Call for a Viable Alternative, Part 2


By Yonatan Gordon

Dear #11* and others,

First let me begin that the Rebbe liked the number 11 very much (as Harav Ginsburgh has explained at length in the past). So that is very appropriate that your comment should appear as number 11. The intention is that we should always experiences the 11s of kedushah and not the opposite.

From the details you bring, it is likely that you are the person who was involved during those events. But while this was your understanding then, as it is now, Harav Ginsburgh never gave approval for his method of healing. When I asked him prior to beginning the sessions, Harav Ginsburgh responded that all he knows is that he is a “chassid sameach.”

The point about guided imageries being subjective based on the patient is secondary. Even if the imageries were the result of my secular upbringing, in all my years going to Yitzchak Fisch, or studying the psychology teachings of Harav Ginsburgh, the focus was always on a strengthening of emunah and bitachon in Hashem.

Foremost, Mr. Fisch is a chassid who works to strengthen the emunah and bitachon of others. It makes no difference to me whether he is administering sugar pellets, or the correct dose according to the principles of homeopathy (which he of does). Either way, the result is that each person that goes to him is reminded once more that the true healer of all flesh is only Hashem.

Likewise, the Torat Hanefesh (school of Jewish psychology) classes in Jerusalem that operate under Harav Ginsburgh, encourage participants after the 3-year course to open counseling practices of their own. But while participants can add the completion of this course to their credentials, the primary result is their increased understanding of an authentic method of psychological healing according to the true approach of the Ba’al Shem Tov.

The difficulty with these ideas is that many are used to going into a store, and buying products. This is also true for the modern-day Jewish books we buy. For instance, I know of a popular frum author, who derives a good portion of his inspiration straight from Christian books. For those who have just read this line and felt agitated, I encourage you to take a second look at the books around you.

All that was now said is also starting to be appreciated, albeit in a limited way, in the secular world. Simon Simek calls it asking “why”; Elon Musk thinking according to “first principles”; and when Steve Jobs was alive, he termed it focusing on “core principles.” The world is awakening to the fact that more central than the products being created, are the concepts or ideas behind the products. But unlike Apple which in the end is just a computer company, we have an opportunity to promote those books, classes and counseling sessions which seem like a product at first, but are there primarily as a vehicle to get people’s attention. Not as many people would have shown up to Steve Job’s speeches if he wasn’t holding something in hand. So too, while a book, class, etc… needs an attractive headline, design, etc… in-line with the Torah, the focus should be not on the product itself, but on the idea or concept behind it.

[I foresee the comments: “See Yonatan, you yourself are deriving your inspiration from secular sources?” Those interested shouldn’t rely on me, but are encouraged to research what Harav Ginsburgh has to say about performing yichudim—between the “lower waters” of man-made wisdom and the “higher waters” of Divine wisdom—in a permissible way. Anyone who has questions of where to find these teachings, should contact me directly at]

* Reference to the 11th commentator to Part 1 on another site.


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