Cover image for The psychic and the rabbi : a remarkable correspondence
The psychic and the rabbi : a remarkable correspondence
Geller, Uri, 1946-
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Publication Information:
Naperville, IL : Sourcebooks, [2001]

Physical Description:
xvi, 285 pages ; 22 cm
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BM723 .G45 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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The world's most celebrated paranormalist and one of the most controversial and famous religious figures share their inner fears, doubts, joys and beliefs, while confronting the most profound questions and issues of our time.

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

It will be easy for skeptics to find fault with this book, starting with the pretentious subtitle and Chopra's gushing introduction ("I was overwhelmed by the elegance of [Geller's] simplicity"), not to mention Boteach's implicit acceptance of controversial psychic Geller's "gifts." Beyond that, these letters between Geller (coauthor, Parascience Pack) and prolific Hasidic Rabbi Boteach (Kosher Sex) read more like self-conscious narratives and intellectual arguments than true exchanges although the two men do reveal their tortured relationships with their fathers and Geller discloses his unwed fatherhood. Still, those who slog through all the verbiage or arrive as devoted fans will find some thought-provoking discussions. Geller feels guilt about killing a Jordanian man when he was in combat as an Israeli soldier; Boteach reminds him that God commands against murder, not killing. Geller wonders if a savior, a messiah, will come as he believes; Boteach responds, "of course" a messiah will come someday, but until then, we must act to redeem our small corners of the world. Geller says he's willing to pay to be cloned (he desperately wonders, "will the Uri-child be psychic?"); Boteach cautions that we must achieve immortality through good deeds on earth. Though they claim to share a sense of being "profoundly and sometimes maliciously misunderstood," most of the book consists of Boteach dispensing wisdom: on why we must aim to be good people, on finding real love in a relationship of mutual support; on how depression must be fought with action; on how having children is good for one's sex life (because it keeps one playful); and how heroism is found not in popular acclaim but in being a loving parent. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

Though they are separated by more than 20 years in age and very different ideas about religion, Geller and Boteach are united in their dwelling comfortably on the outer fringes of professional life. Geller, a famed Israeli psychic and magician, has performed throughout the world and has written several books on the paranormal. Boteach, a controversial Orthodox rabbi whose books include Kosher Sex and Dating Secrets of the Ten Commandments, was the rabbi at Oxford University and now works in New York City as the president of both Michael Jackson's "Heal the Kids" initiative and the L'Chaim Society. The two men, who collaborated on the U.K.-published True Confessions, have developed a deep friendship and a strong mutual admiration society. The informal exchange of ideas in their current book involves much interesting storytelling through personal experience. We learn details about the men's relationships with their fathers and their thoughts on such varied subjects as world peace, love, cloning, and heroism. But however interesting their ideas may be, the dialog format ultimately seems contrived, and the authors themselves come off as self-serving and egocentric. Recommended only for large, specialized collections in contemporary religion or the paranormal. Olga B. Wise, Compaq Computer Corp., Austin, TX (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.



Chapter One Dear Shmuley,     I love to get a reaction. I love it when people get excited, when they start to stare, when something about the universe is revealed to them that blows their minds. I must have bent a spoon for someone every day of my life since the sixties, and I've never tired of it. I love the reactions.     Some people nod and say: "Wow! I always wanted to see that. I always believed in it, but it's incredible to hold the spoon in my own hand and watch it bend." They're the believers.     Others shake their heads and swear. "I can't believe my eyes!" they say. Later on they reason, "It must have been a trick. I don't know how he did it, but it's got to be impossible." They're the skeptics. They won't let themselves believe, even though they have no real alternative.     And there are some people who refuse to look. "You'll trick me," they say, "and I won't be able to see how it's done." I really try with these people. One of them was a Nobel prize-winning physicist who asked to meet me but would not let me demonstrate my powers. I wondered how a scientist who could accept the incredible realities of quantum physics could refuse to watch someone else breaking the rules.     But at least he wasn't indifferent. It's those who don't give a damn that really upset me. Bending spoons is draining work. I'm low on power for an hour after bending just one spoon, so walls of indifference are hard to take. And when it's someone close to me, that's so much worse. When it's someone I really loved a long time ago, that does hurt me.     I won't tell you the girl's name. You've probably heard of her. She's a daughter of one of the West's most powerful families, and long before I married Hanna, I was in love with this girl. But she was a Christian, and her family didn't care for me and it didn't work out.     She never had children. When I was younger, I used to think, what if I'd married her, what would our kids have been like? How many would we have had? What would we have called them? But then my own two children came along, and all the might-have-beens ceased to matter.     A long time after we first met, she visited my home and stayed in the guest apartment. She had changed. Her vitality had gone, and she was sullen and distant, as if some essential piece of her mind had been cut out. On the third day of her stay, we went for a walk along the banks of the Thames behind my house, and I asked her to give me her copper hairslide so that I could bend it.     My energy is always greater beside running water. A good friend, the philosopher Colin Wilson, suggests this is caused by electromagnetic flow. And it's true, ghosts often walk beside rivers. In feng shui, running water carries chi, the lifeforce. Whatever, as soon as I began to stroke the slide, it bent. I handed it back, a twisted piece of metal. The pin dangled and dropped off.     "Sorry," I said.     "It doesn't signify," she said.     "But I blew your mind, huh?" I asked, more in hope than expectation. Her face still wore its blank gaze.     "It's pointless."     "I reveal the power of the human mind, and that's pointless to you?"     "You can bend metal. So look, I can bend it back." She turned it in her fingers.     "You can't mend the pin," I said, sulkily.     "That's a fact. It's useless." And she flicked the little shining crescent into the water.     "You're mad because I broke it."     "I couldn't care less. It means less than nothing."     That's the reaction I dread. The empty indifference, the hollow shrug.     "It does mean something."     "What," she said, "are you going to tell me there's a God, and a God who bends metal just for you?" Excerpted from THE PSYCHIC AND THE RABBI by Uri Geller & Rabbi Shmuley Boteach. Copyright (c) 2001 by Uri Geller and Shmuley Boteach. Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.