What would you say if I told you a “holy man” had promised me I was set to win the lottery as long as I gave $25,000 to tzedaka? Not convinced? Well, what if I told you that this “mekubal” also happens to know some very deserving people I could give my money to? And not only that, he’d even distribute the funds for me! So what do you say? Are you ready to chip in with me? After all, what’s $25,000 when we’re set to win $1.5 million?
While you and I greet these claims with a healthy dose of skepticism, many people, unfortunately, take the bait and are conned out of their life’s savings — or worse! What is it about these frauds masquerading as “mekubalim” that enables them to hoodwink rational, intelligent people? Is it possible for ordinary people to discern the difference between a bona fide mekubal and a con artist?