Friday, October 20, 2006


Meeting with the Mekubal

I wrote quite a while back about the series of challenges that seemed to arise when I planned to visit a mekubal (that story is here.) Here's the story of my visit...

I had made arrangements to visit a major mekubal (kabbalist) visiting from Israel. This was to be a personal visit, family issues, health issues, children issues. All is not easy in this world, and some challenges are very hard.

He was staying in Flatbush, I don't live in New York. It was Tzom Gedaliah, the fast day, and it was a long, but surprisingly smooth, trip. I went with my whole family. This was not advised, but not only did I want to present some problems for review first hand, I also wanted to present my children with the opportunity to be in the presence of a tzadik (a righteous holy man). We arrived and found the location without too much difficulty. One person was inside and one was waiting before us. The children had been in the car for a while, the younger ones started running around and the older ones sat around and grumbled. My wife and I alternated positions between staying near the older ones and trying to keep their voices down, and staying with the younger ones on the sidewalk and directing their running safely.

I wanted to see the Rav while still fasting. The fast had ended and it was getting to me, I consumed a juice box of the children. My wife continued fasting (she's tough!) After about 15 minutes the person before us entered, we were next. I was trying to complete Tikkun Klali before entering, it was becoming a major challenge between the two groups of children. I was seriously beginning to doubt my judgment in bringing them.

Finally we went in. Instantly a series of embarrassing bathroom breaks were necessary with the children. No doubt about my judgment now, thumbs down. Ugh.

Eventually ready (us that is), the Rav motioned us over. He was seated at a small dinette table, the room well lit. The table had a fruit platter and a plate of cookies and pastries. The Rav was sitting in a silk black Shabbos coat, large white kippah, and a normal hat, looking regal. All of the children sat quietly, the older ones were shy and hanging back, he motioned them to come close to the seats by him.

We sat quietly for a few moments, all of us. I prepared to speak, as I went to open my mouth he motioned with his hand for me not to. He closed his eyes and concentrated for a half a minute or so, I felt a charge (like a static electricity build up).

He looked at my wife and I and he said, "the balance is not right", he then looked at my wife and said, "his blood is not right, he must get a blood test right away!". He then explained at length that when the balance between the parents is not right, the children become very upset at this and acting out in anger, further upsetting the serenity of the home.

My wife responded that I have blood tests every year or two and take high blood pressure medicine, everything is fine (or under control at least) in that area. He forcefully said, "he must get a blood test immediately, the medicine is wrong!"

He went on detailing how things are affecting me, my wife and the children. We had not said a word yet about a single problem of ours and he's detailing our problems to us! This went on for 20 minutes! During this whole time the children are sitting there rapt with attention. This is way out of character.

He began detailing how to work on our problems. First he prescribed a diet change that he said is critical for me, absolute avoidance of bad fats, pretty much all fats, as well as absolutely no sugar, as well as a series of salads and herbs. He reiterated a blood test and a medication change. He recommended specific spiritual steps, including specific tikkunim (prayers of repair) and yeshuos (prayers of salvation), both for myself and my wife. He further directed, rather straightforwardly, improvements in marital activities, focusing them on kedusah (holiness). This was extremely important, he said.

We took our leave and headed back to the car. And everything filled out. My older children started cursing up a storm, at each other, at themselves, at the wall. My wife grumbled how she got nothing out of it, it didn't connect with her. The little kids kvetched about food, tiredness, each other. It was like the yetzer hara had been bottled up and now the dam had crashed over. I couldn't believe it.

We traveled home, it wasn't pleasant until the crew fell asleep.

The next morning I delayed going into work and went to the lab. I happened to have a blood test prescription I'd put off for about 4 months (I hate getting stabbed for blood), so in to the vampires I went. And don't forget the cup.

Two days later I got a call from the doctor's secretary, "you've got to come in right away." "What is it?" I asked. "Your blood test results are in, it's important the doctor review them with you immediately."

Well, it seems my triglycerides have gone through the roof, my HDL has dropped through the floor, by LDL has gone up, and my blood sugar is high, and my liver enzymes are iffy. All this was somewhat normal last year (not great, but normal). And, my current blood pressure medication has a side effect of making the triglycerides and LDL problems worse.

In other words, too much fat, too much sugar, wrong medication, and hard to treat because of the liver. When I told my wife this, she started on the program. Me, I'm on a whole new series of medication, G-d willing the blood profile will get better when I retest in a month, and working my way through the tikkunim.

I had a conversation with Dov Bar Leib about this, and speculated that balancing personal areas of kedusah subject to extreme tuma is critical for klal yisroel (meaning specifically marital relations and associated activities). This means proper martial relations versus 'anything goes' (of course only within a kosher relationship). Though a steak can be kosher and eating it isn't, G-d forbid, an avera (sin) like eating a pork chop, still, gorging on 3 steaks certainly isn't a mitzvah. A similar analogy can be considered in marital activities.

These types of things, as well as other negative influences which had crept into our lives results in an out of balance relationship between the husband and wife, chutzpah and major anger towards the parents from the children, educational and authority problems for the children, health imbalances, increases in incidence of high blood pressure and diabetes.

Dov asked, "Why now more than in previous times?"

Of course, this is just my own speculation... Because when the yetzer hara is coming to it's end, it throws out all stops to prevent it. So we see such tremendous cultural influence pushing sex into everything, and this penetrates even the bedrooms of the frum Jewish world (which is partially the main target, and explains the intensity level required to get that deep). Damage the Jewish family and Torah society falls apart.

Similarly we see an external attack in the same category, The Impure Parade rescheduled for Jerusalem on the 19th of Cheshvon (Nov. 10?). Will the religious Jewish community stand up and rebuff it, with mesiras nefesh?

And that was my visit. I'll let you know how the results go, G-d willing only for the best.

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From Mystical Paths, MPATHS.COM. Reading it somewhere else? See it there, click.


BaltJew said...

How do you find a makubal? We made aliyah 4 in Aug and it has not been going well. Also I have a special needs kid.

Jack A. Cohen said...

What is the Rabbis name that u went to see?

Jack A. Cohen said...

Who was the mekubal

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