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There are people that claim to be able to see supernatural qualities about people they have just met, including episodes from his or her life, very personal details.

What, according to Judaism, is the cause of such gifts (angels, ruach hakodesh?) and what is the purpose of them? How is anyone who has them supposed to use these gifts, and why are these gifts given to a specific person?

  • I'm met people like this. Your wife can help alot of people, especially those who think human beings are purely physical machines, and hence should not be able to do what she does. I can put you in touch with someone else like this if you like. – ray Feb 18 '15 at 19:35
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    you might also want to get in touch with rabbi yaakov hillel. he can guide you in these things far better than anyone here – ray Feb 18 '15 at 19:51
  • Thank you ray that would be great! Do you know how to get in touch with rabbi yaakov hillel? – Levi Feb 18 '15 at 20:03
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    @Levi You should make sure to be very careful to check that the gifts are real and not tricks. There are some very,very good sleight-of-hand magicians out there, and even hundreds of thousands of people can be fooled sometimes en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miracle_of_the_Sun – Double AA Feb 18 '15 at 21:19
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    partial dupe judaism.stackexchange.com/q/25920/759 – Double AA Feb 18 '15 at 21:21
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Some of these people have knowledge derived from Ruach Hakodesh, a holy spirit. (See Ramchal, Derech Hashem, Perek: 3:3 Ruach Hakodesh and Nevuah).

Others have knowledge that derives from the Kochos Hatumah, the forces of impurity (See that same Ramchal, that writes that many of those people may not even realize that it derives from impurity.)

Others have no spiritual advantage at all, and are pure charlatans. They use their knowledge of human nature and other things to fool people into believing that they possess supernatural abilities.

See also Faith and Folly, a short text by Rabbi Yaakov Hillel, which discusses this question thoroughly.

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For whatever it's worth, I once asked a certain Chabad Rabbi with such powers about another Sefardi one called Yehoshua (both in Jerusalem). The Chabad Rabbi immediately "saw" that this man has powers.

The Chabad Rabbi proceeded to tell me all the gilgulim of the Sefardi Rav and that one of them was Yehoshua bin Nun, the disciple of Moses.

Hence, if that is correct (I have no way to know), then in some cases, it has to do with past gilgulim. i.e. having been very great people in past gilgulim, somehow the "connections" to spiritual powers remain to some extent.

Cannot give names to protect their privacy.

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