However, today I believe that these ancient traditions have been corrupted by charlatans looking to make a quick buck. They will exploit you for money and claim that it’s for ulterior motives. For example, one should give $40 because the number $40 has some mystical significance to a Pidyon Hanefesh (redeeming a soul). Honestly, if it were just about the numbers, why don’t they make it 40 cents? For this reason I have nicknamed these “Mekubalim” “Mekablim (Mamon).”
They will also state things that will make them always right no matter what by allowing some wiggle room. For example, I once heard of a Mekubal promising a man with only daughters that he and his wife will have a “Ben” (son) shortly. The man’s wife davka (specifically) gave birth to a girl. When he ran back to that Mekubal, this character replied that he indeed had a BeN – a Beis Nashim (house of women). You can’t trust them.
I’m going to open up right now for the first time in over 2 years. I’m almost ashamed to say that I fell for one of those when I found that my wife was carrying a child with a potentially deadly heart defect (that child, a son, made it out alive and lived for 7.5 weeks). This was a time when my wife and I tried ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING. My wife and I saw the best doctors, went along with the best surgeries/operations/procedures that could save the fetus/baby’s life, and followed whatever recommendations were advised (in some cases involving a Posek when there was a real Sheilah). From a spiritual side of things, we Davened, said a lot of Tehillim, let others know to Daven and say Tehillim, had my Tefillin and our Mezuzos checked, you name it. As an extra precaution we saw a “Mekubal” healer strongly recommended by someone I personally know. He charged a steep price for his services – $120/half hour. $70 was for the “distance prayers healing” and $50 was for the treatment. We actually went to a couple of those sessions. Believe me, you would too if you tried everything else first and needed to hang onto something.
After all we went through we saw that a) nothing changed, and b) I was personally able to replicate what he did, which in turn was demoralizing. I was wondering what I paid for. In addition, I looked the person up and saw that in the past, he worked as a bank clerk in Israel prior to growing the beard. That’s a nice raise to go from 12 shekels an hour to $120 a half hour! Perhaps I should grow a beard and take that kind of job!
No. That would be wrong and completely against my moral compass. However, I therefore feel obligated to show you what YOU TOO can do to become a fake Mekubal, fool people, and charge lots of money, all this information for free!
Disclaimer: DON’T do what I’m about to tell you what to do! I’m doing this in an attempt to debunk charlatans, make people realize that every person is a potential Shaliach and that the only Being to turn to is Hashem. I hope that once everyone does that we’ll be a step closer to meriting the arrival of Moshiach.
1. Dress like a Chassid – Grow a long beard and trim your haircut
Most Mekubalim, especially those in Israel, have long beards. This comes from the idea that facial hair represents Anavah (modesty), whereas head-hair represents Gaavah (haughtiness). In addition, each strand of beard represents a “spark of light.” You’ve got to dress the part. Now, while it’s known that the Ramchal (R’ Moshe Chaim Luzzatto) was clean-shaven, the custom of Italian Jewry was that Mekubals only grow beards while living in Eretz Yisrael. This Minhag wasn’t widespread and almost nobody knows of it, so just grow the darn beard. Long peyos are optional.
2. Practice Your Poker Face
It’s very hard to lie to someone with a straight face. I should know as I admittedly am a very poor liar. But from what I’ve heard, the more you do this the easier it gets. Oh yeah, since money is everything ignore that gnawing feeling of guilt and remorse when you rip people off.
Always look busy, making up how “important” some made-up thing is.
3. Practice a Fake Accent
Israeli/Yemenite/Moroccan/Eastern European Jewish accents rock. You’ll be sure to sucker in more people that way.
4. Energy Healing: Set up a treatment table, play soft relaxing music and tell your patient to close his/her eyes at all times
Nothing sets the mood like relaxing music, a comfortable bed and not knowing what will happen next. You think you are floating when you’re not.
5. Energy Healing: Use Rose Oil, Rub Firmly Against Your Hands, Then Hover Hands Palms Right Above Person’s Body
The oil itself needs to smell nice, adding to the ambiance. Rubbing it firmly, briskly against your hands causes friction and heat. Once that’s done, cup both your hands together, fingers together, and gently hover over the person’s body. This heat/non-heat oil effect will give off the electricity effect.
6. Take a Piece of Paper, Write a Name Out, Then Erase It In Water, Meanwhile Mumbling Some Random Words
This is your chance to take money of a determinable number. 40 is the most common (in Israel it’s NIS 160 which is the rough equivalent of $40 USD), but you can use any number as long as you can think quick on your feet and make up some Gematria on the fly (I actually know someone – not a Mekubal – that does it for fun). As for erasing a name, the reference has to do with Sotah water. But why worry about getting killed by the water when you no longer have a moral compass?
7. Kameahs (Amulets) Sell
The Rambam was known to be very much against Kameahs, but who cares? Write anything, as long as it looks cool, and sell it to someone promising some vague fortune. You’ll have that person eating out of your hand.