Kosover Rebbe: Do Not Go To Palm Readers, or Fortunetellers

(Sunday, May 11th, 2008)

kosov.jpgGrand Rabbi of Kosov, Hagon Rabbi Shrage Favish Hager Shlita, said this Friday-night that going to [Jewish] fortunetellers [even those who are accurate] is not in the spirit of Torah.

(Paraphrasing not exact quote:)

“Going to fortunetellers [face and palm readers] will make you have less faith in your one power of prayer, even when they tell you accurate information”…..

“We know of the Tzadikim who knew a lot [through their “Ruach Hakodesh”] and did not reveal with clarity to those who came to them anything about their private future. They would simply give a blessing or give advice, but not fortunetelling all out. Because they saw it as going against the teaching of “Amunah and Bitachon…..

“Shaul Hamelach, because he went to ask the prophet if he is going to win the war was punished to get killed by sword, he should have relied on G-D and not try to get predictions of even a true prophet”…..

During the “Divrey Torah” the Rabbi explained that “in the times the Jews gave “Trumah”, the Kohanim – who were known for their great spirituality got all the “Trumah” donations. It was very tempting for non popular Kohanim to become fortunetellers using bones of the dead known as “Ove-VeYedonie” methods to get attention to themselves and get Trumah Donations. That’s why the Torah says “Lunefesh Lo Yetamu”/ they should not touch dead bodies. We should not use those methods – only prayer, Amunah-and-Bitachon is to be used for Parnoseh and other needs”….

27 Comments

  1. Yael says:

    B”H

    Thank G-d a well-respected rabbi is finally coming out to say something about this scourge of “fortune telling” that has gripped so many communities!

    The victims of most of the scammers–who call themselves “holy men”–are mostly religious women in their 20s. They line up at the “events” sponsored by members of the community, and they give money they don’t have to hear their “fortunes.” (see a paper on this at http://www.alfassa.com/palms.html).

    We all must do our best to pressure those who “sponsor” these “holy men” to stop providing a place for them to practice their “art” on our young women!

  2. KeenObserver says:

    Does that include the ever-popular casting of hot lead?

  3. Rav Mechel says:

    What about the Rav that is advertised in Hamodia and had an article about him, Rav Meshi zahav , is he also included in this ? He supposedly reads your face and hand, is this not reccomended?

  4. TOMIM says:

    kol hakavod !
    It’s about time someone came out
    and said it like it is..
    what’s wrong with saying a little tehillim
    and asking hashem straight for help..

  5. nitpicker says:

    To no 3:
    you ask:
    does this include the rav…
    what else? who else do you think he had in mind?

  6. Ruchi G. says:

    Dear Rav Mechel,
    Although you are commenting on an article, you seem to have missed the key point of what the article said, and for some reason feel that a question could still be asked about any individual Rabbi. With this in mind, permit me to comment.

    I don’t know Rabbi Meshi Zahav, or for that matter any other holy man who reads palms. But I do know what this article just taught me:
    “ Going to fortunetellers [face and palm readers] will make you have less faith in your one power of prayer, even when they tell you accurate information”

    Irrelevant of who the palm reader is, fact – it diminishes our ultimate faith in Hashem Yisborach and is not in the spirit of the Torah. Given this result, it should not make any difference who the man is, or his level of holiness. The person in search of his future is the ultimate looser by having his faith diminished and veering from the correct path of how the Torah wants us to live our lives. Let’s get it straight – it’s not a question of who the “Rabbi” is, the question is who we want to be. Learning Torah and doing mitzvos is what is expected of us. Nothing else in this world can offer us more direction to delineate what our future will be.

  7. ny100k says:

    This is the same Kasover Rebber that led the fight against the Lipa concert. On that occasion, people weren’t saying nice things. If you respect him, then you must respect all that he says. You can’t pick and choose.

  8. Joseph says:

    Perhaps the Jewish fortune-tellers can relocate to Canal Street and compete with the Asian fortune-tellers, once the Jewish line of business dries up.

  9. godolHador says:

    Rav Shach,ZT”L warned against this years ago.

  10. WanderingJew says:

    Rav Yakov Hillel Shlita wrote a great book warning about the dangers of this phenomenon- called “Faith & Folly” (Feldheim) It has Haskomas from most of the Gedolim inclusing Rav Shach ZT”L

  11. Rav Mechel says:

    Will the Hamodia cease advertising him then? If the Kassover rebbe wants to come out against this practice why does he not mention these people by their names?

  12. BUBBY says:

    and what about the big mony thay charge ha

  13. Thinking out loud says:

    I strongly encourage everybody to read the book “Faith & Folly”, referred to in commment #11 by WanderingJew.

    It is very easy reading, interesting, and not very long. It is a translation of the sefer “Tamim Tehiye”, written by R’ Yaakov Hillel who is a Rosh Yeshiva in a yeshiva for mekubalim! There are at least 15 haskomos in the beginning of the book. It puts the entire issue into proper perspective – regardless if the person who is utilizing the knowledge of kabbalah is a Tzaddik and a Talmid Chochom.

    The desire to have our tzaros and nisyonos taken away, and even the desire of good people to help us by “removing”, or more accurately circumventing those tzaros is understandable. When kochos that are above tevah, and not part of normative mesorah are applied, serious problems can occur.

    READ THE BOOK! It made a very strong impression on me, affected my approach to yissurim, and greatly improved my relationship with HaShem.

  14. 1tenthOfAMinyan says:

    Boruch Hashem, this Tzadik Shlit”a is filling part of the void left us with the passing of Reb Eli Titelbaum ZTZ”L, who used to be meorrer on these subjects.

  15. yoma says:

    I want to let people know that the kossever rov is 100% correct. I did just go to somebody who does chochmas hayd, I went with another person who wanted to go, and asked if I would go with them, I did not want to but I did it as a favor for that person. I decided I would go in saying nothing to the rov , meaning I would not provide any clues for the rov/palm reader he started by writhing my name, my birthday, English, Yiddish it did not matter to him.Then in typical fashion he was very vague with me and hoping I would give him hints about my life, palm readers in particular can read personalities not palms you speak with them and they have a good ability to read your personality who you are, what makes you tick and then they start telling you about yourself, and your thinking wow he is pretty good. well this guy was totally off I did not speak, I let him do all the talking.He looked at my hand and said I see you had bad mazel in the past and he gives a year, hey who never had bad mazel in a particular year some time in the past and every year something else happens to somebody.So he could have picked any year and been right, then he tells me my mazel will improve, gee thanks any body can say that then I give him a list of my kids I don’t say who’s married who’s not he points to my one year old and tells me he is a good kid well I hope he is for heavens sake he is one years old well, everybody do what you got to do.

  16. ani_yosef says:

    Vayikra 19:26
    You shall not eat over the blood; you shall not indulge in sorcery and you shall not believe in lucky times.

    Vayikra 19:31
    Do not turn to the Ovos and Yid’onim; do not seek to be contaminated through them – I am ‘H.

    oh, while we are on the subject and cleaning house. does this include:

    writing requests or letters and placing them in books and based on the text on the page where your letter is placed that is your answer. . .

    going to the graves of the dearly departed and asking the departed for help (this includes addressing letters to the dead). . .

    wearing colored strings to protect against . . .

    wearing the hand of an Arabic princess to protect against . . .

    special cups with words engraved to promote healing . . .

  17. bklynmom says:

    Go get some red strings from kever rochel and work on your middahs.

  18. y2r says:

    Reb Moshe used to say “Tomim Tiyeh Im Hashem Elokecho”

  19. usbaers says:

    Is the Internet the place to quote any Rebbe ? Was it done with the Rebbe’s permission ? Does it give the impression that a Rebbe supports the use of the Internet to voice his Das Torah ?

  20. kiddo15 says:

    He is absolutely right. Your tefilos can totaly change whatever it says on your palm, face, or anywhere elsse they decide to look. Am Yisroel has the power to switch mazalim in many ways. If someone has a problem, their Rabbi might tell them to move, or add a name. If someone beleives that their future will be X, they won’t daven as hard to change it, because they beleive it useless.

    The kemaios and segulos are a completely different matter. I happen not to beleive in a large portion of them, but some of them do have a reasoning behind them, and come from a good source.

    I also heard that it is only a segula to listen to your Rabbi and do what he says. If he tells someone to do something for parnassah, even if you do EXACTLY the same thing as him, it it will only help him, because he has the zechus of listening to a talmud chochom on his side. I’ve heard many stories about this, and I personally do not do any segulos other than davening and saying tehillim.

    Rav Mechel- That would be out and out lashon hara. And where do you draw the line by people? Is someone that knows the trade but doesn’t practice counted?

    sammygol- Attach a usb device with all of torah with all meforshim direct line to your memory. Maybe that’ll be invented one day.

  21. k9ehora says:

    I was with a palm reader that does not take money & is an ehrliche yid, I personally don’t see any problem in going to him, but if the kossever rebbe says that one may not go, than I will have to stop.

  22. musicoutlet says:

    We will give a FREE fortune teller reading to all readers of YW. In the spirit of helping one another for FREE we will do this one time FREE reading to all of you.

    5 Minutes of silence please.

    Ok. Some of you will have a good year. Some of you will have a bad year. Some of you have kids that go to a boys yeshiva. Some of you have kids that go to a bais yakov. Some of you are brilliant and some of you are dumb. We think we covered it all now.

    We hope you appreciated our free reading.

  23. abcde says:

    how have we become such fools that activities clearly and obviously prohibited by the Torah get “dressed up” as Kabbalistic or “Chassidus” and somehow we think its OK, even a good Frum thing to do? This stuff is all forbidden and is dangerously close to paganism. Do we really need to wait for leading rabbis to tell us such obvious things?

  24. yosefcg says:

    Didn’t the fortune tellers see this coming?

  25. Snowback says:

    I used to go to these fortune tellers. But since a visit to my local Chinese restaurant I had stopped.

    The fortune cookie read, “that I shouldn’t believe in these so called fortune tellers”.

  26. KeenObserver says:

    “#This is the same Kasover Rebber that led the fight against the Lipa concert. On that occasion, people weren’t saying nice things. If you respect him, then you must respect all that he says. You can’t pick and choose. ”

    Yes, it’s impossible to agree with someone on some issues and disagree on others. Absolutely.

  27. shkoyach says:

    I always had a problem with the whole “fortune teller” think. It takes away from the tzadiikim that are mekubalim leshem shamayim to sit and learn to learn and keep to themselves or to thier talmidim!

    I happened to have been somewhere once and I heard that the Rav that was across the room from me was a mekubal and “reads palms.” This made me nervous but I decided to ask stam for a bracha… cuz a bracha from alla yidden can’t hurt. He ended up telling me some freakish stuff…. really mainly positive and not really future telling just a few things he said that were a pachad that nobody knew about and he spoke about it and also puched Tefilla. He said its all in tefiila and its a nachas to Hashem and told me to continue davening for others.

    Could’ve been a quack, unlikely, but ya never know. i figured who am I to know if his brachos count or not so why not get a bracha anyway!! but I dont think he should fortune tell and I dont send ppl to these guys cuz I feel like better to stay far from these things.

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