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Why do some randomly open a Jewish book and search for prophetic wisdom?

by Mrs. Baila Olidort

  

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I don't know about the prophecy part--haven't heard that at all. But there is something to the idea that to remain connected to your teacher's teachings and guidance, after his passing, you write a letter as you did during your Rebbe's lifetime, and then open one of the Rebbe's books and hope to find some resolution or guidance on the page he has opened to. This makes sense where there is a deep bond between Chassid and Rebbe.

In fact, opening a Chumash randomly to find an answer is a long standing Jewish tradition...
In fact, opening a Chumash randomly to find an answer is a long standing Jewish tradition. There's a caveat, however: It was only used when there was no other means available to find the answer. The Rebbe mentioned this shortly before his stroke, in a manner that made clear its implications.

I tried it, but it didn't seem to work for me, or perhaps I hadn't approached it with the appropriate seriousness. I have friends who've had incredible results. There's nothing dangerous about it, but it cheapens it if you treat it lightly. In other words, if someone is doing it to see if it works, that's silly, but if someone is doing it because they do have a yearning to connect with the Rebbe, or to become more attuned to their spiritual reality, it may open them up to a certain awareness or hope that they will find something to help them resolve their questions, or direct them.

TAGS: igros, igrot

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re:Can you explain the custom of randomly opening up a Jewish book and searching for prophetic wisdom?

Posted by: Kolami on Oct 10, 2005

this is originally from the Baal Shem Tov. it is very helpful if approached with the right kavanah-the right intent and spiritual state of mind. ask a spititually elevated question of import and your response will be at that particular level.

RELATED CATEGORIES

Chassidism » Rebbe » "The Rebbe"

Chassid
(Pl.: Chassidim; Adj.: Chassidic) A follower of the teachings of Rabbi Israel Baal Shem Tov (1698-1760), the founder of "Chassidut." Chassidut emphasizes serving G-d with sincerity and joy, and the importance of connecting to a Rebbe (saintly mentor).
Rebbe
A Chassidic master. A saintly person who inspires followers to increase their spiritual awareness.
Chumash
The Five Books of Moses.