According to The Forward’s Michael Casper, one Rabbi Chaim Yosef Sharabi, scion of a family of Yemeni mystics, has set up shop at the back of an optician’s store in Borough Park, Brooklyn, where he tells fortunes and dispenses paper amulets for $180 a pop. Casper reports that the rabbi’s predictions aren’t very good—the reporter’s cousin was told months ago that she would meet her future husband within eight months, and she hasn’t—but that doesn’t stop people from waiting as long as six hours to hear what Sharabi portends for them. Sharabi’s wife, who translates for him from Hebrew, insists that what he does isn’t really fortune-telling, but rather communing with God; Sharabi, for his part, said he has indeed fulfilled his relatives’ predictions that he would become a great mystic. How did they know? Easy, he said: “I was born circumcised on Yom Kippur.” A miracle!

A Jewish Mystic Offers Amulets and Predictions, for $180 a Pop [Forward]