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Kabbalah facts and fantasies

FAQ: Health

FAQ: Health

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QUESTION: "Shalom U'Bracha. Please help me to understand what is the problem with my eyes. There was nothing wrong with them until recently when I learned that there is very high pressure in both of them. I'm treating them by a doctor but it's important to know the spiritual fix."

ANSWER: This may sound prosaic, but absolutely the best "tikun" is to be careful where you look - "Do not turn aside after your heart and your eyes".

Working on controlling anger is another important fixing for this particular problem.


QUESTION: "My question is in regards to praying for my young children, who this year have been sick over and over again. Is there something that I can study or reflect upon, that may reveal something in my own life that is hindering healing in my child's life? What is the connection, from your perspective, between normal everyday dust, mold, etc affecting our health and the spiritual side affecting our health? How much of sickness is due to us either hindering the Al-mighty in some way or blocking the flow of His energy in our lives?

I know this is a very basic and perhaps ignorant understanding of G‑d, but I greatly respect this website and desire to walk more in His ways."

ANSWER: Of course, everything in the physical world has a spiritual source. But that doesn't mean that we are entitled to understand what that connection is. When children are sick it is always a good idea for parents to do a "spiritual accounting" and examine their deeds.

On the other hand, it is important not to become fixated on it because we cannot know if there is a connection or not. In this particular instance, the important thing is to increase in good deeds, and, if you are Jewish, also in the fulfillment of the commandments and the study of the Torah. That surely will increase our merit in G‑d's eyes, which can't hurt, no matter what the true cause of the sickness!

You may also wish to avail yourself of our "Send-a-prayer" service - you may send either a free prayer or one accompanied by a donation.


QUESTION: "Does the Kabbalah make any reference to, or provide any explanation for the holocaust, particularly as it affected innocent children and pious individuals?"

ANSWER: There are no official answers, just theories, opinions and guesses. The events are still too close in time and the trauma is still too great. Until clarity is permitted, we have to simply trust that G‑d knows what He is doing even if we can't understand why He does what He does. Indeed, Kabbalah will tell you that, by definition, He and His thoughts and His ways are unknowable.


QUESTION: "I need your help; about one month ago I went to the doctor where he diagnosed me with a very bad disease. He told me that there is no cure for me.

When I heard those words come out of the Dr.'s mouth, I felt like my whole life was over. I researched practically the entire world for a cure and came up with zero. I now started putting on tefillin every day and realize that the only cure to this is the willing of G‑d. I also try to go to the synagogue on Monday and Thursday, when the Torah scroll is read. Do you suggest anything else for me to do?"

ANSWER: I'm sorry to hear about your distressing and frightening situation. You may wish to utilize the send-a-prayer portal on our home page.

Tefillin is a good start. So is prayer with a minyan. The more commandments you can observe the better. In your case, three other important ones stand out as necessary to begin as soon as possible: a kosher kitchen and kosher food, mezuzahs on all doorposts except the bathroom, and giving tzedakah.

QUESTION: "What are some Kabbalistic segulot or advice concerning healing from illness? What should a person do if G‑d forbid, they are facing a very poor medical prognosis, in terms of faith in G‑d and accepting G‑d's decree? How should one pray for a favorable outcome?"

ANSWER: The best thing to do is to boost one's merit in G‑d's eyes, by increased mitzvah observance and Torah study, in quantity or quality or both. This can and should be combined with sincere prayer.

Doctors are commanded by G‑d to heal, and, as such, they can expect some divine aid in their healing (if they are sufficiently humble - a rare state in today's doctors). They are not permitted to not heal and anything they do or say in that regard is beyond their mandate and not necessarily authoritative.

The Baal Shem Tov taught that instead of praying for what we think we need, we should pray that G‑d send us what He knows we need. You will do the best you can to "help your case", but at the same time we have to remember and trust that G‑d knows exactly what He is doing.


QUESTION: "Does the Kabbalah hold any mystical remedies for bad skin (acne), weight loss and finding one's soul mate quickly?"

ANSWER: No. Kabbalah is not magic. Beware of anyone who promises you miraculous remedies. From what you write, it seems that a healthy diet would take care of at least two if not all of the stated problems.


QUESTION: "If pain and suffering are part of the divine plan for reasons other than the consequence of sin, what are those reasons? Most Kabbalah books that I have read, most notably "Derech Hashem" ("Way of G‑d") have pointed to a strong connection between sin and suffering. If there is another legitimate viewpoint, I'm open-minded and willing to hear it."

ANSWER: A distinction is made between "suffering of punishment" and "suffering of love". Perhaps the trauma Abraham went through during the Binding of Isaac would be an example of suffering of love, when the suffering can be an impetus to rise to a higher level. We have to be very careful when we see someone suffering to guard ourselves against the reaction, "If he is suffering then he must have sinned." That is not a desirable Jewish response.


QUESTION: "I am a registered nurse. I believe that I have the gift of healing. Would you give me some direction about this gift? I had been asked by someone to pray for a chronic condition that they had with their ankle. I was able to see this person's ankle as an actual x-ray. I have at other times of prayer been able to see others in other parts of the world in various situations some that were desperate."


ANSWER: As to how to use your gift of healing, you did not provide enough information. You wrote about how you can SEE through skin and around the world, but not if you are able to help with what you see, and if so, how. Prayer? Powers? etc. If indeed you have been granted such ability, and if you are Jewish, you must quickly align yourself with G‑d's commandments to the Jewish people as revealed in the Torah, to make sure that what you are receiving is indeed from the forces of good. Not all such powers are good, you know, even if it seems that you can use them for good things.

Yerachmiel Tilles is the co-founder of Ascent-of-Safed, and was its educational director for 18 years. He is the creator of www.ascentofsafed.com and www.kabbalaonline.org and currently the director of both sites. He is also a well-known storyteller, a columnist for numerous chassidic publications, and a staff rabbi on AskMoses.com, as well as and the author of "Saturday Night, Full Moon": Intriguing Stories of Kabbalah Sages, Chasidic Masters and other Jewish Heroes.
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