Can one become connected to tzaddikim through watching a video of the tzaddik? What are the advantages of this, and what are the disadvantages?
Yes. This is because one of the 70 forces of the soul, as listed by the Vilna Gaon, is the power to retain a visual (shomer). If one recognizes the tzaddik, it awakens an inner force within the person, and sometimes it even awakens one’s power of memory (zoicher), and if not, it will at least awaken one’s imagination, in addition to what one has actually seen. This, too, can bring one to a strong connection with the tzaddik, because it is a greater level of revelation.
On a deeper level, a video is like the concept of the “imprint” (reshimo) of the original level of spiritual light, which was once integrated into the original spiritual light. In the End of Days, the light of the reshimo/imprint is more clearly revealed. In the future, the power of shomer\retaining will be fully revealed, where all of history will be revealed and become integrated with the past, in the present. A spark of this light is already starting to shine even now.