by Reb Akiva at Mystical Paths
Many new age medical healing practices, traditional ages-ago medical practices, and eastern medical practices have come to our community in the past few years. Some are great and offer proven benefits, some may offer limited or unknown benefits but when healing is needed we try all we can, BUT some are tied to ancient practices of avodah zarah (idol worship) and/or directly tied in with beliefs of other religions. It's rare for a gadol Torah to do a personal investigation of such, but in this case it was actually done. Here is the teshuvah on Energy Healing. While this is from 5 years ago, we present it today to point out practical concerns about new age healing programs and things such as yoga.
* Translation of a teshuva from R. Yisroel Halevi Belsky *
I have been asked regarding a new healing treatment called Consegrity, which, according to its proponents, has already been used to heal many ill people in wondrous ways. I have also heard many stories which attest to the success of this treatment. It has further been told to me that many chashuve congregations have organized groups to teach and give guidance to Jewish men and women in the techniques, and they are preparing themselves to publicize the thing to the point where it will be considered by the general community as a proper medical treatment. The question is if there is anything prohibited in their applications -- even in situations where the patients are in life-threatening situations, for perhaps there is a problem of avodah zara or its appurtenances, rachmona litzlan.
Now this is a very serious question, for one may not be strict in a situation where it is possible to save lives and heal the sick. Chazal's statement is well known, "Anything that is a cure is not in the category of Darchei Emori." On the other hand, they have also stated that one may not be healed by the wood of an asheira tree, etc. Therefore we may not answer the question without a deep analysis and exhaustive research, and certainly not publicize a decision that is not well researched.
Therefore, I requested, and it was brought to me a full measure of materials that describe the details of the program and the textbooks that the practitioners of Consegrity use in their treatments. I read through the majority of the literature extremely carfully and spoke with some of their experts to hear directly from their mouths a detailed description and also a satisfactory explanation of some of the complicated passages. I studied all this with great deliberation until, I believe, I reached a fair understanding.
To my distress, it appears before me a complicated net of poisonous expressions, drawn from muddy springs including Christian sayings with an explicit reference to the head of Christianity, ymach shemo, himself. Also many of the statements are based on the abominations of the masters of India and places in the Far East, the famous and the obscure from which all the mystics and magicians (who are finding new strength in our times, rachmono litzlan, and many are stumbling as a result) drew from.
I have no doubt that the heads of the present confusion intended from the beginning to trap innocent souls in their nets. I will tell a small part of what I have found. Let the reader decide if I have overstated the case or minimized the thing in order to distance myself from exaggeration:
A woman studied this wisdom in a course that was set up in her neighborhood. She was startled to hear them make a direct reference to the head of Christianity which she only heard after the whole thing was over. She asked the expert if indeed it was true that they had affected some matter by way of this shem hatumah. He responded that it was definitely true and that this name had now entered into the depths of her soul and that it was implanted there and impossible to remove forever, because it was now a part of her very being and of her knowledge. When she heard this, her spirit fell inside of her and she was left thus perplexed until I assured her that there was nothing real in their nonsense and that she should not worry. They had not damaged or reached her soul in any way. Only then did she relax, baruch Hashem.
I have seen many instances like this, but what is clear to me beyond doubt is the presence of tamei expressions in hundreds of places, the majority of which are listed in their literature. This I have seen with my own eyes.
Apart from this, their trickery emerges from their philosophy, the foundation of which is that every word and thing has waves of energy which are activated through written or verbal expression. These waves act in different ways, even changing physical matter such as bones, water or anything in the world. This idea that a written word has a ring of special waves is central to their philosophy, and it is a falsehood of their own creation. There is no proof or evidence for this. They put forth many such statements that have no foundation in reason.
Others have claimed: So what? Let's remove from their books any difficult expressions and use what is left. The answer to this is that we may not use anything that was created from a deceitful source which includes even missionaries. Who can rely on his understanding to judge and clarify which action to accept and which to shun? For it has all come out of one source and all been used as one interconnected unit. Who will dare try to separate the tahor from the tamei?
I also want to emphasize that even if the stories that are being spread that the system is successful are true, this in no way indicates its kashrus or that it is permitted to use. For most magicians and faith healers have prided themselves in their supernatural successes. In the gemara, midrashim and ancient works, even to this day, many stories are told of "miracle workers" who have healing powers. It has always been so. The powers of tuma and the sitra achra are not imaginary; they are real; it is only that the holy Torah has commanded us to distance ourselves from them and not to use them to heal ourselves. We must only determine according to the law what is witchcraft and what is actual avodah zara. In our case, there is a complete confusion; they have brought in everything -- rachmono litzlan, actual avodah zara, witchcraft, invention and reality, nonsensical things and serious things; everything intended to confuse the mind, the understanding and the intelligence and to seduce innocent people -- who are frightened by the painful happenings they see with their eyes and become insane and astonished by them -- that perhaps this will bring an opening of hope to rely and lean on and remove the anguish from their hearts.
I have heard other rabonim express a different opinion on the matter, responding positively to this question. But, to me it is clear that they have not seen the material that I have accumulated and studied, and if they had seen what is hidden there, as I have, through examination and study, they would come to the exact same conclusions as I have. I am sure that those who asked them described an uncomplicated medical process which brings joy to the hearts of the sick and suffering with ease and without the bitterness of drugs. Perhaps these questioners themselves were not experts and did not understand that they walk in darkness.
What emerges from all this is that it is clear to me that one must distance himself from the Consegrity program and not use it at all. All courses should be halted and this sickness should be cleaned up completely. No scrap of this should be heard of within our borders. May Hashem create in us a pure heart and a healthy body. May it be His will that no error come through our deeds and may we reach knowledge of the truth with Hashem's help.
22 Sivan 5763
Yisrael Halevy Belski
Avraham Yehoshua Heshel Bick
Av Beis Din Medzibozh
R. Mattisyahu Salomon
Mashgiach of Lakewood
R. Yakov Hillel
BS"D - בסיעתא דשמיא