What’s your opinion about going to mekubalim, those who practice practical kabbalah?
Look, I had a man here in this congregation who had some kind of problem. So he went to a mekubal and gave him five hundred dollars, and the mekubal gave him a few little stones to carry around with him. So I told him that if he had put the five hundred dollars into a pushka to support a yeshiva then maybe it would have helped him. But here, all he did was help the mekubal pay his bills. He’s not a mekubal. He’s a mikabel!
Now, if you go to a mekubal who is not taking any money from you, then we can begin to think about it. But if you have a mekubal who is doing this for the purpose of making a living, we really have to beware of such people. You have to realize that it’s so easy for people to be deceived. Don’t be fools! Here comes a man who wants to read your palm. Chochmas ha’yad! Do you know what his chochmas ha’yad is? [The Rav stretched out his hand with his palm open and made the motion of taking money] “Put something into my yad.” That’s chochmas ha’yad! Where do you find chochmas ha’yad in the Gemara?! It’s not found even once. So you have to be very careful about being misled.
And what about dybuks?
I see that I have alot of questions about dybuks tonight. [The Rav was skimming through the slips of paper with written questions on them that people had passed forward in order to ask questions anonymously] People are wasting alot of their time with dybuks. Life is too short for that. You have to make use of your time by accomplishing something in life.
TAPE # E-185 (April 1999)