Reply To: How can I contact or meet the Kalover Rebbe in Brooklyn?

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When I was in Darchei Torah, the Kaliver Rebbe once came to Far Rockaway for a few days. Many bachurim went to see him. The Rosh Yeshiva, R’ Altusky, called everyone together and spoke against it. He said that we have our own Rabbeim, and we should be speaking to them more than we do. They aren’t just for giving a shiur! We don’t need a chassidish Rebbe to give us a bracha, our own Rabbeim could do so! He said it’s an insult to our Rabbeim.

I had one Rebbe in Darchei who I was very close to, and I used to speak with him all the time. He actually approached me and told me I should go see the Kaliver Rebbe, and I’d benefit from it. I was hesitant after R’ Altusky’s speech, so I went to R’ Altusky. He told me that he knew I was close with this Rebbe, and if the Rebbe felt I should go see the Kaliver Rebbe, then I definitely should – that would be derech eretz, to listen to my Rebbe!

So I went to see him. It was an amazing experience!

Fast forward a bunch of years. I was married. I’ve written before that my wife and I did not have an easy time having children. At that time, our doctor had just told us to stop with our treatments and start looking into adoption. We were devastated. Then I saw a sign in shul that the Kaliver Rebbe was going to be visiting a community not far from ours. We made an appointment to go see him.

We walked in and sat down at the table where he was. Before we could say a word, he asked, “Nu, so what are the doctors saying? Why can’t you have children?” We explained the medical situation to him. He said, “This is a very complex case! I don’t know enough about the medical side to even ask many questions, let alone offer some advice. Just keep davening! I will daven also, and I give you a bracha that you should have hatzlach in your treatments! Don’t give up!”

We went back to our doctor. He told us, “If you don’t want to give up, that’s fine. I did some research. There’s a certain type of surgery which may help in your case. But beware – it’s risky! It can help, but it can also eliminate any chance of you ever being able to carry a pregnancy! I don’t do this surgery myself. The best doctor is in NYC. It’s Doctor [so-and-so]. Go see him.”

We made the appointment. He agreed the surgery could help, but said, “Before we do the surgery, I’d like to try one more IVF cycle with you, if you don’t mind.” We agreed.

We then got a call from the Rebbe’s assistant. The Rebbe wanted to know where we were holding. We told him we’d be doing an IVF cycle with this doctor before attempting surgery. He said, “Keep davening, and so will I!”

Baruch Hashem, from that IVF cycle we have 2 beautiful children, a boy and a girl. We actually informed the Rebbe about the bris (no invitations to a bris!) but he was unable to come. It helped with a question – we didn’t know who to make the sandek – the Rebbe or R’ Bochner from Bonei Olam. In the end, the Rebbe couldn’t come, and R’ Bochner was in Eretz Yisrael, so my Rosh Yeshiva, R’ Bender shlita, was the sandek.

Now that I’ve written my whole story, I guess I realized I need a point. Yes, the Rebbe is a big tzaddik, and can help. But so can your own Rabbeim! If your Rebbe thinks you will benefit from a visit to a Rebbe, he will tell you so. You can even ask! But don’t insult your own Rav by skipping over him to go to a big name.