web analytics
February 1, 2015 / 12 Shevat, 5775
 
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post


Talking To the Dead


Madonna, with her red string, is one of the fans of the  Kabbalah Centre, debunked by orthodox rabbis and now sued for fraud by former followers.

Madonna, with her red string, is one of the fans of the Kabbalah Centre, debunked by orthodox rabbis and now sued for fraud by former followers.

Author’s Note: I am not a posek (halachic decisor) and these are merely my philosophical reflections on what I maintain is the proper Torah approach on such matters. The nuances and complexities related to these issues are numerous and hardly monolithic, and they are the source of great debate and discussion in the world of Halachah. I want to emphasize the following: For any and all Halachic matters related to this article, please consult a reputable, Torah observant, Halachic authority. May Hakadosh Baruch Hu grant us the cognitive faculties to follow His will.

While doing research on an unrelated topic, I stumbled upon a website which compelled me to take a closer look into the unfortunate world of those within Judaism who corrupt Torah for profit. Tragically, the Torah world is replete with popular superstitions masquerading as Judaism, and a plethora of examples can be found online which show the pernicious depths to which some of these vultures will sink, in order to propagate their poison and profit from the process.

The human condition being what it is, people are naturally vulnerable to their tactics. For too many Jews, proper Halachic prayer to Hakadosh Baruch Hu lacks the attraction of a vial of holy water from an alleged wonder worker, or an amulet under a pillow to aid a woman during childbirth. And then of course there are those who are drawn to graves like a bear to the beehive. Many visit these shrines and actually pray to the dead, either inadvertently or with definite intent. Consulting the dead is a biblical prohibition ( Deuteronomy 18:11). It is important to note that the Rambam (Avelus 14:13) even prohibits appropriate prayer in a cemetary, and other Rishonim argue likewise.

(As an aside, most of these graves are actually fabricated. This is not to say that there aren’t graves with credible traditions. In truth, no one knows who lies within many of these tombs. Sometimes it’s even an old imam or a nun! Their association with the real personalities with whom they bear their names are often based on inaccurate Byzantine traditions, modern distortions, or inventions of charlatans. Thus one finds “discovered graves” from the 1980′s bearing a purported ancient tradition. The site might even develop into a tourist attraction, along with some fantastic and outlandish, forbidden ritual that “prove” efficacious for something.)

It is terrifying that people within the Torah camp are actively undermining yahadut and damaging Jewish souls. The campaign is both organized and disorganized, an amalgam of misguided foolishness and those with more premeditated intent. It has no leader, and it has a thousand heads. While many have good intentions, the end result is that they create Jews with corrupted notions of Judaism.

Others are not so innocent. Some have created profitable businesses to spread their wares. Sophisticated websites inform the deluded and the desperate, that for merely sharing their credit card number, distinguished torah scholars will pray for them at a grave or at the kotel. I refer to them as “kabbalah” vultures because they are the predators behind this phenomenon, though naturally they know nothing of Kabbalah. Kabbalah with a lowercase “k”, if you will, or the pseudo-academic qabbalah with a “q”. They are as far from the notion of true Jewish metaphysics as Mecca is from Manhattan. But they prey on those who are both attracted and vulnerable to foolishness, and propagate a childish notion of tefillah that has more in common with Santa Claus.

The common theme resonating among all these groups is ignorance of Torah ideals, and the fact that their religious worldview has more of a pagan influence than they could ever imagine. In fact their ideology reads like a page from Sir James George Frazer’s anthropological work on pagan religion, “The Golden Bough.” From a Torah perspective, ignorance is never bliss. Ignorance of The Almighty inevitably leads to one form or another of idolatry, either outright, or the idolatry of distorted viewpoints. As such, the only solution is to expose the problem and provide a proper Torah perspective.

About the Author: Donny Fuchs made aliyah in 2006 from Long Island to the Negev, where he resides with his family. He has a keen passion for the flora and fauna of Israel and enjoys hiking the Negev desert. His religious perspective is deeply grounded in the Rambam's rational approach to Judaism.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

2 Responses to “Talking To the Dead”

  1. Jonathan Zack says:

    He is ingorant of Torah sources

  2. Donny Fuchs says:

    Said the man with the Na Nach kipah. lol.

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Islamic State flag displayed from Arab residence in Israel.
Cleared for Publication: Another Israeli-Arab ISIS Recruit from Nazareth
Latest Indepth Stories
Eli Weiss

Shepherding in the Shomron isn’t your usual kind of shepherding – despite his business-minded beginnings, Eli has discovered that a strong ideological impetus powers the job.

Resnick-013015-Pilot

I said to myself, “This story has got to be told. We’re losing this generation of World War II and if we don’t listen to them now, we’ve lost it.”

Eller-013015

His entire existence was about spreading simcha and glorifying G-d’s name on a daily basis.

IRAN-US-POLITICS-MILITARY

An Israeli strike could theoretically damage Iran’s nuclear program; only US can terminate program

At some point we need to stop simply defending and promoting Israel and start living in Israel

“We Jews are the only people who when we drop a book on the floor pick it up and kiss it.”

Though Zaide was the publisher of The Jewish Press, a big newspaper,I always remember him learning

Speaker Silver has been an extraordinary public servant since his election to the Assembly in 1975 and has been an exemplary leader of that body since 1994.

He spent the first leg of his daylong visit to the French capital at Hyper Cacher.

Drawing Congress into the Iran nuclear debate is the last thing the White House wants.

Great leaders like Miriam and like Sarah Schenirer possess the capacity to challenge the status quo that confronts them.

Obama’s foreign policy is viewed by both liberals and conservatives as deeply flawed

Many journalists are covertly blaming the Charlie Hebdo writers themselves through self-censorship.

Why does the Times relay different motivations and narratives for jihadists in Europe and Israel?

More Articles from Donny Fuchs
The Striped Hyaena

Israel has some wild places left; places to reflect and think, to get lost, to try to find ourselves

Paris anti-terror march

Netanyahu remains obsessed with gaining the unattainable love from the EU and all Jew-hating Europe

In Israel, Islam’s religiously mandated violence joins hands with the bloodthirsty amongst the Arabs

Perhaps Feiglin never truly left the Likud. In truth, they threw him out on his face.

This cult was tolerated because weak Israeli politicians were afraid to expel these black-racists

When will Israel finally wake up and admit today’s enemy is Amalek and deal with them conclusively?

Let us become modern day Maccabees and seize the day. Embrace the challenge. Fight for Hashem.

Zealousness has its place and time in Judaism; Thank G-d for heroic actions of the Maccabees!

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/191950/2014/08/17/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: