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A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing... Following a Trail of Fraud and Deception

By Rabbi Eli Teitelbaum

There is no greater danger then a wolf dressed up in sheep’s clothing. When a con artist puts on chassidic garb and possess as a kabbalistic healer, the results can be devastating. While many of these con artists reside in our midst, there are some that have outsmarted even some of our finest.

When I read an ad in the local Jewish paper claiming that a holy kabbalist had come into town that was able to heal every incurable illness, I was appalled. He claimed that all one had to do was to bring him their kesuba. He would give it a thorough examination and fix any mistakes or sometimes even rewrite it. This he claimed would solve all problems. For doing this hocus pocus, he would of course charge a hefty fee. Once he had your confidence he would also convince you to support his many educational institutions he claimed he ran in Israel. When he smelled big money, he would also ask for large loans for his non-existent institutions. While he promised to repay them, that promise would never come true.

Since there are always a certain percentage of problems that resolve themselves on their own, it wasn't difficult to convince people of his great miraculous powers. Most evangelists prey on this percentage. By also playing the well-known psychic game he was able to convince many people that he truly possessed great kabbalistic powers.

The desperate, who can find no help elsewhere, will grab any straw held out to them no matter how unbelievable it may sound. When a person walks through the dessert and is very thirsty his eyes begin to play tricks on him and he begins to see a mirage. He thinks that there is water ahead of him but when he gets there it turns out to be sand.

In order to put him to the test we played a simple con game with him. We had a person who was not married make an appointment to see him. He told his gabbi that he had two sick children and needed help. He gave a fake name and had a fake kessubah to match. When he met with the kesuba reader a few weeks later, he wasn’t too surprised when the kesubah reader told him that he had found some mistake in the kesuba that lead him to believe that he had two sick children. He offered to rewrite his kesuba which he claimed would heal the children. When the impostor claimed that he couldn't afford to pay the $10,000 fee, he was nice enough to reduce it to $5,000. So much for his great kabalistic powers!

However it was only recently when his closest aid and former personal gabbi Mr. Drei jumped ship that much of his shenanigans were revealed. Part of his racket was to give people his own concocted medicine called Flora and claimed that this would heal them. His close aid revealed that he bought these tablets from some company in Florida and repackaged them into his own bottles. Dispensing medicine without a license is of course illegal and can be very dangerous. His former gabbai claims that he was fooled by his charismatic and charming personality and that it took him many years to realize that he was nothing but a fraud and very cleaver con artist that stole thousands of dollars from people all over the world with his fraudulent claims.

He has also been accused by Chief Rabbi Bachshi Doron of Israel as well as many other leading rabbonim such as the Chief Rabbi of France of being a womanizer and they have issued letters warning people to stay away from him.

Yet he has the personality of a Shapti Tzvi and is able to continue his fraud despite all the warnings that have come out against him. That’s because people are easily fooled by those claiming to have psychic kabalistic powers. Those who would like to know the truth should study the sefer “Tomim Thiyeh” by one of the leading mekubolim of our time, Rabbi Hillel, who warns people not to fall for these nonsensical claims. He too, has warned people to stay away from him.

P.S. One can also read the book “The Psychic Maffia” which reveals the clever tricks used by those claiming to possess such powers.

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