As 16-year-old Charles Ramat was exiting yechidus, the Rebbe asked him to keep him informed on the situation of his terminally ill mother. Angry, he asked if the Rebbe really meant it.
Mr. Charles Ramat relates:
“When I was 16, my mother fell terminally ill. One day in 5729 (1969), my rosh yeshiva at Keren B’Yavne, Rabbi Chaim Goldvicht, asked me to drive him to a meeting with the Lubavitcher Rebbe. Seizing the opportunity to discuss my mother’s illness, I approached the Rebbe as he was taking leave of Rabbi Goldvicht, half-expecting that he would put me off. It was 3:30 a.m., but the Rebbe said, ‘Please, please come in.’
“It turned out the Rebbe knew the doctors who were treating her and, hearing the grim prognosis, the Rebbe was very sympathetic and helped me prepare for the worst. He never said that a miracle would happen. Because he was so realistic and did not raise any false hopes, he captured my heart. At that moment I felt that he was the wisest man on the planet.
“When the audience was finished, the Rebbe said, ‘Please keep me informed as to what happens.’ And being the chutzpan that I was, I shot back with, ‘Are you just saying that? Or do you really want to hear from me?’
“The Rebbe answered, ‘I would never say something that I didn’t mean.’”
From The Weekly Farbrengen by Merkaz Anash