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How is a Goral HaGra performed? Is there a special book I use? What is the proper procedure?

Do you just open it up and see what Pasuk you land on?

What do you do?

  • People who are holy enough to do it, are taught how to by tradition handed down from one tzaddik to another. Others should stay far away. – Miriam Aug 18 '16 at 20:08
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    I'm not an expert in this area, but I believe that only a particular type of book can be used as the 'Bible'. It may not work with just any chumash. I'm not even sure a chumash is enough, perhaps you need a tanach. I'm also pretty sure it's not meant for the masses - it probably can't be done by just anybody. In any case, as @Miriam pointed out, it's quite unwise (to say the least) to base your performance of this ritual on an account in a biography, especially if you plan to act on it. It may even be forbidden to do so. – Jay Aug 18 '16 at 22:15
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See page 165 in A Tzaddik In Our Time by Simcha Raz for an account of the procedure:

Reb Aryeh opened the Bible entirely at random, to whatever page chance would bring him. Then he continued turning batches of pages this way and that, haphazardly, seven times. Now he turned over exactly seven single leaves, going forward. Next, he went forward seven single pages; after that, seven columns; then seve verses; then seven words and finally seven single letters. Thus it was seven times seven: seven batches, leaves, pages, columns, verses, words letters. Whatever seventh letter was, Reb Aryeh now looked for the the very next verse which began with that letter. By the verses of Scripture found in this way, he would assign a name to each of the twelve un identified soldiers who now lay reburied in the milita cemetery on Mount Herzl.

  • More details there: "They started by saying Tehillim.... By tradition a certain Hebrew Bible, 2 columns to a page printed in Amsterdam in 1701 ..." – Avrohom Yitzchok Aug 18 '16 at 21:08
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    I'm not an expert in this area, but I believe that only a particular type of book can be used as the 'Bible'. It may not work with just any chumash. I'm not even sure a chumash is enough, perhaps you need a tanach. I'm also pretty sure it's not meant for the masses - it probably can't be done by just anybody. In any case, as @Miriam pointed out, it's quite unwise (to say the least) to base your performance of this ritual on an account in a biography, especially if you plan to act on it. It may even be forbidden to do so. – Jay Aug 18 '16 at 22:07
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This might be of help.

...One of the earliest poskim to discuss the practice of performing goralos with seforim is the Maharikash (Rav Yaakov Kastro of Egypt, died about 1610, cited by the Chida’s Shiyurei Berocha) who writes: “It seems to me that all agree one may open a Sefer Torah to see which verse comes up, for it [the Torah] is our life. So we find with Yeshayahu who took action after finding a Sefer Torah rolled to a certain verse, and such is the general custom.” “The Chida finds support for this practice from the following Yalkut (Mishlei 219): “Have not I written for you excellent things in counsels and knowledge (Mishlei 22:20). If you want to take counsel from the Torah, you may do so. Dovid said: When I wanted to take counsel from the Torah, I looked and took counsel as it says, I will speak of your precepts, and perceive your ways (Tehillim 119:15), and it says, Through Your precepts I will gain understanding (ibid 119:104).” In addition, the Chida cites a manuscript of Rav Eliyahu Hakohen (author of Shevet Mussar) that states: “I have a tradition from my rabbis. When they wanted to know of some matter and were doubtful whether to do it or not, they would take a Chumash or a Tanach, open it, see what verse they found at the top of the page, and act according to what it indicated. In this way, they took counsel with the Torah concerning how to take action in all their concerns.....”

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When dealing with a certain confusing issue I went to a well-respected Rav (whose would probably prefer that I don't mention his name) and he did a Goral Ha'Gra using an old, old Shas.

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