"As doctors especially, you must completely negate the path of materialism, especially when paying attention to how greatly bodily health depends on spiritual health." - The Rebbe, in "Mind Over Matter" - p.311
I like to think of myself as a skeptic, but I'm so full of doubt that I'm not sure about that either.
Here's a perfect case in point. I found myself in my local shul one day, sitting next to Rabbi Ofer Elfassy, a visiting healer from Tiberias (Tverya) in Israel. I had heard that whenever this man comes to town, there is a long lineup of people eagerly awaiting their chance to benefit from the healing Light of the Infinite One Blessed be He that Rabbi Elfassy channels to each patient.
The faithful side of me said, "Cool." The rational side said, "Bah. No way."
I wanted to get to the bottom of this, so I did a little research to see how legit his operation really is. He passed with flying colors. He's got endorsement letters from mainstream rabbis, and praise from medical doctors and chiropractors. On top of that are dozens of heartfelt testimonials from people who had suffered for years, whether from pain, diseases, emotional problems or infertility.
Still, one can write anything they like on a website. I wanted first hand experience, and I found it. One of my close friends had come to Rabbi Elfassy with a specific health issue he had had for many years and which the doctors had given up on. The result? Gone in one session with R' Elfassy and it hasn't been back since.
I met up with Rabbi Elfassy this week at his host's home-office in Thornhill.
AG: I know about physical energies - heat, light, chemical, electric, kinetic, atomic - but you work with spiritual energy. What is that exactly?
OE: To understand spiritual energy, we should first understand the concept of give and take. There are those that are givers and others that are takers. For example, someone may be wise and scholarly, even a genius in Torah, but not have the merit to give, to share. The Creator is a giver, His kindness and care are infinite.
My definition of spirituality is giving. If we are to access true spirituality,
we must becoming giving people ourselves. Once we tap into G-d's grace, we can then access His healing energy and transfer it to others. That's how I work with spiritual energy.
AG: What does it take to access this energy?
OE: The most important thing is bitul. One must put aside the ego entirely. A selfish person can never be a spiritual healer. The extent to which one negates his sense of self is the extent to which s/he can be successful in this mode of healing. The person with the greatest bitul is the greatest healer.
AG: How do you achieve this level of bitul?
OE: One must work on his personality, that it should be aligned with the Torah's values. It's what we call tikkun hamidot. Torah without midot is nothing, but if we can become better, more pure, closer to the Ayn Sof, then we can be a vessel, ready to receive.
AG: Is energy healing a skill you can learn or is it a talent you are born with?
OE: It's not so simple to answer. There's definitely an element of divine
gift. I studied a lot of kabbala and worked on myself very seriously but never imagined I would become a healer until I received a very power and transformational revelation one Yom Kippur 16 years ago. From then on I could access divine energy, channel it and heal all kinds of conditions, even very serious and malignant ones that other energy healers can't manage.
On the other hand, it is definitely possible for the average person to learn the fundamentals of energy healing and even to become somewhat proficient at it. With proper discipline, one can relate to a patients aura, or bioenergetic field, and through that heal more minor ailments like infections or joint conditions. Not long ago, I teamed up with a Russian-Israeli doctor and we taught a college-level training course in energy healing.
AG: What about the medical profession? What do they think about energy healing.
OE: The standard medical model has no room for it. Only recently has it been possible to find doctors that are receptive to the possibility that medicine is not just a physical science, but still they are rare.
AG: Just this October, a medical journal published a review of 66 bona fide studies about energy healing and they concluded that biofield therapies like Reiki and Healing Touch actually work to stimulate healing and reduce pain above and beyond what could be achieved with placebos or medication.
OE: These other forms of energy healing are effective but not to the extent of what I see in my practice. For example, hundreds of my clients have been blessed with spontaneous, complete remissions of tumors. My treatment protocol successfully addresses over 50 diverse ailments, from asthma to ulcers, and from prostate to Parkinson's.
It's the help from tzadikim, malachim, and ultimately HaKadosh Boruch Hu that sets our methods apart. The healing spiritual energy I access is so intense that people in the vicinity of the treatment are actually at risk of harm from the spillover of the energy. I myself would be hurt if not for the protective influences of tefillin, mezuzos, tzitzis, and the recital of Tehilim.
AG: You've explained the preparations that the therapist must make, but what about the patient?
OE: Energy healing is a two way street. I can channel the energy but if the patient is not receptive, healing won't come. The main thing is that the patient should want to be healed and believe he can be healed. I remember a case with the Baba Sali where an infertile couple came and he told them to take a bottle of water that he had blessed, and to drink from it and to spread some on the abdomen. Once out the door, the husband ridiculed the whole idea of going to some rabbi for a bottle of water when the foremost experts have no idea what to do.
Having overheard this, the Baba Sali called the couple back and asked that they return the water because obviously they didn't believe and therefore it wouldn't work.
AG: It looks like there's a lot of truth to the old adage, "Think good, it will be good." In fact the idea of consciousness creating reality seems to be an emerging trend in both quantum physics and modern medicine. The results include books like "The Quantum Doctor" by Prof. Amit Goswami.
One of the ideas here is that everything is inextricably linked (or entangled) with everything else. In quantum physics, they've found that what continuously binds together all events throughout the history of the universe is "The Field." This is a ubiquitous, dynamic semireality that is believed to mediate between an "indivisible wholeness beyond space and time" and the physical world we live in. Comparably, in medicine we've got concepts like auras and biofields, that connect our physical presence with the Field.
Does this relate at all to your energy healing?
OE: The quantum fields of the physicists and the biofields of the energy healers are manifestations of G-dliness on the one hand, and the soul on the other. The new paradigm in science is absolutely complementary to what we have been taught in the Torah and in the kabbalah for thousands of years.
But the "infinity" one can access through energy fields is nothing compared to the true Infinity, the Or Ayn Sof to which I connect my patients during treatment.
AG: One of the principles of quantum physics is that information traversing "The Field" does not become weaker with distance nor is it limited by time. Is there a parallel to this in your practice?
OE: Absolutely. One of my professional modalities is remote healing, whereby I concentrate on a client in another country, while looking at his picture and thinking about his name and his condition. As the energy I am channeling is from a higher plane, its transference often proves to be just as powerful and immediate in the remote situation as it is nearby.
It looks like another case of truth being stranger than fiction. There's a common expression that says, "In theory there is no difference between theory and practice, but in practice there is." In the case of Rabbi Elfassy at least, it seems that even that theory may be wrong.
One of the signs of Moshiach's coming is the harmonizing of Torah and science. Today, that harmony is ringing a little clearer in my ears.