Monday, April 28, 2008

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Energy Healing

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
Brooklyn, NY

Yisrael Halevy Belski

Co-signed by

Avraham Yehoshua Heshel Bick
Av Beis Din Medzibozh

R. Mattisyahu Salomon
Mashgiach of Lakewood

R. Yakov Hillel
Yerushalayim

8 comments:

Liorah Lleucu said...

The author(s) are totally without understanding of witchcraft and weakens anything else that may be written to the level of clear propaganda.

Anonymous said...

It is true that there are many energy healing systems that are avodah zara and otherwise cultlike. These should be avoided. But where to draw the line? Reiki is very widespread, and on the surface seems OK (a major Orthodox blogger once wrote of it supportingly), but others (including R' Tzadok of Koshertorah.com) have said it is Avodah Zara. Rav Tzadok, however, says that qi gong, tai chi, and Eastern martial arts are kosher. I agree with this, although in each case one has to be sure that there is not some religious or cult-like source of the practice. For example, if my acupuncturist teaches me a qigong routine for my health problem, this should in most cases be fine, assuming this is a normal Chinese acupuncturist and not one with new-agey or other religious influences. However, one should stay away from the "Taoist Tai Chi Center," since obviously there is some connection to the religion of Taoism. Of all the energy healing related systems, qigong and tai chi are in general probably the least objectionable. Reiki is much more suspect, and cult-like things like Falun Gong and Mahi Kari (and presumably Consegrity), it goes without saying, would be forbidden. However, some even say that tai chi is forbidden. R' Yitzhach Greenberg says that tai chi draws energy from unholy places, or something like that, but he does not mention how he knows this and why we should believe him (and not the other rabbis who approve of such things.) Rav Greenberg is coming up with his own version of energy healing, complete with kabbalistically-derived equivalents for the (hindu) chakras and so on. Supposedly someone has already come up with a Jewish substitute for reiki by, with rabbinic advice, substituting Hebrew letters for reiki symbols. Yitzhak Fanger, a former reiki master, now a Haredi rabbi, is reportedly interested in doing something like this too. If it is done right this kind of thing can be good, especially for those drawn to such things who want something that is definitely kosher. But in the meantime before such systems are completely developed and widely circulated, I am inclined to think it should be OK to do standard qigong and tai chi, as long as one is careful.

Anonymous said...

To provide links from the previous post....

Yitzchak Greenburgh's website is here:

http://www.inner.org/

And an article about Yitzhak Fanger is here:

http://www.israelnationalnews.com/Blogs/Message.aspx/2294

Anonymous said...

this is a testimony to the wisdom of our gedolim, this teshuva was written five years ago, BEFORE the whole consegrity fell apart in a scandal.

ReikiRanch said...

Energy Healing -- Reiki is LOVE!


Taylore Vance
Reiki Master
The Reiki Ranch
Reiki Energy Healing

Anonymous said...

Sephardic kabbalist Rav Ariel bar Tzadok, mentioned in the second comment above, just today released an article in which he discusses energy healing. He disapproves of contemporary energy healing (this would include Reiki), but says the energy-based system of Chinese medicine, especially acupuncture and Qigong, are scientifically valid and kosher.

http://www.koshertorah.com/PDF/occult22.pdf

Anonymous said...

it depends also on who is doing the healing are they using kosher or unkosher kavvanot to heal ? !We need frum kosher healers big time !!!!!!!!!

oscadilla said...

i would like to take this opportunity to share how healing the movie soul masters was for me. it was truly moving and hopeful. i recommend it. it´s life changing. it´s a must see.
oscar

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