The Rabbinical Centre of Europe tackles complicated halachic questions sent by the rabbis of the continent on a daily basis. But nothing prepared the RCE for a recent query by a London rabbi, who sought the center's help in getting rid of a ghost he said was dwelling in his new residence.
The RCE's Response department in Israel, which provides halachic answers to the questions of European rabbis, was approached by Rabbi Levy Yitzhak Raskin of London on behalf of a fellow rabbi who asked not to be identified.
"In the last months he has noticed a foreign presence in his new home," Raskin described in his letter. "Closed windows have been opened; he's been hearing knocking, and so forth."
According to Raskin, when the distraught rabbi turned to his congregation for help, "they confirmed that these strange events have occurred in the past, and estimated that the noises were caused by the ghost of a rabbi… who was the synagogue's first rabbi and passed away 40 years ago, and is now seeking tikkun for his spirit."
According to the congregation members, the founding rabbi would occasionally visit the house in order to see how his community was doing.
Will prayers help?
Upon receiving this query RCE member Rabbi Mordechai Biton immediately forwarded it to Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar and Rabbi Yitzhak Batzri.
Rabbi Amar ruled that two tikkun prayers – one for the house and the other for the deceased rabbi's soul - should be recited in order to resolve the matter.
Rabbi Batzri offered to include the rabbi's name in his yeshiva's biannual tikkun prayers for the dead, or to instruct Rabbi Raskin how to hold such a prayer in London if necessary. "If this doesn't help, it's a sign that this is a different ghost that may be misleading them, and we'll discuss how to handle this later on."