Are there any seforim that give practical advice as to how one can reach the point to have giluy eliyahu hanavi?

I've heard some before but I don't remember.

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    – msh210
    Commented Sep 14, 2020 at 8:16

2 Answers 2


From the perspective of the middos tovos that one must have in order to see Eliyahu ha'navi:

According to a mekubal I once knew, Eliyahu Ha'navi appears to everyone at least once in their lifetime. Some people know when this happens, others don't.

Therefore it would appear that it may be possible to rephrase your question as: Is there a formula for determining when Eliyahu appears to me?

I heard my favourite story on this topic from Rb Fishel Shachter, I am sure it is a common story, said in various different versions.

The story is about someone who prepared themselves for a month through ta'aneisim and siguphim for giluy Eliyahu. He then sat down to learn, waiting for Eliyahu. At the moment, the local drunk importunely knocked on this door, as he was out of liquor. After shooing him away, the tzadik sat down and waited for Eliyahu, who failed to appear.

He complained to his rebbe that Eliyahu had not appeared, the response was predictable, the drunk was Eliyahu Ha'navi.

The lesson of this mashal appears to be as follows:

If we accept EVERYONE, without exception and without looking askance at them, then we stand a chance of knowing when we see Eliyahu Ha'navi. However, if we only look towards and accept the "important people," then Eliyahu says to us, "I'm not important either you know. So you'd better pass me by..."

(The closest source in Chazal I can think of for this approach is


נזדמן לו אדם אחד שהוא מכוער ביותר - במסכת דרך ארץ מפרש דאותו אדם היינו אליהו ולטוב נתכוין כדי שלא ירגיל בדבר. )

From the perspective of the spiritual growth that one must have in order to see Eliyahu ha'navi: The passuk says

וַיְהִי הֵמָּה הֹלְכִים הָלוֹךְ וְדַבֵּר וְהִנֵּה רֶכֶב אֵשׁ וְסוּסֵי אֵשׁ וַיַּפְרִדוּ בֵּין שְׁנֵיהֶם וַיַּעַל אֵלִיָּהוּ בַּסְּעָרָה הַשָּׁמָיִם.

This means to say as follows:

Eliyahu was frustrated with the limitations of olam hazeh:

וְהוּא הָלַךְ בַּמִּדְבָּר דֶּרֶךְ יוֹם וַיָּבֹא וַיֵּשֶׁב תַּחַת רֹתֶם אחת [אֶחָד] וַיִּשְׁאַל אֶת נַפְשׁוֹ לָמוּת וַיֹּאמֶר רַב עַתָּה יְהוָה קַח נַפְשִׁי כִּי לֹא טוֹב אָנֹכִי מֵאֲבֹתָי.

This frustration, and the desire to break out of these limitations, was the storm in which he left olam hazeh.

From which we can derive that if one has a stormy and tempestuous desire to break out of the limitations that olam ha'zeh imposes on him, then he may meet Eliyahu, because he is ben gilo.

I.e. if one wants to "see" Eliyahu ha'navi, he must also be עולה בסערה השמימה.

  • 1
    I was in tzfat 18 years ago, in the middle of the night walking to Ari's mikva. They cut off the lights at night so it was pitch black and the streets were empty. I was using my phone for light. Suddenly I hear someone calling for assistance. I locate a bochur who can't find his way home. I lead him home, he tells me his name is Eliyahu. We go into a house with a man sleeping on the couch (who never woke up the whole time). Eliyahu offers me grapes and advises me to avoid the Beit Hakvarot at night. I leave and go to the Beit Hakvarot (stupid!), and then the mikva. Was that my one time? :)
    – Rabbi Kaii
    Commented Jan 18, 2023 at 14:32


There is magical formula to have him appear.

You have Gemaras which say לא משתעי אליהו בהדיה about Amorim who were on a very high level.

For example the Gemora Kesubos 61A says

אבוה בר איהי ומנימין בר איהי חד ספי מכל מינא ומינא וחד ספי מחד מינא מר משתעי אליהו בהדיה ומר לא משתעי אליהו בהדיה

There were two Amoriam, Avuh bar Ihi and Minyamin bar Ihi, who apparently were equal in other ways.

Eliyohu spoke to one but not the other because the first one was careful to give his waiter the chance to eat from all the types food before the meal. The other gave him something to eat before so he shouldn't be hungry but made wait until after the meal until he allowed to eat from everything (Rashi)

So if you aren't living the type of life that first Amora did, don't expect Eliyohu to show up by you. Even if you are on a very high level like the second Amora

  • Why are you so certain that there an no formulas?
    – TwoOs
    Commented Sep 13, 2020 at 23:51
  • If Eliyohu wasn't willing to meet an otherwise worthy Amora because of the examples given in the Gemora then he isn't meeting you thanks to some formula
    – Schmerel
    Commented Sep 14, 2020 at 0:06
  • @Schmerel Maybe the amora didn't know the formula?
    – Alex
    Commented Sep 14, 2020 at 0:10
  • See kesubos 106a
    – Dr. Shmuel
    Commented Sep 14, 2020 at 2:23

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