By Jordana Skurka, Hebrew University
I sat apprehensively with my palm held up to a microscope, under the watchful gaze of the Kabbalist, a religious mystic and spiritual guide. Before privately meeting one-on-one with the holy man, I and the other visitors had been informed of his uniquely powerful insight.
As a man thoroughly well-versed in the secret layers and esoteric depths of meaning within the Torah, the Kabbalist was described as one endowed with an ability to see the absolute truth and stark reality of a person’s nature. In just a few short moments of analysis, he could illuminate a person’s inner qualities and past life experiences.
I stared in amazement as he circumspectly examined the lines of my palm, in his desire to scrupulously interpret the inherent significance of each indent. He offered elaborate explications of the meaning of each distinct and individual line, readily apparent to him alone, through his elevated level of consciousness and awareness of higher reality.
He reflected upon his perception of my characteristics and qualities, interests and life experiences, as clear in his eyes as my physical form in front of him.
I was impressed by his explanations and recognized much of his interpretations as true. However, my reaction may simply be resultant of the highly positive nature of his determinations.
Who would dispute a depiction of him or herself as a gifted and charismatic genius, talented and skilled in every possible way, fated to rescue all of humanity from an impending catastrophic disaster?
While it is not advisable for a mystic to attempt to predict a person’s future, he did state his opinion as to my general prospects in life. In particular, when I inquired about a decision that had been a subject of thought for a while, he clearly expressed his opinion as the advisable direction I should consider.
As the Kabbalist’s knowledge of my self was grounded in our extensive encounter of 5 minutes in length, he clearly knew best. The opinions of friends and family faded away in the face of the mystic’s comprehensive understanding of my true potential.
After all, unlike any other, he alone had based his intimate knowledge of my life by the lines written on my palm. How could one have the audacity to doubt a word he had uttered?
I soon returned from my mystical consultation, overwrought and confused. My friends quickly assured me that he had invented his claims. While a person may have a natural inclination for a reaction of skepticism and cynical disbelief, I still could not rid myself of a conviction of the truth of his claims.
Ultimately, I may never determine for certain the basis of the Kabbalist’s apparent apprehension. A person’s accurate interpretation of the characteristics and qualities of another may simply be based on intuition and assumption, without the necessity of mystical inspiration.
What is undeniable to me is that this experience is reflective of the manifestations of spirituality that one may casually, and regularly, encounter in the course of one’s life in the city of Jerusalem.