Amongst us are many such charlatans, that can read your mind and know your soul's essence. My question is, how? How do these "people" know how to do such holy acts!? Is there a book that teaches a special formula as to how to execute such acts? Is there a website that gives such classes? Basically, how can I learn this "Practical Kabbalah" as well?

  • 5
    I am not sure this is about Judaism, see cold reading on Wiki for a number of techniques mentalists and others use to give the impression they can read your mind
    – mbloch
    Feb 21, 2019 at 4:37
  • Kabbalah center is a good start.
    – Jonathan
    Dec 27, 2019 at 4:38

1 Answer 1


The dispensation to practice Kabalah Maasis (Practical Kabbalah) via Sefer Yetzira is codified in Shulchan Aruch (YD 179, based on Sanhedrin 57b). The Shach there (:18) quotes the Levush who states:

[The reason this is permitted is because] they are Holy Names, and Hashem gave them the ability to be able to perform things through the pious and prophets. One who utilizes them demonstrates the greatness and strength of Hashem. However he should make sure to delve into them in purity and holiness and for the sake of the Holiness of Hashem, or for the sake of a big mitzvah such as the honour of Shabbos, which we are not capable of doing in these generations, and even in the time of Yeshaya we find that he was punished for this. Certainly in our times it is not possible to act in purity and holiness and Hashem desires a [sincere] heart. This is the words of the Levush, and his words are correct. And similarly we find in several compilations that one should only use the Holy Names for a Holy purpose. [Like it says in Perkey Avos 1:13] דאשתמש בתגא חלף – one who exploits the crown [of Torah for his own ends] shall persish. The Rama wrote to this affect “One who exploits the crown shall perish – some say this refers to one who utilized the Holy Names”. The books of the Kabbalists also explain that it is a big sin to use His Name, therefore one who abstains will be blessed.

R’ Chaim Vital writes (Sharey Kedusha Chelek 3 Shaar 6) regarding one who utilizes Kabbalah Maasis nowadays:

“We have a tradition that either he or his descendants will become poor, or sick or non-religious”.

Therefore, it would appear that the best solution would not to go into it at all, although there are sefarim on it.

  • Welcome to MiYodeya and thanks for this first question. Can I recommend you take the tour to get a sense of how the site works? Great to have you learn with us!
    – mbloch
    Dec 27, 2019 at 4:55
  • Um. Was this answer ripped straight from here (which was written in 2013, six years prior to this answer)?
    – Yehuda
    Jan 27, 2021 at 23:53

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