Elozor, Amos and Ron each wrote and read their notes to the Rebbe, and said some Tehillim. Afterwards, Elozor and Ron said farewell to Amos, drove to Manhattan for a kosher dinner, and then proceeded to their destination in Connecticut.

Several weeks after Pesach, Ron and Elozor needed to return to the vendor in Connecticut to present a company-wide seminar and workshop. Ron knew Elozor’s travel plans, but was not on his flight this time. Since Elozor’s plane was scheduled to arrive in New York very late in the evening, he did not think of going to the Ohel on the way to Connecticut. Instead, he had decided to take care of his business first, and go to the Ohel on the way back.

After his flight landed, Elozor called the rental agency to send over a courtesy van. He was very surprised when the rental agent asked for his name, but nevertheless identified himself.

The receptionist replied: “Oh, Mr. Plotke, it is so good that you are here. There are three gentlemen waiting for you in the lobby.”

Elozor thought to himself: “It must be Ron.”

Sure enough, Ron and two of his associates were in the car rental office waiting for Elozor to arrive. Ron quickly strode over and declared: “Elozor, you must take me to the Ohel to see the Rebbe again!”

“Why, Ron? What has happened?” replied the startled Mr. Plotke.

Ron grinned. “In the note that I wrote the last time, I asked him for help with my job, health and livelihood. You see, for the past few months, my managers have been threatening to lay me off because they no longer need me full time. All the uncertainty had been very stressful, and I was having a lot of stomach problems. In addition, living in Los Angeles is so expensive that I can no longer afford it.”

“I explained all this to the Rebbe and asked for his help. A few days after I got back to Los Angeles, I received a call from a hiring manager at Hughes Training in Texas. He was looking for a person with my extensive experience. Not only did he offer to pay my moving expenses, but he gave me a bonus for accepting the offer, and a 20% raise in base salary! Since the cost of living in Texas is about 20% less than in Southern California, this meant the equivalent of a 40% raise!

“I already feel so much better that I want to go back to the Rebbe to thank him and ask for more!”

Since then, whenever Elozor and Ron get together, the first thing Ron mentions is his desire to visit the Ohel.