when a person clings to pure and simple faith and thereby connects to G-d, he or she rises above nature and above the influence of the stars...
Dear Rabbi Brody,
Are clairvoyants and astrologers for real? I'll get to the point: An astrologer told my roommate that her life is in grave danger. She was so upset that she made an appointment with a clairvoyant and paid $100 for eight minutes, only to hear that she's about to get racked up in a car accident. Now, she's so stressed out that she can't sleep, study, or eat. She's afraid to tell her parents or anyone else, and I'm the only one that knows what's going on. Even though she's not Jewish, can you still help her? Please answer urgently. Thanks so much, Patty from a Big Ten campus
Your roommate is fortunate to have you. The real astrologers and clairvoyants (they have their fakes like everyone else) are for real, but with the following limitation...
Astrologers get their info from the stars, in other words, from the natural map of the moon, sun, and stars. Clairvoyants are fed from the spiritual world, but from the nether, or dark side of spirituality. On a natural plane, I would venture to say that your roommate is in danger. Don't worry, though; with G-d's help, she can beat the rap.
Rebbe Nachman of Breslev teaches us (see Likutei Moharan I, Torah 31), that when a person clings to pure and simple faith and thereby connects to G-d, he or she rises above nature and above the influence of the stars, since G-d is above nature.
Abraham, our forefather, the first Hebrew, and the founder of monotheism, was an amazing astrologer and clairvoyant. He could read the stars like we read the front-page headlines of a newspaper. He saw in the stars that he and his wife were not only destined to be childless, but that they even lacked the necessary physical apparatus for procreation. According to the Midrash, Hashem scolded Abraham, and told him to put aside the astrology and star-readings, and cling to simple faith. Abraham did just that, and became the father of Ishmael and Isaac, and the patriarch of great nations.
A non-Jewish person can also uplift himself above the influence of the stars simply by fulfilling the seven Noahide laws, namely: One, to believe in G-d; two, to refrain from any semblance of idol worship; three, not to engage in illicit sex; four, not to kill; five, not to steal; six, not to curse The Almighty, heaven forbid; and seven, to establish courts of justice. If your roommate is prepared to commit to these seven laws, and to spend at least twenty minutes (sixty is preferable, and a small price to pay for life and health) a day talking to G-d in her own words in what we refer to as hitbodedut, or personal prayer, she will uplift herself beyond the grasp of the dark side and the forces of nature, and I'm sure she'll live to bake gingerbread for her grandchildren.
I highly recommend that both you and your girlfriend read The Garden of Emuna.
Patty, promise me that you'll always steer clear of any shape or form of astrology, clairvoyance, and séances. I'll close with a blood-chilling story: Back in the Lebanon War of 1982, a squad of 12 Israeli paratroopers was drinking a late-night cup of coffee in the barracks. One was a clairvoyant, and organized a séance for his buddies. They ushered in the soul of their sergeant’s grandfather. The soul said, "Tomorrow, you guys will be joining me". One of the soldiers repented and recited psalms, pouring out his heart to Hashem until daybreak. When the sun rose, he broke out with hives and a terrible 104F fever, and was transferred to the infirmary. His buddies went on patrol, and their armored troop carrier was hit with four RPG shoulder missiles. All eleven died. The twelfth guy was wise enough to escape to Hashem's open arms, and was saved.
Penitence and prayer though, are more powerful than nature or any conventional weapons. So is faith - simple, innocent, and uncomplicated faith in G-d. Nothing in the world can happen against His holy will, and I'm sure He'll guard your roommate. Tell your roommate to take positive action, to cling to Hashem, and from this moment on, she doesn't have to worry anymore. Emuna is a brighter light than all the stars put together. Best wishes always, Lazer Brody