By Yonatan Gordon
In an effort to bring additional clarity to the events now gripping the Lubavitch community, I thought to bring my personal story. While not specific to this organization, I was encouraged to write it after hearing from other students how Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsburg responded to the most recent events.
He said (as heard from another student): “Since this is obviously not the real thing, we need to increase our efforts to promote the real thing instead. These events only mean that there are certainly more open possibilities–more and more–to step up our good influence in the world.”
A few years back, on one of the Lubavitch news sites, there was advertised an ‘alternative healing’ practitioner visiting Crown Heights from Eretz Yisroel. Seeing this is an easy way out of some difficulties I had been having, both my wife and I enlisted his services. As he was a Lubavitcher, with a full beard, etc., at the time we had assumed that his methods of healing would be 100% ‘kosher’ as well.
It turns out that while most of his work was energy based, he also used guided imageries as part of his methods. The highpoint of these imageries was to take the patient through oceans, to a far distant place, to enter a room that he called the “chamber of Moshiach.”
Although reluctant, at the end I did see the image of this person that was intended to be “the Moshiach.” But instead of deep penetrating eyes, they were artificially blue without any depth to them, and the appearance was that of a wizard or magician similar to the garb of eastern practitioners.
Since that visit, we became troubled by many thoughts that had never bothered us previously. We sought out the assistance of another Lubavitch ‘healing practitioner’ who we had gone to in the past. He informed us that this other man derived his ‘healing’ from the same kelipot as Christianity, and that he was working his best to combat it on our behalf.
When this too didn’t work, and the thoughts were still troubling us, we contacted our Satmar ‘homeopath’ Yitzchak Fisch from Williamsburgh.
First let me explain why I put notations around the work “homeopath.” The reason is that although he is skilled at his profession, before administering the pellets, he makes sure to first say, “May Hashem give you an emesdikeh refuah (true healing).”
For this reason, throughout the years of going to him, I wouldn’t ask what the actual name of the remedy was. Even if the remedy was perfectly selected out of hundreds of other possible choices, it is still Hashem that gives the refuah, and not a particular remedy.
This was all background material about the respect my wife and I have, till this day, for Mr. Fisch.
So we called him, explaining what the second practitioner had told us. He responded loudly–probably audible in the adjacent rooms through the phone–that this is complete and total nonsense! That there is nothing to fight against, because it doesn’t exist to begin with! This was the answer that we needed to hear!
From the words heard from a student in the name of Rabbi Ginsburg at the beginning, and in-line with the story just recounted, there are two factors that I think each of us need to realize:
1. These workshops are not the real thing.
2. We need to do more to promote the real thing, or the viable alternative that today’s youth especially are searching for.
It is clear from this that more than the impact of fighting darkness with a stick, increasing the light by spreading the true path (such as is taught in the Torat Hanefesh three-year program) would be infinitely more beneficial.
–Yonatan Gordon, former Marketing Manager at Kehot Publication Society, founded Dwelling Place Publishing and CommunityofReaders.org, a website for exchanging ideas and experiences