Yes. Sometimes it is is planned and sometimes not. If an “asker” attends a Gateways class or a holiday retreat there is an opportunity to meet the rabbi there.
But sometimes it just “happens” that there is a “chance” meeting between the asker and the rabbi who answered as illustrated in the following true story.
Rabbi Mordechai Becher is a senior lecturer for Gateways who also answers questions sent to Gateways’ “Ask the Rabbi” e-mail service. On a lecture tour in South Africa, Rabbi Becher took some time to enjoy a barbecue picnic with friends. Passing by their picnic site was a group of college-age trekkers who were invited to join the feast.
“My only connection to my Jewish faith,” confided one of the young guests, “was the question I occasionally asked a rabbi on the Internet.” When they both realized that the rabbi he had corresponded with was standing right in front of him, a bond was formed. The young backpacker eventually became observant, and Rabbi Becher attended his wedding.
You just never know!