Is REIKI allowed to be learned/practiced? And is one allowed to have REIKI done on them?


Having RIEKI done on oneself or practicing REIKI (spiritual energy healing) is controversial. The origin of REIKI comes from pagan worship, as the word RIEKI comes from REI= spiritual knowledge,  KI =energy (in Japanese). RIEKI in its original form, was done with mantras that involved saying special names etc. and is forbidden according to all authorities, as it is a form of idol worship. There is however a modern form of REIKI that does not involve mantras or any prior beliefs; on this type there is controversy if it permitted or not. Some authorities don’t allow it for one of two reasons, either since its source is from avodah zara it is not permitted, even though the actual REIKI isn’t being done with avodah zara. A second issue with it, is that any type of healing that isn’t considered natural, but uses spiritual forces is considered sorcery and forbidden.

On the other hand there are authorities that permit it. Their reasons are because this kind of REIKI doesn’t involve avodah zara, and because they hold that energy healing is a natural phenomenon and not from sorcery. If you choose to have REIKI done on you or to practice it, (or any other type of spiritual healing) I would suggest that you call Dayan Krauss to get directives of what  may or may not be done.



Those who forbid; Sefer Ki Lo Nachash B’yackov, Kuntres “Al Tifnu”, R’ D. Morgenstern, R’ Fenger shlit”a. Those who permit; Amshonover Rebbe, R’ K. S. Gross, Dayan Krauss ( England).

Tags: healing idolatry

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One Response to “Reiki”

  1. The essence of Horo’ah [deciding Torah Law] is Hag’doroh [precise classification].
    Such questions must be presented properly to be answered properly.
    Having served as a Sh’lucha d’Rabbonon for well over a 15 years, in cooperation with leading poskim and manhiggim internationally, on issues related to – and extending well beyond – Reik-i, several things have become clear.
    1. The facts [realia] on these issues are very often muddled.
    1.1. This is particularly due to misinformation emanating from formidable internal financial interests [practitioners operating within Orthodox communities]. Those enterprises are constantly seeking dispensation for their sometimes lucrative “healing” operations.
    2. There are various leading poskim and Rabbonim, not enumerated above, who have prohibited Reik-i practices – and all associated kefirah-related ideas.

    3. With all due respect to other Rabbonim, all attempts to permit Reik-i that this writer knows of, have demonstrably fallen far short of what would constitute a bonafide dispensation [‘heter’].
    3.1. In most cases, the proposed heter is predicated on false “science.”
    3.2. In fact, Rav Yisroel Belsky OB”M was a well-known, well-researched critic of New-Age influences infiltrating Orthodox circles. He told this writer that these efforts [of Gedolei Yisroel [Torah Sages] to combat New-Age healing influences] will be won based on clarifying the FACTS, more than clarifying Halacha, per se. Ie., once the facts are clear, there won’t be much [or anything] to argue in Halacha to permit such things.
    3.3. This “science” is at best quackery, and, usually, “New-Age” pseudo-scientific sophistry, generally rehashed from New-Age missionary writers, such as theosophist Richard Gerber, Barbara Brennan, and Jimmy Scott.
    3.4. To convey the degree of heresy of these types of New-Age authors, realize that Gerber, in his New-Age landmark “Vibrational Medicine,” describes [his notion of god] dividing itself “into billions of lesser gods called souls.”
    3.4. An outsider, unfamiliar with the issues themselves, may wonder: Could there possibly be an unpublished “heter” which could actually withstand scrutiny? If so, why would it be hiding? Numbers do not lie. Financial interests dictate that if there was indeed a genuine heter for such practices, it would be public. There is far too much money vested in publicizing such a heter to enable it to be kept secret for all these years.

    4. Moreover, as clear from my kuntrus Mishmeres HaKodesh, and other information available, it is demonstrable that Reik-i cannot be permissible.

    5. For example: the attribution to the very term ‘Reik-i’ itself involves a very serious concern, ie. the prohibition of avoda zorah by attribution, aka “Ain Mis’rapin Min HaMinnim” [Avoda Zora 27b; Pesachim 25a [according to Tosofos]; Yoreh Daiyoh 155:1, end; cf. Shu”t Minchas Yitzchak 6:80, p.112, col.2, top.

    6. This is due to the fact that Reik-i is defined by its New Age proponents as a kefirah and an Avodah Zorah notion [eg. Paul Wildish, The Book of Ch-i, p.91].

    7. This prohibition would be, in some ways, even more profound if the practitioner is Jewish [Chareidi or otherwise], even if he is totally naive/ well-meaning. The Gemara prohibits A.Z.-attributed remedies even when the attribution to A.Z. is made by a gentile. How much more so when made by a Jew [even if his conception of that A.Z. terminology differs from the conception of the non-Jew].

    8. This prohibition applies even if the practice would be clean of any concern of “kishuf” [prohibited paranormal practices; sorcery]. Since Reik-i cannot be explained to have a natural cause-and-effect relationship, and it is not a known Segula from our Sages, any attribution to Avoda Zorah – or kefira [heresy] – notions would subject the practice of Reik-i to the aforementioned prohibition of YD 155:1, end / A.Z. 27b.

    9. Attempts to argue that Reik-i could be explained “scientifically” are not only demonstrably baseless, but, quite often, laughable.

    10. Realize that such ‘scientific’ explanations find ways to “explain” practices as profoundly bizarre as “long-distance healing,” purportedly effective over thousands of miles away from the healer. [We did not make this up, they admit it in their own books.]

    11. In addition to the attribution to Avoda Zorah /kefirah, the actual practice of Reik-i itself is prohibited in “its own rite.” There are several reasons for this, beyond the scope of a brief comment. See, for example, Orchos Rabbbeinu, by Rav Avrohom Hurvitz ZT”L, 1:190, which quotes the Steipler Gaon ZT”L, prohibiting even a physical-contact form of “hands-on-healing” as “kishuf.” How much more so can be said for non-touch and distant-“healing.” Also see our Kuntrus Mishmeres HaKodesh [email].

    12. In addition, there are multiple and serious Choshen Mishpat objections to Reik-i.
    12.1. Firstly, as explained above, the “scientific” explanations for these New-Age practices are demonstrably false. IF these practices indeed work beyond placebo, natural remissions, fakery, etc. – it is clearly not in any scientific / “minhagoh-shel-Olam” manner.
    12.2. The vast majority of Orthodox Jewry would never touch these New-Age practices if they would have any idea of their actual status.
    12.3. The only way practitioners and their enablers have succeeded in infiltrating such influences into some elements of Orthodox communities is by misrepresentation, be it unintentional or otherwise.
    12.4. Such misrepresentation poses serious objections from a perspective of Torah Law, even if no danger was involved, and even if no money was paid.
    12.5. How much more so in many cases, in which client safety is endangered, and in some cases people actually die because of misdiagnosis, harmful treatment, or ignoring necessary treatments.
    12.6. The amount of money bilked from desperate, destitute patients, on false pretenses, is simply repugnant.
    12.7. Some of these latter concerns apply to particular conventional practitioners, and to some non-New-Age alternative practitioners as well.

    13. There are serious arayos concerns with a variety of New-Age therapies, and some other non-New-Age therapies as well. Energy-healing type therapies pose a specific danger for several reasons, such as the following:
    13.1. They have no genuine medical basis to justify the physical contact – and the significant emotional interface – that they involve.
    13.2. They operate in part based on the strong kesher-nafshi formed between “healer” and client.
    13.3. The actual process of “channeling of energy” – whether or not it actually does what proponents claim it to do – is considered to be conducive to girui yeitzer haRah.
    13.4. Toaiva-types are quite common in the “healing” fields.

    Please feel free to share comments, although online is usually not an accessible venue to respond in a timely fashion.

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