Thursday, 31 December 2015

Letter in Cape Times 29th December 2015 "Ratepayers Ignored in City's Grand Centralisation Scheme"

Letter in today's Cape Times

"Ratepayers Ignored in City's Grand Centralisation Scheme"

I live in the City of Cape Town, so I will use the City of Cape Town as my example, but I believe this example to be applicable to Johannesburg and other parts of South Africa.

The City, which works for its corporate citizens, providing them with a "red tape to red carpet" special service that us mere mortals can only dream of, is implementing a massive growth strategy to increase square meters of office, conference, hotel and private living space in the Central Business District (CBD) and close to it. This makes the land in the CBD much more valuable, making billions for the property developers and hundreds of millions in additional rates annually for the city.

People are forced to travel into the city where in the rest of the word, cities are moving to decentralised "pod" offices as Shelley Childs wrote about in your newspaper recently.

At the same time, it has managed to change the signalling of the traffic lights near the harbour to such an extent that traffic now goes back many kilometers when the traffic should be free flowing.

This is also applicable in Claremont with its three traffic lights on the M3, which are completely out of phase, and in many cases after the third set of lights there is no traffic, whereas before the lights there is a long queue.

And this is applicable on Strand Street, where I can remember only a few years ago being able to drive the length of Strand Street with green lights all the way. Nowadays, invariably every light is red!

At the same time, the City has built its Integrated Rapid Transport (IRT) system, and in many cases the City has taken space from its citizens to build this transport system. Yellow lanes have been used for a third lane.

Many intersections that used to take two minutes to traverse now take upwards of six minutes to traverse because busses get priority, even if there are no busses when one gets to the intersections.

And then along these routes, the City has prevented the alternative bus and taxi services from operating, thus "forcing" people to choose; either a car or a bus.

So we have a special recipe that the City has developed:

1) Grow rates income as fast as possible in the CBD, even going so far as to ignore the Spacial Planning, Environment and Land Use Management Committee, its own planning body, and even riding roughshod over historical landmarks in its own interest of centralising everything.

2) Creating traffic mayhem by stopping proper traffic light signalling and taking on third of the roadway for itself.

3) Creating its own special bus service, called the IRT.

4) Stopping alternative operators from using these routes.

5) Forcing people to choose between using their car or using the IRT.

The law-abiding citizen is being given a choice. Either use "our" bus to come into "our" city where there is work, or be forced to pay an exorbitant amount to use your car and "we" won't give you any alternatives. If the city wants me to get out of my car, then the very least it needs is competition along its IRT routes, for example the IRT, Golden Arrow and other bus services, minibus taxis, normal taxis, Uber taxis or anything else. Only with this choice will I be able to get out of my car.

I believe that the City is working for itself, even though I and many millions of others are paying high rates, high electricity, water, sewerage, and other costs, and I am being ignored whilst this City pursues its own grand centralisation scheme.

David Lipschitz.
Greater Cape Town Civic Alliance Exco Member, Milnerton.

Monday, 30 November 2015

"Burning witches at a stake"?

Article in Thursday 26th Cape Times where Judge Ismail says "You raped her, killed her and finally tied her to a pole and set her alight as if she was some kind of witch at a stake".

I took exception to this and write a letter which was published today:

Your article in Thursday's paper "Two Life Terms for Rape, Murder of Girl" refers.

I am concerned with High Court Judge Mohamed Ismail's use of the term "burning witches at the stake".

Fortunately for our modern society there are very many men and women with intuition. One could include Elon Musk, Bill Gates, Nelson Mandela, and probably every single woman that I know on this list.

In the Middle and Dark Ages, if you knew something that no one had told you, or if you were a homeopath or a naturopath or a healer, then you were likely to be labelled a witch and burnt at the stake.

There are also very many "witches" in our modern societies who practice wicca and many of them are some of the best healers we have.

I am sickened by the way Mr Maselane (the rapist) brutally raped and then hung and made a fire under a seven-year-old girl, or did this to anyone for that matter, but I think that the judge has misjudged his terminoloy by implying that it is ok to burn witches, or anyone for that matter, at the stake.

Friday, 27 November 2015

City of Cape Town warns that vehicle licence disc renewal notices are still not being sent

Please bring it to the attention of the Sector you represent and to the attention of your members respectively.


27 NOVEMBER 2015


City warns that vehicle licence disc renewal notices are still not being sent

Motorists whose vehicle licence discs expire on 30 November 2015 and are renewable by 22 December 2015 and those whose discs expire on 31 December 2015 and are renewable by 22 January 2016 will not be receiving renewal notices. Read more below:

The City of Cape Town asks motorists to act proactively and to check the renewal date on their existing licence disc to ensure that the necessary arrangements are made, and to renew discs online where possible.

Motorists are also reminded that the National Department of Transport’s new requirements apply, i.e. of providing, amongst others, proof of residence when applying for a motor vehicle licence disc renewal.

‘It is currently the busiest time of the year for our municipal offices, which include our motor vehicle registration centres. This, coupled with the additional requirements and also the lack of renewal notices, is affecting the turnaround time per customer. Motorists and other customers may also experience longer queues than what is the norm. We are doing everything in our power to ease any inconvenience to our residents, including deploying additional staff and moving staff between offices as hotspots arise,’ said the City’s Executive Deputy Mayor, Alderman Ian Neilson.

Proof of address includes, among others, a utility bill issued by the municipality, and a telephone account or retail store account (provided that it is not older than three months). For a full list of acceptable documents that constitute proof, residents can visit the Western Cape Government website:

The new requirements entail the provision of proof of a person’s particulars (full names and identity document) and the residential and postal address for verification when:
• there is a change of the person’s particulars or change of address
• when an application is made for a national traffic information system (NaTIS) service at the City’s motor vehicle registration offices or at a driving licence testing centre. This would include, amongst others, applying for a driving licence, applying for the renewal of a driving licence, applying for a learner’s licence, applying for vehicle licence disc, renewing a vehicle licence disc, and registering a vehicle

If motorists are applying for their discs online, they are required to scan their proof of residence and identity documentation and to send it as an attachment to the online application.

Please note:
• The problem of motorists not receiving renewal notices did not arise in the City Council processes, but the City has done everything in its power to mitigate the consequences resulting from the lack of renewal notices
• The transfer of the electronic national administration traffic information system (eNaTIS) between the National Department of Transport and the Road Traffic Management Centre (RTMC) has affected renewal notices across the country and continues to do so
• As a courtesy, the RTMC (which is a national agency) has in the past posted renewal notices approximately six weeks before vehicle licence renewals are due, but it remains the duty of the vehicle owner to renew the licence before it expires
• The new regulations pertaining to the provision of, amongst others, proof of residence, have not been instituted by the City. It is a regulation as per National legislation which the City is bound to enforce


Issued by: Media Office, City of Cape Town

Media enquiries: Alderman Ian Neilson, Executive Deputy Mayor, City of Cape Town, Tel: 021 400 1306 Email:

Thursday, 26 November 2015

Banning Yoga

As the pharmaceutical companies ban everything good about our planet, including quite a few natural remedies that I used to take, they are now at war with the things that make us whole, like Yoga.
In South Africa, besides the banned natural remedies, we are also seeing an attack on our sangomas and witchdoctors. Probably because they are doing great work and this is affecting the pharmaceutical companies' drug sales.
I don't believe in conspiracy theory. All the things I've said so far are based on fact.
Meditation, Tai Chi, Homeopathy, HeartMath: are they going to be banned next?

Saturday, 3 October 2015


It turns out that I'm not so crazy after all, according to Emile Wapnick :)

Multipotentialites: the world needs us

Super Powers we have:

1) Idea Synthesis. At intersections.
2) Rapid Learning. Because we start so often.
3) Adaptability. To thrive.

Needed in the 21st Century.

Also known as Renaissance Man.

Sunday, 27 September 2015

Should we be Facebook friends just because we have lots of Facebook friends in common?

You are probably all aware that Facebook suggests friends.

Over the past few weeks, I've been friending everyone where I have more than 100 friends in common. I used to do it above 50 friends, then 60, 70, 80, 90 and now 100 friends.

I thought that if we have 100 friends in common on Facebook then we probably have something in common.

But I have discovered this not to be the case. Counter-intuitive?

The fact that we have perhaps a hundred friends in common doesn't make us friends. It just makes us people with 100 friends in common. It could be because the other person is a famous person, or famous in their field and so lots of people are connected to them. It doesn't make them a "friend".

I have very few really close friends, probably like many of you, i.e. people with whom I can share anything. And then I have the regulars on Facebook with whom I communicate almost daily and then I have followers who want to know what I post, but don't want to friend me (which is fine, actually a good thing in light of this latest awakening in me!), and then I have friends who are really associates, people with whom I have come into contact and I want to remember the contact, but we don't communicate on a regular basis.

So today I have unfriended about 30 of these new "friends". If you happen to be one of them and you want to be my friend, then friend me and send me a message telling me why we should be friends.

Note that I will continue tor reduce the number of friends I have on Facebook over time. I hope you don't mind. It's just that every friend needs "maintenance" looking at photos, looking at posts, replying, communicating (which for me is definitely two way) and even though I am not someone to be overloaded easily, I am one who is easily distracted by this technology and I want to reduce that.


Saturday, 26 September 2015

VW: a classic case of strategic malfunction!

They said that EV's and Hybrids were a waste of time!! And that diesels were the way to go. They dug themselves in so deep in this (stupid) ethos that they "had" to start cheating to keep proving themselves (wrong)!!

A classic case of strategic malfunction.

Saturday, 12 September 2015

Happy New Year 5776: Meeting the strangers in our lives

I thought that everyone should know that whilst the ANC distances itself from Israel, other parties are actually going there and seeing for themselves what's going on.

As we approach the Jewish New Year tomorrow (Sunday) night and Monday, we must remember that we are all strangers to each other. We are even strangers to ourselves, hence Buddhist Bodhisattva training and introspection and meditation.

It is time for us to understand the strangers in our midst, be they ourselves, in our families, our cousins and uncles and aunts, our neighbours, the people with whom we work, and even our "enemies." Many of our enemies are simply those that we just don't know or don't care about or don't understand.

I heard a beautiful message by someone who wrote to John Matham on 567 Cape Talk last night where this someone said that after 9/11 he went to his local Mosque and said to the Imam that he would like to join in Friday lunch time prayers. He is an American person and he didn't feel that terror and violence and war would solve our problems (it hasn't!). He wanted to interact with his local Mosque in Bokaap. The Mosque people welcomed him and told him that whilst they prayed in their way, he should pray in his way.

That night they invited him to prayers and then for supper. He spent most of the evening speaking to them.

We have Interfaith in South Africa. Between all our religions and faiths and way so life. Have you taken part in it or have you sought to distance yourself and be more like strangers?

Our major and fundamental problem in South Africa is that we don't trust each other and we don't believe in each other and we aren't charitable to each other. Charity in this instance is about giving the stranger the benefit of the doubt.

One of the reasons we don't trust each other is because of the massive corruption in South Africa. We have corrupted our minds and our children and ourselves. For example by the way we drive; by the way we allow minibus taxis to drive; by speeding or speaking on the cell phone in our cars; by the lies we tell ourselves; by allowing monetary corruption either ourselves or by our politicians. And pollution in our world is at an all time high, and this pollution mirrors the corruption that we have allowed into our lives and our minds.

I've said a lot about trust: see

I wish all my friends and family and people I with whom I work (who I am lucky enough to also call my friends) and my neighbours and all the NGO's with whom I work and all my enemies a Happy Shanah Tova, be they Jewish or Not. We are all in this together. God had given us an incredible world and He just wants us to work together, and then the Messianic Age will dawn and we will meet our neighbours, who wait for us, who are peaceful, even though Hollywood makes them out to be violent. If they were violent they would already have invaded Earth. They haven't. They sit, and wait. How long will we wait?

And here is the message about the political trip to Israel:

From: SA Friends of Israel
Sent: Friday, September 11, 2015 9:28 AM
Subject: Multi-party SA political leadership tour of Israel
The South African Friends of Israel welcomes multi-party political leadership tour

The South African Friends of Israel welcomes the positive conclusion of a fact finding mission which included the leaders of five key political parties including Hon Mr  Mosiuoa ‘Terror” Lekota of COPE, Hon Rev Kenneth Meshoe of the ACDP, Hon Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi of the  IFP, Hon General Banthu Holomisa of the UDM and Hon Dr Pieter Mulder of the FF+.

The multi-party delegation’s itinerary included visits to representatives in Israel as well as the Palestinian territories. The group engaged deeply in the issues surrounding the conflict and ways in which South Africa can make an active and positive impact.

They also toured centres of excellence in Israel. This included engagements in health care, medicine, agriculture, technology, water and food security. Here they had a chance to see the benefits to South Africa of strengthened engagement between the two nations.

In addition it was observed how all three of the worlds Abrahamic religions Judaism, Christianity and Islam exist in considerable harmony. Special note was made of how minorities such as Druze, Bahai, Muslim and Christian communities in Israel live in freedom.

The South African Friends of Israel further supports the perspective of the group which sees South Africa needing to play a constructive role in the region, by being a fair and balanced mediator in order to bring the various players to the negotiating table.

The South African Friends of Israel encourages all South Africans to find the opportunity to travel to Israel and to educate themselves on the complexities of the region. We hope that the goodwill engendered by this tour will create increased prospects for the promotion of peace in the Middle East and will provide for greater opportunity for development in South Africa.

For further comment please contact: Ben Swartz, Chairman South African Zionist Federation

Friday, 28 August 2015

Energy Keynote Speaker

Dear all

Just a reminder that I'm available for motivating your staff to reduce their cost of living, increase their performance, be motivated to share their energy efficiency experiences, and become power stations.

Power Stations in the external and internal sense of the word.

My links.


Sunday, 2 August 2015

Music Producer? Max Your Spotify Song Plays, 3min

Traktomizer: Music Producer? Max Your Spotify Song Plays

I don't normally advertise, but this is my brother

Sunday, 26 July 2015

Change your language; change your life

Change your language; change your life.

There are so many expressions where we blame money for all our problems, but if we see money as having both good and bad purposes and if we use the good expressions, then we change our thinking about money and more money travels to us for the good we will do.

So instead of saying:
"Shitloads of money"
"Money is the root of all evil"

"Shedloads of money"
"Money is the root of all possibility."

Another thing we need to do is change "Killing Time" to "Using time wisely". If you think about it, you'll realise that Time is our most valuable asset. If we had more time, we could do more things, make more money, spend more time with our friends, spend more time exercising, spend more time learning, etc. Please don't kill time.

Monday, 20 July 2015

David Lipschitz, the Global Keynote Speaker

Dear all

See my new web site:

Global Keynote Speaker

Energy – Keynotes by David Lipschitz

  • Keynotes
  • Conference speaking
  • Presentations: choose a subject or select from a list
  • Chairing debates and panel discussions
  • Advisory panels
  • Or invite me to your conference because of the questions I ask. I get the debate going!
I am a keynote speaker at conferences, amongst quite a few other energy related work I do.
I take the technical detail from the energy world to non-technical people to show them how they can reduce their cost of living for themselves and the environment and how they can make their own electricity so that load shedding doesn’t affect them, and so that they can protect their environment, their income and prepare for retirement.
To keep busy when I’m not talking about or researching energy, I develop financial, manufacturing, incentive and loyalty software using Delphi and Oracle.

Looking forward to your comments and to working with you.


Sunday, 19 July 2015

The Lindt Joyride

"Yours in sweetness,
The Lindt Hello Team"

Enjoy Lindt :) The best chocolate in the world.

ok, ok, home-made chocolate is better, but Lindt is easier to buy.


Dion and I trying to sing something we've never sung before. Enjoy, like and help us go to the Big Apple. Hopefully with our partners :)

And the original here:

It's a really nice video too :)

Monday, 6 July 2015

Greece and the Greek Economic Crisis


I) Countries can ENTER the European Union.

But when they EXIT, there's a big hoo-hah!


II) The Greek Government owes the money. (Where's Julius Malema when you need him?)

Pay back the money government! For the past 5 years the people have paid the huge taxes you have levied on them, for example VAT at 23%!!

"An employer is obligated to deduct tax at source from an employee and to make additional contributions to social security as in many other EU member states. The employer's contribution amounts to 28.06% of the salary. The employee's contribution is 16%."

Saturday, 4 July 2015

Happy birthday America

Happy birthday America in your most recent incarnation.

It is worth reminding ourselves what this Independence Declaration says and that we need to throw off the yoke of those who shackle us, actually mainly ourselves through our ignorance and unwillingness to trust ourselves and each other.

"The Declaration of Independence: A Transcription

"IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.

"The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,

"When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.--Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world."

Friday, 26 June 2015

Attack an idea; don't attack a person!

Attack an idea; don't attack a person!

When people start attacking people, then I delete posts. If people persist in this behaviour then I unfriend them on Facebook (I'll still pray for their souls), no matter how interesting they are!

If you want to explain something to me that you think I don't understand, then fair enough, go ahead.

If a discussion is comparing R5,000 backup systems with R80,000 backup systems, then that is also fair enough. We know what we are paying for and we understand that there is a difference between a R5,000 system and an R80,000 system.

I actually liked the discussion because my friend in India was telling me how he hacked a UPS and made it a whole lot better. I'd never heard of anyone doing this before and it excited me. Perhaps it was only going to be better for a week; I have no idea. But I am going to talk to him and I'm going to pursue this option, just out of curiosity and to see what we can do with a R5,000 system.

Sometimes there are leaps in technology where we can go from an R80,000 system to a R5,000 system, and I like these kinds of discussions and I won't just throw them out without discussing their merits.

If I didn't do this, I wouldn't be fair and I wouldn't understand a potential step change in technology when it stares me in the face.

So: Attack / discuss / criticise an idea; don't attack a person!

David Lipschitz on CNBC Africa

South African Unabridged Birth Certificates, etc

17 Things you need to know about travelling with minors in SA

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Repair Your World - Start Now

Dear friend

Sit with yourself (your-self) for an hour. Don't do anything, Disconnect everything from the outside world. Don't think about your problems. Spend the whole time thinking about everything good that has ever happened to you; everyone who has ever phoned you to spend time with you (have you ever phoned yourself to spend time with yourself?).

Repeat every time you feel a bit low: "May I be filled with loving kindness; May I be well; May I be peaceful and at ease; May I be happy." And add if you like: "I am unique; I am worthwhile; there is no one in the world like me." And if necessary think about your body and the millions of things that are going on every second and be truly thankful that everything is working just as it should.

And if you can, change the I in the affirmations above to someone's name. or a group of people: firstly people you love and cherish; then your friends; then your acquaintances; and then in a few months of sitting, perhaps add your "enemies". You'll feel amazing that you are sending beautiful healing energy to these people; or animals; or anything.

And then think about what you can eat, drink, breathe and think more clearly and consciously and then add that to what you are thinking about. And your body will work even better. Make one change each week for the rest of your life.

You'll find the place.


Saturday, 18 April 2015

Riots or Jobs?

This is what happens when government sees grants as the way to solve the unemployment crisis. 3.5 million taxpayers pay for everything and 17 million people get grants in South Africa.

One day when government realise that they need to create an enabling environment for small business and when government realises that home owners and SMME's can make the electricity this country so sorely needs, we will be on a road to mending.

Monday, 13 April 2015

Westake, Statues, Electricity, and our City and Country

Dear all

It took me 1 hour 40 mins to get to Westlake Business Park today.

It normally takes 45 mins during traffic and 60 mins on a bad day and 30 mins without traffic.

At least it kept the petrol companies happy!

But it really destroyed the productivity of every business in Westlake today and possibly this entire week due to additional stress.

Additional unnecessary stress after the recent fires in the area where people also couldn't get to work.

Some of us really want to work and continue helping to make South Africa great - for ALL its people!

For myself, I returned to SA back in July 1995. I left the OLD South Africa in 1987 and returned to the NEW South Africa in 1995, 20 years ago this year.

As you all know, my blood type is B+ (be positive) and I am an optimist. I believe that if you are a cynic or pessimist, then you cannot survive in South Africa.

South Africa is an incredible place. Full of possibility. It's time for our leaders to stand up to this racism and nip it in the bud.

When people resort to violence BEFORE they have even tried to negotiate, then we are in trouble. And when leaders, like the UCT Council, cave in without regard for due process, then they set a really bad precedent. And then when rival taxi associations resort to violence in the middle of a busy city intersection, when they could have met elsewhere, then we have a potential crisis. Fortunately the police took appropriate action and I salute them today.

I personally think that ALL statues and monuments should be removed in South Africa. Who wants to spend money building monuments, maintaining them and fighting about them, when there are so many more important things to think about like electricity, water, nourishment, our air, pollution, etc?

In the past few weeks, there have been hardly any articles in the newspapers about Eskom and the electricity crisis.

Before the Statue crisis, there were all sorts of letters and articles in the press every day.

The public have been sidetracked into this stupid behaviour and are missing the point. Without Medupi power station, which should have been completed 2 years ago and which should have started supplying the grid with electricity long before that, there are at least a million people without jobs. Another million people don't have jobs because Kusile power station is incomplete. And millions more don't have jobs because so much more of our energy resources are corroded or incomplete.

It's time for us all to refocus our energies where they are needed. Not on some past issues that non of us can resolve, but rather on working together to make this country how we all want it to be, a land of opportunity, a land of ubuntu, and a land of wealth and plenty for all.


Friday, 10 April 2015

The Wealth (Rich and Poor) and Minimum Wage Debate

Question 1:

I am 50 years old. I earn more than I did when i was 18 years old. After I left school, I studied a degree. Then I studied another one. Then I studied one part time for 2 years and basically stopped my life during those two years to do it. I went to work and came home and studied. Why should I earn the same as an 18 year old?

Question 2:

I work anything up to 60 to 80 hours a week. And every hour I work is a real hour. Why should I earn the same as someone who has a 9 to 5 job and perhaps only does 5 hours of real work in that time?

Question 3:

If I am wealthy, which itself is relative: I don't have a Mercedes; I don't have a yacht; I don't live in Bishopscourt or Fresnaye; I don't own a plane: then I use my money to better my life: I build houses, shopping centres, etc. I use my wealth to build stuff which allows other people to have jobs. If I earn more because 400 people have jobs because of me, then why should I earn the same as someone who just uses what I have created?

Question 4:

The jobless and low earners want minimum wages, but there are at least 3 problems with minimum wages: a) everyone ends up earning the same and there is no incentive for people to better themselves; b) minimum wages serve the big corporations which can afford the minimum wages (in general), and therefore minimum wages force small business out of business; c) South Africa has at least 35% unemployment. Isn't it better for someone to work for R4,000 per month than for nothing, or for handouts from the government at R2,700 per person per month? If someone was on the dole and got a job at R4,000 per month, then perhaps the government should continue to fund the R2,700 balance until such time as the person earns the "minimum wage" at which point the government can start paying less.

Do we need statues in the modern age?

Why does a world that has the internet need statues?

Company Tax - who pays it?

All taxes are paid by consumers (end users, ie us). No tax is actually paid by companies. Yes I know, companies have corporation tax, but they just pass these costs onto their customers.

Monday, 6 April 2015

Pesach / Easter 2015: Energy, Aromatherapy and Crystal Healing’s Place in Judaism

I wrote this in 2007 for the Limmud Conference. It is applicable to Pesach / Passover / Easter, so I have published it here. I hope you enjoy it.

Energy, Aromatherapy and Crystal Healing’s Place in Judaism
Integrating Modern and Biblical Techniques
Talk by David Lipschitz at Limmud 10th August 2007; 26th Av 5767
© David Lipschitz 2007. Permission is given for the making of extracts from this work, subject to the author being acknowledged.

  1. Energy Healing (Using Energy to heal)

Just like planets, our human bodies possess energy fields.  These energy fields are called auras and can spread from the body to a few centimetres from the body to metres from the body.  Eg you may “feel someone’s presence” as the walk in to a room – and you want to be close to them. On the other hand, you sometimes find that you can’t stand too close to some people because they are draining you. These kinds of people are known as energy vampires.

One notices energy when someone close to you hurts themselves and there is the impulse to hug, hold and perhaps place one’s hands on the hurting area.  These impulses form the basis for energy healing.

Everyone has this ability.  It has been given to us by G-d.  We are energy beings.  Master Lam Kam Chuen explains energy brilliantly in the book, The Way of Energy:

“Our bodies are filled with energy, but it is blocked within us. We are born bursting with life, yet we grow old depleted of vitality.

The energy in our bodies is so natural and so spontaneous, we almost never stop to think about it.  It is like the constant rhythm of our lungs and the ceaseless circulation of our blood.  Thousands upon thousands of chemical reactions are passing through every part of the system.  Not only that, but we are all part of the entire flow of energy around us.  The intricate networks of energy in your body form part of the energy of the natural world.  You are a miniature field of the electromagnetic energy of the universe.”

  1. Torah: Pinchas: Numbers Chapter 25 vs 10 to Chapter 27

In Chapter 27, vs 13, we read that Moses placed his Hands upon Joshua when handing down his blessing to Joshua.  This might have been an attunement into the higher energies of the universe.  The kohanim (priests) raise their hands when they give the priestly benediction to the congregation on Yom Kippur and Yom Tov.  In Israel Kohanim give the blessing every morning.

  1. Reiki

Reiki is a Japanese system where the objective is to balance a patient’s energy.  When we hug someone like our child who may have hurt themself, we transfer our own energy to that person.  After a few minutes they get up and run around, but we feel drained.  The objectives of studying Reiki are to learn how to transfer energy to a patient, how to balance them, how to work with the body’s energy systems, and to be attuned to universal energy so that when we heal someone, we use universal energy instead of our own energy.

Attunement is a process where a master or teacher transfers the art, ie transfers special powers to the receiver or student thus giving the student some of the master’s capabilities.  There are three attunements in Reiki and after receiving the final attunement, the student becomes a master who is able to perform many healing techniques and also teach other students.  Our Reiki course has been taking place over the past 3 years.  One should be careful of weekend courses where there is no practical element and where one doesn’t really feel the energies or tune one’s body so that one is ready to receive an attunement.

Reiki isn’t mentioned in the Bible, but I believe that similar techniques were learnt by Moses from G-d, and that Moses performed blessings or attunements on the leaders, priests and judges.

Reiki is not massage.  In Reiki, one places one’s hands above the patient and usually only touches the patient to feel for missing energy flows or to cup the head when the patient is lying on her back or to hold the knees to feel for blockages.  One of my patients is a Rabbi and I can work over a metre above his body and still strongly feel the effects of the Reiki energy transferring into him.

In Reiki the healer and the patient work together.  The patient takes responsibility for the healing and automatically draws the energy where it is needed.  The healer must be detached so that the outcome is controlled by the universe.  Animals such as cats automatically receive Reiki energy.  When my wife and I do treatments, our cat almost always comes to lie under our Reiki table to get some of that energy that is flowing around.
From a Biblical point of view, Ordination, or installation into the service of G-d and Tabernacle, rendered the priest “holy.”  Special ceremonies were provided to symbolise the priest’s entrance into a new sacred status.  Moses put his hands on Aaron and transferred priestly powers to him.  Moses also used these processes for transfering capabilities to the leaders and the judges.
Note that from a Gematria point of view, Moshe is 345. 5 is the Pentagram, the symbol of the Priest; 4 is the Square representing Judgement; 3 is the Triangle representing harmony.  Melech (King) means a person who restores harmony.  The King’s responsibility is to restore harmony through his leadership.
  1. Shalom Aleichem
The modern greeting of the handshake starts with the putting out of the right hand.  In old times this was done because one was afraid and it was like holding out a spear.  If the other party held out his hand and shook, then it was as it a covenant of peace between the two parties was created.  A better greeting is “hi” where the hand is held high and a friendly waving jesture.
A Jewish way of doing this are either to say Yiyasher KoChaCha (Yasher KoAch in Yiddish) (May you be energised) and to reply Baruch TiHeYe (May you be blessed).
The best way is to use the ancient greeting of Shalom Aleichem to create positive energy between two people.  This is usually followed by a hug and a cheek to cheek kiss.  The following quote from at
“The Sabbath table is set with the finest china, crystal, and silver. (When it comes to Shabbat, nothing is saved for a special occasion, for this is the special occasion!) Those who went to shul have now returned, and the room is filled with the warm sounds of Good Shabbos greetings. Everyone is invited to the table, as we begin the meal with song.
“Shalom Aleichem! -- the traditional greeting used when two Jews meet, and the name of the song that begins the Shabbat meal Friday night. Shalom Aleichem -- May peace be upon you.
“Shalom ... peace ... from the Hebrew word shalem, which means complete.
“On the most basic level, by singing this song, we are asking God to bless our home with peace; that there should be no conflict between friends or family, especially on Shabbat.
“The Midrash says that when a person comes home from shul on Friday night, he is accompanied by two angels -- a good angel and a bad angel. If the table is beautifully set and there is a peaceful atmosphere in the home, then the good angel says, So may it be next week, and the bad angel is forced to say, Amen -- so may it be! But if the house is a mess (both physically and emotionally), then the bad angel says, So may it be next week, and the good angel is forced to say, Amen!
“Yet on another level, we are asking for completeness: that we should truly feel that we lack nothing -- that the world is complete on Shabbat. We sit back in awe at this revelation. Our weekday work is done.
“The only work now is the work of Shabbat, which is something much deeper and often much harder to attain -- that is working on oneself, on real completeness, the achievement of a more ideal sense of self.
“On Shabbat, one is no longer split. During the week there is the working you, the family you, the day-to-day you. But on Shabbat you are focused, with everything in harmony: family, learning, joy of life...”
Essentially we are invoking an ancient energy blessing: “May you have harmony.”  When you have harmony, you have peace.  Shalem in Hebrew means harmony (whole/complete).  Wholeness brings peace.  This is why Shalom eventually became Hello and Goodbye as well as Peace.
So now turn to the person beside you and wish each other Shalom Aleichem and reply Aleichem Shalom.  Hug each other if you would like to feel the flow of energy.

  1. Incense

Incense allows for purification and healing.  We are burning Frankincense here to purify and cleanse the room.  More below.

  1. Spices, Oils and Fragrances: Pesach

Pesach is a spring festival in the Northern Hemisphere where nature comes to life.  Jerusalem at this time of year “buzzes” with the smells of spices and fragrances.  At the end of each Shabbat, we smell the Besamim, the spices, to welcome the new week with fresh fragrances.  Spices and fragrances and oils were used historically to anoint the new kings of Israel.  The annointing oils had a special formula which only very few people knew.

In ancient times, people couldn’t wash as they didn’t have access to water, so instead they used oils.  Other attributes of oils are that they don’t freeze at zero degrees and they keep one warm.

Psalms 23:5 “You have anointed my head with oil; my cup overflows.”  The highest quality anointing oil is enriched with Frankincense and Myrrh.  The Queen of Sheba originally brought spices to Solomon in the 10th Century B.C.E, 3,000 years ago.  Solomon created a perfume industry with Jerusalem as its headquarters.  In the past few years, Jerusalem has again been made home to the perfume, oils and spices industry.  See

All spices and incenses were imported from Somalia, India and other places.  The spice route went through Israel.

Some notes on the various spices mentioned in the Song of Songs (from various internet sites):

Frankincense and myrrh are both resins -- dried tree sap -- that come from trees of the genus Boswellia (frankincense) and Commiphora (myrhh), which are common to Somalia.

The way that people collect the sap is similar to the way people collect rubber-tree sap or pine-tree sap. Cutting the tree's bark causes the sap to ooze out of the cut. The sap used to create both frankincense and myrrh comes slowly and is allowed to dry on the tree. The hardened sap is collected and used as frankincense and myrrh.

Frankincense and myrrh are used to create incense sticks and oils.

Carol Margetts of Albatros Trading cc in Hout Bay says: “Frankincense not only removes germs and unpleasant odors, it is also one of the strongest substances for cleansing and clearing the atmosphere.  For thousands of years, people have considered the heavenly fragrance of frankincense one of the strongest stimuli for a human spirit that wants to be open to the heavens and is attempting to communicate with energies on a higher plane.  Frankincense works particularly well for us during prayer, meditation and reflection.  It is also a very effective remedy for stress.  It reduces muscle tension and provides a sense of comfort and warmth.

“Myrrh is a more precious resin.  Myrrh symbolises the sensuousness of earth.  In concentrated form, Myrrh contains the energy of the earth.  For that reason, myrrh resin serves to ground, calm, contract, and condence.  Burning myrrh is ideal when we need to get our feet solidly back on the ground and to calm a confused or exhausted spirit.  Be careful of using myrrh if you are suffering from depression.  Myrrh has medicinal properties, eg for treating wounds, healing, tissue strengthening, scab-building.”

There are Sephardi communities who came from the East where their used to be the custom in the days of the Talmud to clear the air by burning Frankincense.

Traditionally considered to calm the nerves and promote awareness and strengthen the mind.

The most precious and most expensive spice in the world: Saffron.

The Saffron filaments, or threads, are actually the dried stigmas of the saffron flower, "Crocus Sativus Linneaus". Each flower contains only three stigmas. These threads must be picked from each flower by hand, and more than 75,000 of these flowers are needed to produce just one pound of Saffron filaments, making it the world’s most precious spice.  It has therapeutic properties.

The ultimate skin treatment, pure aloe vera gel gently soothes mild burns, cuts and scrapes and other minor irritations.

  1. Torah: Korach: Numbers Chapter 16 to Chapter 18

Rabbi Mirvis says:

“The mixing of the spices for the incense is an art, it is Maase Rokeah – the work of a perfumer (Ex.30.25).  He needs to know the ingredients and their exact proportions for the blending of the bitter and the sweet, to produce a fragrance acceptable for sacred use.  

“The three letters constituting the term Rokeah – perfumer, may be rearranged to read Korah!  Inherent in Korah was the potential to blend the bitter and the sweet in developing a ‘fragrant’ personality suitable for leadership.  He did not meet the criteria, for his divisive stance - sweet unto himself - caused bitterness to others (he rebelled against Moses’s leadership).”

  1. Torah: Tetzaveh: Exodus Chapter 27 vs 20 to Chapter 30 vs 10

This parashah contains the rules that govern the way that Aaron must minister in the Tent of Meeting, Ohel Mo-Aid.  It contains what he should say, what he should wear, what colours are essential, what stones and crystals should be worn and in what sequence they should be put on.

Chapter 28 vs 15: You shall make a breastplate of decision… 17] Set in it mounted stones, in four rows of stones.  The first row shall be a row of carnelian, chrysolite, and emerald; 18] the second row: a turquoise, a sapphire, and an amethyst; 19] the third row: a jacinth, an agate, and a crystal; 20] and the fourth row, a beryl, a lapis lazuli, and a jasper.  They shall be framed with gold in their mountings. 21] The stones shall correspond [in number] to the names of the sons of Israel: twelve, corresponding to their names.  They shall be engraved like seals, each with its name, for the twelve tribes.

Properties of these crystals:
Carnelian: an orange stone; repairing the body
Chrysolite: also called peridot: green: used for detaching; similar to hematite: prevents claustrophibia; prevents absorbing negative energies
Emerald: green: balances the heart; speeds up detoxification; brings calm by removing hidden fears
Turquoise: a blueish colour; has a reputation for protection; there is a belief that the stone will become paler when its owner is in danger; supports the immune system
Sapphire: deep blue; can balance the higher faculties of the mind as well as reduce levels of stress; speeds the flow of information
Amethyst: deep purple/violet/yellow; a combination of violet and yellow is ideal for balancing anxiety, fear and nervousness
Jacinth: yellow/red; also called Zircon; believed to provide the wearer with wisdom, honour and riches; helps raise one’s self esteem; helps to ground spiritual experiences and will ease any tensions that have arisen in the mind from psychic or visionary experiences
Agate: white or clear or multicoloured; amplifies and clarifies
(Quartz) Crystal – “The Seal of Solomon” a way of placing crystals around the body
Beryl: yellow; from gold bearing rocks; works best with the digestive system and is relaxing
Lapis Lazuli: rich blue; works best on upper chest, throat, head; helps those who are shy or introverted to communicate and express themselves; enlivens communication, the processes of thought and memory
Jasper: red; focusses on solidity and grounding
Gold: a great conductor of energy, helping to harmonise many of the different levels in the body; creates easy energy flow; releases stress from the nervous system, increasing the efficiency of the brain and the ability to repair damaged tissues