Rabbi Pinto on Rabbis Using Mysticism to Advise People

Last night, Rabbi Yoshiyahu Pinto firmly opposed rabbis and counselors who use mysticism and amulets to make decisions. He emphasized that sick individuals should consult doctors, as rabbis should not make medical decisions based on amulets and intuition.

“There are those who tell people, ‘Don’t get married, because it’s not your mazel.’ How do they know what is suitable and what isn’t?” Rabbi Pinto asked. “How do you know if the names are compatible? Are you a veterinarian? Do you have a feeling in your heart? Are you checking the kidneys and heart too?”

He explained, “There are many unsophisticated people in the Jewish nation who have faith in rabbis and are naïve. Their naivety makes them vulnerable. They are like an egg that breaks if you press a little on the side, but if you press it hard on top, it won’t break. Similarly, faith is fragile. A small knock can break a person’s faith.”

“You have to be cautious when giving advice to people,” he said. “Are you a doctor or a rabbi? How do you know whether someone should have surgery? How do you know if it’s good or not? We always direct our students to doctors and tell them to consult with them.”

“You can give a blessing, but by what right can you tell someone not to have an operation? Are you willing to risk their life? What are you, the holy Baal Shem Tov?”

Rabbi Pinto also noted that today, there are no true experts in writing amulets. The Baba Sali used to send people to a tzaddik in Beit Shean, claiming he was the last expert of his generation in making amulets.

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