Sunday, May 23, 2010


Other Paths, or Going Without Lunch

by Reb Gutman Locks at Mystical Paths


(News Report) An 83-year-old Indian ‘holy man,’ who says he has spent seven decades without food or water, has astounded a team of military doctors who studied him during a two-week observation period. Apparently, he does not eat, drink, or go to the toilet.

After a period of observation by the military in a local hospital, the 'holy man' has since returned to his village, where he will resume his routine of yoga and meditation. He says that he was blessed by a goddess at a young age, which gave him special powers.”

Doesn’t this newspaper article prove that there are other proper paths to G-d?


Let’s assume that the story is true, that this man has really lived the past 70 years without eating and drinking. After all, I certainly saw amazing mystical feats when I was living in India. For instance, there was one guru who “materialized diamonds,” another who filled a crowded room with palpable bliss by just walking into it, and there were some who could tell you your thoughts, so this hermit’s story just might be true. So, doesn’t this wonder prove that his spiritual path is correct?

This story is a perfect example of the Torah’s statement; “I put before you life and death… choose life...” [i] G-d gives man free will. This is a hard and fast principle that He does not want to change. He insists on giving us free will because He wants to reward us according to our efforts. He does not want to simply give us gifts.

If all of the obvious spiritual and physical benefits came only from living a life of Torah, no one would have free will. Who would ever choose to do otherwise? So, G-d has put spiritual alternatives in the world in order to give us choices. India’s spirituality offers one of those choices.

Just like Balaam represented an alternative to the Torah, [ii] and just like Pharaoh’s magicians offered a different way to manipulate spiritual power, [iii] and just like the sons of Avraham took unclean powers with them when they went to the land of the East, so too, this hermit demonstrates such an unclean power today. How do we know? He says so himself. And not only do his words prove that his ‘gift’ is unclean, but his life proves it even more.

He said that a “goddess” blessed him with the power. Are there goddesses in the world? And what has he done with his wonderful spiritual gift? He has spent his entire life as a hermit. He lives alone, does yoga exercises, and meditates. What a wasted life!

G-d places us in His world with the instructions to tend His wonderful garden. [v] He wants us to improve His creation, to elevate His world, not to forsake it. A successful spiritual life is one of giving, one of helping those around you, not one spent sitting in a hut and watching your breath for your entire life.

[i] Deuteronomy 30:19
[ii]Numbers 22:5
[iii] Exodus 7:11
[iv] Genesis 25:6 - Rashi
[v] Genesis 2:16


  1. G-d yes, rabbinical excesses and miss interpretations, no. Choose life, not follow the majority to evil as per the Torah.

  2. I've gone without food for ten days at a time, but not water. After the initial humger pains leave I found that I didn't really want to eat. The only reason I went back to eating after ten days was out of boredom. Eating was just something to do. I think we eat far more than our bodies truly need.

    Remember the story of the Baal Shem Tov telling his disciple not to fast so much, but then he would take some bread and go out into the woods for six days and return with the bread uneaten?

    Yes, I've literally felt FULL after reading the Torah. Were my studies more GUIDED and STRUCTURED, I might eat far less than I do, because I wouldn't get bored. That's all food is to me. Something to do in order to kill some time.

    I don't have a spiritual guide or a program of study or a regimented lifestyle or a community of like minded souls to interact with, so the Yetzer HaRa typically wins the battle for time. :( Oh well.... Maybe in my next life I won't be born into the body of a Gentile or maybe HaShem will be merciful and just obliterate my soul.


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