It all started with Madonna. Ever since the pop icon started delving into Kabbalah, Jewish Mysticism has acquired a halo of not just respectability, but outright faddishness.
But what is the true power of this esoteric science? Ehud Segev , whose “The Mentalizer Show” opened Sunday at the Theatre Row on West 42nd Street, says he can demonstrate how a proper understanding of Kabbalah actually gives one the power to create miracles.
Segev told the Jewish Week by phone that he believes that there is a “huge demand for Kabbalah – this is the only show that gets people to change their life.” Segev has done shows for children's parties, corporate fund-raisers, hillels, and Chabad-Lubavitch gatherings. Of the many testimonials on Segev's website, one by a Canadian banker stands out: “Ehud is supernatural. Our clients were extremely impressed.”
Segev was born in 1979 in Safed, the city in northern Israel where modern Jewish mysticism emerged in the 16 th century. He started doing Tarot card readings at age 12. He then started doing séances, performing one on television when he was 16. But when he tried to channel the spirit of slain Prime Minister Yizchak Rabin, Orthodox rabbis objected, citing the Torah's prohibitions against witchcraft.
Segev turned instead to predicting the winners of mayoral races in different cities in Israel ; he got a lot of media attention when he turned out to be correct in every case.
“Every letter in the Hebrew alphabet represents a different energy,” says Segev, “If someone in the audience tells me what feelings that thinking about a particular letter generates, I tell them the letter they are thinking of.” In addition to bending spoons just by using the power of his mind, Segev also touches one audience on the nose and makes another audience member, who is blindfolded, feel the touch.
“If you're sitting on the 20 th floor in a 40-story building, you don't necessarily know about the upper stories,” says Segev. “You can see the entire building only from the outside.” Segev believes that “The Mentalizer Show” can provide both Jews and non-Jews with a glimpse of the bigger picture, or, as he calls it, a way “back to the light.”
“The Mentalizer Show” runs at the Theatre Row; 410 W. 42 nd St. Upcoming performances are on Sept 14, 23 and 28 at 8 p.m. For tickets, $42.50, call Telecharge at (212) 239-6200.