web analytics
October 20, 2014 / 26 Tishri, 5775
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post
Meir Panim with Soldiers 5774 Roundup: Year of Relief and Service for Israel’s Needy

Meir Panim implements programs that serve Israel’s neediest populations with respect and dignity. Meir Panim also coordinated care packages for families in the South during the Gaza War.



Chronicles Of Crises In Our Communities

By:
Chronicles-logo

Seeking Guidance From Controversial Sources:
To Each His Own

 

Dear Rachel,

I’ve never seen this subject addressed in your column before and wondered how it is widely perceived. I have a close friend who is very big on running to rabbis and so-called mekubalim whose brachos are said to be potent and who are supposedly capable of foreseeing the outcome of events, etc.

Whenever my friend “Toby” hears of a mekubal in town, she makes sure to go see him. She relies on them for problem solving in just about all areas in her life, whether to assess a shidduch that is being redt for one of her children, the viability of a business venture or to help resolve a shalom bayis dilemma. I must add that my friend is the type who has difficulty making decisions and would sooner have someone else make them for her. She claims she’s never been steered wrong and can’t understand my lack of enthusiasm.

It’s not that I have anything against them and I imagine that some are for real, but my husband and I have always been of the philosophy that there are things we are not meant to know in advance. As for hurdles in our life, we must do the best we can with the tools given us by Hashem and pray for His guidance and good grace instead of relying on others to solve our problems.

All the same, I must admit that at times I am blown away by their predictions and accuracy. Toby had once almost convinced me to come along with her on a visit to a mekubal who was seeing people in our neighborhood, but my husband’s strong disapproval put a kink in my plans. Not that I had anything specific to consult him about, but I’d have been curious to hear the rabbi’s comments in general.

I would be interested in knowing what you and other readers have to say – pro and con – based especially on personal experiences. I guess you can just call me…

Curious George

Dear Curious,

The concept is far from new. For generations people have flocked to reputable rabbis known for their deep insights, instincts and honed intuitions. Trouble is that in these times it is not always easy to distinguish the frauds from the genuine kind.

Talk about kind, there are marked differences among them. Some have intensive knowledge of Kabbalah, while others are gifted individuals who believe they were meant to use their sixth sense to help others. Then there are those who have studied and are adept in the art of chachmas hayad and chachmas hapartzuf (reading hands and faces), and of course there are always the simply earnest, righteous rebbes who offer their heartfelt brachos along with wise counsel and will beseech the heavens on one’s behalf.

To go or not to go… People are certainly entitled to their individual choices. One can argue that those who are helped in this manner are meant to access and receive that help. Conversely, you’ll hear of souls desperate to obtain the counsel of a known mekubal — who frustratingly evades them at every turn. Not meant to be, one must deduce.

Someone very near and dear to me once happened to be in the company of a pious young man who offered to read her palm. She was a young girl at the time, pre-World War II. The sincere “fortune-teller” predicted arichas yomim (long life) and went so far as to state the exact number of years his young subject would spend on this earth.

As the woman approached “the” year, she was diagnosed with a heart condition that called for immediate intervention via a delicate invasive procedure. Her attitude was laissez-faire – let nature take its course. One could sense that she felt she’d lived her life, her resignation in no small part due to the prediction made several decades earlier.

About the Author: We encourage women and men of all ages to send in their personal stories via email to rachel@jewishpress.com or by mail to Rachel/Chronicles, c/o The Jewish Press, 4915 16th Ave., Brooklyn, N.Y. 11204. If you wish to make a contribution and help agunot, your tax-deductible donation should be sent to The Jewish Press Foundation. Please make sure to specify that it is to help agunot, as the foundation supports many worthwhile causes.


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.

No Responses to “Chronicles Of Crises In Our Communities”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Ismail Haniyeh, highest ranking Hamas member in Gaza, pictured Nov. 25, 2012.
Hamas Leader’s Daughter Treated in Israeli Hospital; #BDSFail
Latest Sections Stories

Sadly, there are mothers who, due to severe depression are unable or unwilling to prepare nourishing food for their children.

Michal had never been away from home. And now, she was going so far away, for so long – an entire year!

Though if you do have a schach mat, you’ll realize that it cannot actually support the weight of the water.

Social disabilities occur at many levels, but experts identify three different areas of learning and behavior that are most common for children who struggle to create lasting social connections.

Sukkot is an eternal time of joy, and if we are worthy, of plenty.

Two of our brothers, Jonathan Pollard and Alan Gross, sit in the pit of captivity. We have a mandate to see that they are freed.

Chabad of South Broward has 15 Chabad Houses in ten cities.

Victor Center works in partnership with healthcare professionals, clergy, and the community to sponsor education programs and college campus out reach.

So just in case you’re stuck in the house this Chol HaMoed – because there’s a new baby or because someone has a cold – not because of anything worse, here are six ideas for family fun at home.

We are told that someone who says that God’s mercy extends to a bird’s nest should be silenced.

Our harps have 22 strings. This gives musicians a wide musical range and yet stays within Biblical parameters.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/family/chronicles-of-crises/chronicles-of-crises-in-our-communities-333/2014/07/11/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: