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August 31, 2014 / 5 Elul, 5774
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Letters To The Editor


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Individuals are continually publicized as offering blessings and segulas (amulets) as a surefire cure for a wide variety of problems and ailments. Whether the need is financial, social or health-related, desperate Jews flock to these people with the hopes of reversing their ill fate.

Although many Jews believe segulas work, there is no evidence for this. More primarily, an authentic Torah view is derived from God’s words alone. And based on God’s words, these practices are not Jewish values. In fact, God prohibits such practices due to their powerless nature. Tosefta Shabbos (chap. 7) specifically refers to wearing red strings as “ways of the Emorites” – an idolatrous culture.

Prophecy ended with Malachi; no one today can guarantee God’s response. It is therefore an outright lie to say, “Do such and such an act, and God will respond.” Such charlatans build up the hopes of the unknowing masses and then shatter their dreams when no changes materialize.

To know Judaism and Torah, study God’s words. Dismiss all else, as we are commanded not to add or subtract from the Torah (Deut. 13:1). If you are in need, God can hear you from any location. “Any place you mention My name, I will come to you and bless you” (Exodus 20:21).
Rabbi Marshall Gisser
(Via E-Mail)

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One Response to “Letters To The Editor”

  1. Even though I was concerned about the publication of Chaim Levin’s January 25th, 2012 article ‘“Surviving Bullying, Silencing And Torment For Being Gay In The Frum Community”, and I did contribute my own opinions to the online blog (as ‘Morah Yoheved) … I have since done additional research regarding this. While I truly feel for the young people who are involved in this dilemma, I discovered that homosexuality is not sealed in stone, and one remarkable gay activist, instrumental in numerous gay rights publications and quite a celebrity in gay rights circles, did in fact become straight on his own, leaving a tremendous question about homosexuality in his wake. You can retrieve this remarkable story about Michael Glatze online at: http://www.johnsanidopoulos.com/2010/08/how-gay-rights-leader-became-straight-2.html

    another great article on this remarkable man: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/19/magazine/my-ex-gay-friend.html?pagewanted=all

    Although this young man is not Jewish, his story proves that homosexuality is merely a dysfunctional reaction to many of life’s stresses, much like any misguided behavior in today’s society. He also states that while he was actively ‘gay’ … he was very defensive of it, happy in it, and felt for him there was no other way, similar to most of the posts on Mr. Levin’s article ….

    I just wanted to share this, not because I feel superior to the Jews who currently chose to participate in homosexuality … but because here is proof that being gay is a choice …. it is a reaction to a lack of personal knowledge …. a distorted reaction to the pain and suffering that, oddly enough, is a human condition that most of us feel … I suggest everyone read those articles about Mr. Michael Glatze, who was a seriously vocal and instrumental activist in what is now the current gay rights movement, and find out his story for yourselves.

    As in the words of Rabbi Nachman of Breslov “If you believe that it is possible to break, believe it is just as possible to fix’ …. Anything can be reversed… its that simple …..

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