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Claims of the Paranormal

By Rabbi Eli Teitelbaum

Claims of the paranormal are very dangerous and are responsible for misleading billions of people to practice nonsensical religions. This is why the Rambam says that if one’s belief in G-d is based on miracles alone then his belief is only superficial. The Rambam in Hilchos Yesodei Hatorah 3:2 says that the reason Moshe refused to go to Pharaoh and claimed that “They will not listen to me,” was because their belief would be based on miracles and miracles can often be preformed through deception upon which all of magic is based. Today’s great magicians can make the Statute of Liberty or a large animal disappear right in front of your eyes. They can cut a person in half and bring him back to life. The Egyptians were great magicians and used their magic skills to disprove the existence of G-d, as it says in Mesechta Sanhedrin. This may be why the Torah does not allow a Jew to practice magic. In ancient times, priests used their magical abilities to prove the powers of their gods, explains the Rambam in Hilchos Avoda Zara.

Even though we find that when the Red Sea split, it says that the Jews now believed in Hashem and Moshe, which seems to contradict the Rambam, let’s realize that it wasn’t the miracle of the Red Sea itself that made them into believers, but it was because they all suddenly were elevated to the status of prophecy and saw on their very own all that was happening in the heavens above. It was this and witnessing G-d speaking to us at Sinai that confirmed our belief for eternity. And so even if a priest would come today and outperform all Moshe’s miracles, we would give them no credence.

This is why we must never give any paranormal claims such as a talking fish or psychics any credence, no matter how truthful the witnesses may sound and even if there is no reason for them to lie. Millions of people have been misled because of such nonsensical claims into believing in strange gods. All people who believe in the “Talking fish” story are easy prey for kabbalistic scam artists, mezuzah readers, and other phonies, such as Uri Geller, Simcha Ashlag, and their ilk. The belief in the irrational can be very dangerous to both your wallet and spiritual well being.

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