October 28, 2009 12:41 am at 12:41 am #590705
A friend of mine recently went to a mekubal.I was just wondering what you guys think about going for a bracha and the kabbalah things they do sometimes.October 28, 2009 1:31 am at 1:31 am #857385
assur assur assur This all legitimate Orthodox groups agree upon from Satmar to MO.
I saw a 5 page PDF from Rabbi Eli Teitelbaum on this but can not down load it now.
EDITEDOctober 28, 2009 1:32 am at 1:32 am #857386
A beracha from any ehrlicher Yid is worthwhile. Even a simple person’s blessing carries weight. The Kabbalistic “prescriptions”, on the other hand, need to be handled with care. One has to know the credentials of who gave it, what for, and does it in any way violate halacha. Some are efficacious and real, others are bogus and nonsensical. It pays to inquire of a talmid chacham one trusts regarding which Mekubal to go to, if at all, and after the visit – which advice to follow, and which to forget about. A kameya may seem like a harmless piece of paper, if it’s not a real one, yet, unless one knows how upright an individual wrote it and what for, one may end up playing with fire, due to all the shemos therein.October 28, 2009 3:13 am at 3:13 am #857387
a friend of mine and my husband also went to a mekubal about two years ago…he went for us and let me say what he said came true within a month, we asked him who, but he wouldnt tell us…we have to say that it was mamish very spooky…October 28, 2009 3:15 am at 3:15 am #857388
Our Rav says that we shouldn’t go, so we don’t go…October 28, 2009 3:21 am at 3:21 am #857389
Mekubalim are very controversial in Litvish circles, and many of them are charlatans. Tefila to Hashem is the accepted litvish approach. Your mileage may vary. The Shlah has many segulos, and almost all of them relate to various Tefillos to Hashem or various pesukim. The common denominator is that they relate to your relationship with Hashem.October 28, 2009 6:07 am at 6:07 am #857390
someone close to me was urged to go to a mekubal who in truth was more of a talmid of a mekubal, who told her not to go forth with a certain situation in her life.
she was devestated to hear that and later this mekubal called back that he “recalculated” and its okay and everything will be good and great…
now those hours/days in between the two conversation was very hard for her, she was depressed about the original answer she got and when she received the update about how everything will be okay and that she should go forth with a certain decision, she still
couldn’t get over the original “advice” she received…
point…kabala is not a determing factor in making life decisions and Rabbi Yisroel Belsky said its mamehs against “tamim te’hye im Hashem Elokecha”!!
its like going to fortune teller and making life decisions based on what you hear from pp who may be familiar with kabbla,may have even learnt it for a long time, but in no way are at status to render life decisions and provide advice that people to literally to heart…
at times this “advice” might not even be accurate at all and very misleading..at times devestating!October 28, 2009 9:47 am at 9:47 am #857391
Many years ago we went to a mekubal. He told us some of the mezuzas we had were posul. He was right.
We had just moved and bought new mezuzos by someone we were told was a reputable sofer. The Sofer would not admit to his mistakes until we threatened to take him to Din Torah….
Going to the mekubal was a bit spookie but was also uplifting and the problem we had soon went after we got new mezuzasOctober 28, 2009 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm #857392
Today, it is said that only Rav David Abuhatzeira of Nahariya is a legitimate and reliable mekubal of the type one can go to for brochos. Rav David Pinto shlit”a of Lyons, France is also said to be legitimate despite the wealth that surrounds him (I have actually received two brochos from him, one in NYC and one in Morocco, and I indeed believe that most of the money he receives is distributed to mosdos and the needy and that his lifestyle, while respectable, is far from excessive as is the case with phoney mekubalim).
Rav Kadourie ZYA and Baba Sali ZYA were of course also of that caliber and Rav David shlita is in fact a grandson of the Baba Sali and his only true heir.
The rest, wallak, hem yooodim leekabel, leekabel, veod yoooter leekabel!October 28, 2009 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm #857393
A Rebbe of mine once spoke out very harshly against most mekubalim. He said that someone in his shul (this Rebbe is also a Rav) told him that he goes to a mekubal in Israel at least once a year, and everything he told him has come true. He said it doesn’t matter. The Torah is very clear that there are supernatural things which are not good, and are in fact forbidden. He contrasted it with R’ Chaim Kanievsky giving people segulos and advice on what to do: if you ask R’ Chaim what to do in an issue, he will give an answer and usually tell you what he based it on. For example, he told us a story of a young man who had gotten engaged. During the engagement, he was diagnosed with cancer. He wanted to break the engagement to spare the girl of having to go through the suffering with him, and she didn’t want to. They went to R’ Chaim, who told them to proceed with the marriage, and he said everything would be fine. He based it on the gemara where a Tanna (I don’t remember who) was visiting the emperor, and the emperor told him the case with a man who sold a field to someone else. The buyer discovered a treasure, and wanted to return it to the seller. Each argued that the other one should keep it.
The emperor said he would kill both men and tske the treasure for himself. The Tannah told him that he’d be punished for it – they should make a shidduch with their children, and given the treasure to them.
R’ Chaim said, we see from the gemara that if you want to do something to help someone else, at a loss for yourself, only good will come of it.
A mekubal might give the same advice, but it probably wouldn’t be based on the gemara.
The rebbe concluded by saying that this doesn’t apply to all mekubalim. There are many legitimate mekubalim out there who are huge talmidei chachamim, and there’s no problem with them. However, you need to do some research before going to see one. He also said that we shouldn’t need them – we have our own Rabbonim near us, and we should value them for what they are, and ask them our questions. Ignoring your own Rav to go to some unknown mekubal is an insult to your Rav.October 28, 2009 3:10 pm at 3:10 pm #857394
I know someone whose young son was diagnosed with cancer. He went to a Rabbi and he gave a nedavah. He was told by the Rabbi that his son would have a refuah shelaimah. Actually he was told that he would dance at his son’s wedding.
His son died.
What do you think that did for this man’s emunas chachamim?October 28, 2009 3:25 pm at 3:25 pm #857395
NY mom that is so sad.October 28, 2009 4:10 pm at 4:10 pm #857396
mybat: Yes, it is sad.
I am not against going to a Rav/Talmid Chochom/Rosh Yeshiva for a bracha, but people who claim to do nissim – that is very dangerous.October 28, 2009 4:14 pm at 4:14 pm #857397
There is wheat and there is chaff. You must seek advice of a great Talmid Chochom before visiting a Mekubal. But there IS wheat.October 28, 2009 4:16 pm at 4:16 pm #857398
ny mom: just curious, did you hear that story from rabbi zecharia wallerstein? because i think i remember hearing such a story from him about a year or two ago. but he didn’t say anything about it affecting the parents emunas chachamim.October 28, 2009 4:47 pm at 4:47 pm #857399
I know the person personally. It is not a story that I heard. B”H the person is still religious, still gives tzedakah, will still get a brocha from a Rav, but…it affected him.October 28, 2009 5:00 pm at 5:00 pm #857400
I think it’s a matter of perspective: If one thinks the mekubal is in power to get things done, that is wrong. (The same goes for any Tzaddik.) If one goes with the mindset that this Mekubal or Tzadik is on a higher Madraigah and therefore has more Ruach Hakodesh than oneself, so he can give (better) advice and his davening can have a greater effect because of the greater mass of Zechusim he has.
Unfortunately, I think that some people have the former mindset which borders on Avodah Zarah.
;October 28, 2009 5:19 pm at 5:19 pm #857401
Here is a web site with a 5 page PDF about Mekubalim from a Charedei perspective.
I can download it on one computer, but not the other.October 28, 2009 6:14 pm at 6:14 pm #857402
It’s not mekubal to go to one.October 28, 2009 6:23 pm at 6:23 pm #857403
I personally think that the Rabbanim that go around and “advertise” themselves as mekubalim are not correct. even if things they say are true and do happen… if you learn kabbala you are supposed to be hidden about it and if you go around telling people that you do and are – it takes away from that fact. Now if you get a brocha from someone who is a mekubal but private or youget advice from him then thats fine.
my mother’s aunt insisted she go and see a certain mikubal who she firmly believed in when she was about 17 and he told my mother you will get married soon and have girls and boys. now my mother didnt get married till she was 20 (she didnt start dating till 19) and when she had me first (a girl) her aunt was all excited because she had been told “GIRLS and boys” ence i was born before a boy.but we think it was shtusim.October 28, 2009 7:16 pm at 7:16 pm #857404
A friend of mine went to a certain mekubal. He didn’t really want to, but he knew his wife would be upset if he didn’t take her. He had a list of 4 questions. But before he went in he decided not to give him the list, and instead to ask the questions himself. He did, however, hand him a list of the names of everyone in his family. The mekubal then proceeded to answer every question that was on the first list. When he left, he checked his pocket to make sure he hadn’t given the wrong paper by mistake. It was still in his pocket.October 28, 2009 8:44 pm at 8:44 pm #857405
So do some of u mean to tell me that the Baba Sali, Rav Kaduri, Rav mordicai sharabi and ect. Were fakes and no one shouldve gone to them for berachot????October 28, 2009 8:55 pm at 8:55 pm #857406
I cant say for everyone that posted, but IMHO the mekubalim that became famous because OTHERS spread the word were really it. its the people that say I am A mekubal that i am weary of. going to a gadol for a bracha is fine, even if you know he is a mekubal, but if he is “advertising” the fact himself then its not the real thingOctober 28, 2009 9:17 pm at 9:17 pm #857407
There was a story recently where a business said he’ll follow the Torah in a certain aspect of his business if Rav Eliashiv Shlit”a guaranteed him hatzlacha. Rav Eliashiv Shlit”a refused to do so but said he will daven for him.
Such is a true gadol.October 28, 2009 9:44 pm at 9:44 pm #857408
Read “Faith or Folly” by Rav Yaakov Hillel.
Rav Yaakov Hillel is a mekubal, who heads one of the biggest kabbalah yeshivos in the world (it’s in Meah Shearim/Geula area), many GEDOLIM hold of him, and many gedolim and chashuv rabbonim have even studied kabbalah by him in his yeshiva (including Rav Pincus zt”l).
In very short, while there are real mekubalim, he says (don’t quote be verbatim, you can read the book and/or listen to his shiurim on this, which exist in English! but..)that in general nowadays it is not “mekubal” (pardon the pun) to use practical kabbalah, and generally true mekubalim only STUDY kabbalah, but some may have deeper torah insight but there are 2 huge caveats:
1) They may not be advising people in order to get money, which many do…
2) For people who may have all these amazing stories to say about some of them – he says that it is shayich to have kochos from the “tzad hatumah” (i.e. through impure channels) and that even though they CAN foresee future through it – it is not thru kedusha and it can both be warped, and we a klal yisrael are above mazalos, and it can be the satan trying to convince you that your path is set when we as yidden are never stuck to a path set for the future.
There is a story he tells from point #2 with a man who had no parnosa and went for advice which is freaky and illustrates the point…
You can hear one of his shiurim with this story in it at the following link:
http://ohr.edu/yhiy/article.php/1783 (click on the link for Rabbi Yaakov Hillel – for me only audio worked in IE but also video worked in Mozilla, not in IE for some reason)October 28, 2009 10:10 pm at 10:10 pm #857409
the story is around 2/3 to 3/4 the way thru the video…October 30, 2009 3:22 am at 3:22 am #857410
Hi Feif Un,
It’s a good thing you forgot who the Tanna was, since it was a far eastern king judging with Alexander The Great observing.
The eastern ruler gave that advice, to marry their children to each other, while Alexander commented that if would have killed them both and taken the money for himself. The eastern king asked Alexander if it rains in his land, and he to which he replied, yes. there He then asked if there are goats in his land. When he said yes, the former replied, well then it rains in their merit.November 1, 2009 8:59 pm at 8:59 pm #857411
OUr generation is always seeking a quick fix, with no personal real deep work involved like saying perek shira 40 day sin a row, or Nishmas etc. . . . those are great things to do but perek shira, mekubalim segulas etc are not lucky charms, Hashem sent us nisyonos for a reason and unless we are going to do real cheshbon hanefesh and the follow up hard soul work that comes with it- we are missing the boat and our tikun in this world.
No crystal balls for me.November 1, 2009 9:28 pm at 9:28 pm #857412
I always wondered why mekubalim need donations from their customers. Can’t they just go out and buy a lottery ticket and foretell the winning numbers and support their yeshivos in grand style?November 2, 2009 2:40 am at 2:40 am #857413
They seek donations precisely because they are MEKABEL, come on!November 4, 2009 11:02 am at 11:02 am #857414
So do some of u mean to tell me that the Baba Sali, Rav Kaduri, Rav mordicai sharabi and ect. Were fakes and no one shouldve gone to them for berachot????
No, they were not fakes chas vesholom. Problem is that with the expansion of the economy and access to mass media, some real fakes are out there.
And yeridas hadoirois has sadly taken its toll on the family of Baba Sali ZYA. Of his descendants only R’ David shlit”a is legitimate. One of the others has a net worth of more than 100 million tax free dollars and yet another, an ex-con, is known more for absurd statements, klalot and political machinations.
Baba Sali ZYA knew this was the case and his last years, after the petira of his eldest son and true yoresh, Baba Meir ZYA, were not peaceful ones unfortunately.
The only other well known mekubalim who have any sort of reputation are R’ David Pinto from France and R’ Eliezer Berland of Breslov Yerushalayim.
Still, R’ David Abuhatzeira of Nahariya, EY is the only mekubal whose name is not tarnished by any sort of suspicion or controversy.
That is, unless you count the Admou”r meCreedmoor whose name is not tarnished by any suspicion or controversy regarding his ignorance, greed and knowledge of the ins and outs of the Federal, State and municipal prison, mental hospital and most of all, welfare, system!November 5, 2009 8:15 pm at 8:15 pm #857415
I’ve heard of rabbis reading the palms of your hands.November 6, 2009 4:26 am at 4:26 am #857416
Once some mekubal came to me and asked me for a donation for his kabbalah yeshiva. I told him, “I gave in a previous gilgul”. He responded, “I remember, you were just as cheap then”.November 6, 2009 5:32 am at 5:32 am #857417
nymom.spoke smothing very sad.,lets just hope that most mekubalim are not fakeNovember 6, 2009 8:13 pm at 8:13 pm #857418
Once some mekubal came to me and asked me for a donation for his kabbalah yeshiva. I told him, “I gave in a previous gilgul”. He responded, “No you didn’t, you were just as skeptical then”.October 26, 2011 5:33 am at 5:33 am #857419
I realize this is an old topic, but I’d like to add some insights from the wife of a real mekubal, haRav Yehudah Alfasi, shlita. First, “Sammygol” is correct – one absolutely MUST check their credentials. The trouble is-who would recognize good ones? And in truth – nearly ALL “mekubalim” are fakes. My husband learned for over 10 yrs at Rav Kaduri’s kollel, was rosh kollel there and under Rav Dangour (of rav Mordechai sharabi, zl), has Rabbinical endorsements from Rav Ovadia, Rav Eliyahu and others and he does NOT work magic, wear ethnic garb, ask for money, or pretend to see one’s future. If one claims ruach haKodesh (as he says, ruach hacottage, as in cheese) they’re posturing for clout. The kameot that Rav Kaduri wrote worked for one reason only – the bracha that went with it. Why? Because “Real” mekubalim take years to learn the Kavanot of Rashash. It’s difficult, discouraging, and rare for one to finish the learning. One person mentioned a sick person who died, the trouble really is peoples naive perception that mekubalim are Hashem. See more, please, educate yourselves by seeing our website We do NOT teach anyone not qualified to learn, in person, with strong Torah background already. Mekubalim who are self-taught don’t realize, but they run the risk of drawing from the sitra atra, and so do you if you go to them. Yes, beware. Ruth Alfasi.October 26, 2011 1:12 pm at 1:12 pm #857420
How does one become a Mekubal?October 26, 2011 2:47 pm at 2:47 pm #857421
Shein, by learning through the mesilas yesharim and working through it, one attains ruach hakodesh and the ability for techias hameisim.October 26, 2011 5:59 pm at 5:59 pm #857422
A600kilobear- funny you mention those 2 names, my husband and I have gotten brachas from both. You do have to be really careful because most are fakes. Here’s what I think distinguishes: R’ Abuchatzeira and R’ Pinto never claim that anything will for sure happen/not happen. They give you a bracha, maybe a mitzvah you need to improve on. They also DO know stuff that maybe the average Rav wouldn’t know. R’ Pinto once told me I should donate to a particular cause. It freaked me out because a few years earlier, I had done something wrong, and this cause had something to do with what I had done wrong- I had never said anything about it, but it seems I needed to do tshuva for it, it seems he knew that somehow, and recommended exactly this cause.October 26, 2011 6:40 pm at 6:40 pm #857423
I heard in the name of the Gr”a (Vilna Gaon) that after hearing of a mekubal that knew private things of peole that came to him, he asked that the mekubal be brought to him. He came and told the Gr”a personal information about him (the Gr”a) After spekaing with him for a while, he told his talmidim to chase him out of town. Reason being that there are two ways this “mekubal” could know these things, through Koach haKedusah and koach hatumah. After speaking with him (in learning) the Gr”a said his abilities do not come from Koach HaKedusha. Therefore he needs to be chased out of town.
I second what dveykus613 said. Read R’ Yaakov Hillel’s book Faith and Folly, or ???? ???? in Hebrew. He is a mekubal that is mekubal by all of the Litvishe/Ashknenazic Poskim. In his book he says to be careful of all these so called mekubalim.
He brings a story of someone that was engaged and went to a mekubal for ????. The mekubal told him his name doesnt match with the kallah’s- whatever that means- and he should immediately break the shidduch. Choson goes crying to the Steipler asking what to do. The Steipler who was known to never get angry became visibly angry/upsent and said to ignore this advice and gave his brocho to the chosson.October 26, 2011 6:54 pm at 6:54 pm #857424
If it’s free sure, Birchas Hediot… If it costs money, I have a bridge to sell you. Free maintenance included.October 26, 2011 7:18 pm at 7:18 pm #857425
As dveykus613 and yungerman1 said read Faith and Folly just to get the basics down on whats mutar and whats assur. It should be known that one of the head athourites of Kabbalah…the Arizal held that practical kabbalah should not be done.October 26, 2011 7:20 pm at 7:20 pm #857426
authorities*February 20, 2012 7:26 am at 7:26 am #857427
BS”D: Shein, you asked how does one become a Mekubal – I’ll try to answer in brief, but I’m not a “Mekubalet” just married to the Mekubal. Sam, above, says correctly if I understand the Rav, my husband – practical Kabbalah is dangerous and shouldn’t be performed. A mekubal is one who “received” from one who “received” which means one must be in the right place and have the abilities to master the learning. What is received is “kosher” and includes lots of memorization, believe it or not. It’s strict, rigid learning, not interpretation and requires one to be able to be l’vatel to their rav. This type of learning is difficult, especially in this age of everyone wanting to interpret My husband, Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshivat haMekubalim Kol Yehudah v’Eliyahu, is one such rav, not because he says so, but because his ravs put him in the position of Rosh Kollel, and they’re qualified because they’re in the traditional line of mekubalim. So to learn one must be in the right Yeshivah, have a Torah foundation, etc. and the ABILITY to sit and learn, memorize the tradition from the Arizal, Eitz Chayim, etc. and possess absolute perseverence (and a wife who’ll put up with it all). That’s rare. And since it’s rare, Hashem receives their brachot. It isn’t really magic at all.February 20, 2012 7:30 am at 7:30 am #857428
As for “mekubalim” who make big claims and take big sums – don’t forget the obvious – gigantic sums of tzedaka can sweeten harsh judgements, but that doesn’t have anything to do with Kabbalah or a mekubal’s ability to draw from kedusha. Lots of people come to us mamash demanding rav Yehudah do for them what some other “mekubal” had once done – meet, see their “orot” or klipot and “read their neshamah,” wave hands, pronounce things, oooh-laaaa-laaaah! Rav Yehudah won’t meet seeing they’re really looking for a magic show and avodah zarah. I wish more people would read about this. Kol tuv.February 20, 2012 3:27 pm at 3:27 pm #857429
That was Naamon’s complaint about Elisha Hanavi. He said, I thougt he’ll raise his hands to his G-d and pray and then wave his hands over me and heal me, but to tell me where to bathe I don’t need him. So he really knew what a Navi is supposed to do.February 20, 2012 4:35 pm at 4:35 pm #857430
In one of Rabbi Yaakov Hillel’s online lectures (I thing on learntorah.com) he said that a good way to test mekubalim is when they come to your city, ask them to give a shiur in whatever Gemara the locals are learning. Quite a few will back off. As Ruth Alfasi said above, a real mekubal needs a Torah foundation.
Speaking of Rabbi Yaakov Hillel and the Steipler (mentioned above). Rabbi Hillel said that the Steipler was a Tsaddiq Nistar. Whatever you know about him is just 1% of who he truly was.February 20, 2012 7:50 pm at 7:50 pm #857431
He must be mekubal.If he is someone like Rav Mordechai Eliahu his advice must be taken very serious. However, he was a rare exception (according to his aide Rav Zafrani there a only a few such people in each generation). In other words, he must be a gadol (in which case he will deny that he is a mekubal – and, in fact, Rav Eliahu did not discuss Kabbala with his son and heir Rav Shmuel, or at least Rav Shmuel says). Unfortunately, there are many charlatans who tell people breeak up marriages, rip off people for money and even tell people to do severe aveirot (with them and I will not go into detail).
BTW, neither Rav Kuk nor Rav Soloveichik would give absolute advice. They would set for the alternatives and their ramifications (which they received from their analytical abilities developed over years of learning at the highest levels) and then give the questioner responsibility for his life. Even Rav Eliahu gave alternatives. I had a neighbor who went to him on some personal matter and he suggested that she add a name. He then gave her a list from which to choose.February 20, 2012 9:40 pm at 9:40 pm #857432
i think anything a mekubal tells you to do should be run by a posek/rav first. two stories:
i was told by a mekubal i saw randomly to change my perfectly normal name. my father asked R’Heinamenn (sorry, spelling? from Star K, baltimore) who said his daughter has the same name and it ridiculous to change it.
on the other hand…
i know someone who couldn’t get married for years. he was engaged a couple of times but it never went till the chuppah. he was discussing this with one of the Roshei yeshiva of baltimore (don’t remember which but this is a while ago, and i think it was R’ Ruderman). the rav asked him if there was any reason he could think of for this and the bochur jokingly told him of the time a kabbalist told him that “with a name like that you’ll never make it to the chuppah.” the rav told him, we don’t go to kabbalists, but once you’ve heard that you can’t ignore it. he changed his name and is now married with kids.March 4, 2012 1:38 pm at 1:38 pm #857434
BS”D: That last comment about the name and not getting to the chuppah brings up an interesting issue – often times, when we say something, we bring it about because there are entities who whisper an amen to proclamations we say, even in passing which is why we should never say things in jest. That comment that the kabbalist said, might not have been generally true for the name he was referring to, but MADE it so, by saying it. It’s like tzaras – the declaration of tahor or tameh made it so.
Secondly, in response to AviK – we’re in Tzfat and Rav Shmuel Eliyahu is a halachic expert and what people fail to realize is so so so so SO often their questions are halachic, and they don’t NEED a mekubal. We had someone recently come to us basically expecting magic hands to be waived and proof of Ruach haKodesh. Their question – our neighbors’ kids are beating up our kids, another neighbor beat up the husband in their Sukkah, police reports have been taken, and we’re “getting an ayin hara” should we move? One “mekubal” claimed, “No, it’s not the time” with a fancy mystical gesture as he were SEEING something beyond reason. We told the couple, “Listen, if you were living in the states, and not here in Tzfat and you had all these troubles, if the financials could be worked out, would you move?” “Well, yeah, but…” So move! The were NOT impressed with the basic pshat answer. It’s nonsense and irresponsible for any rav, mekubal or otherwise, to feed their notions that doing the opposite of commonsense somehow brings you blessing and is surely mekubal-y.
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