"One more practice that I must critique is not a superstition, but an actual practice of one specific group. This practice of theirs has absolutely no foundation or source in the words or practices of any Kabbalist or Kabbalistic text. I refer to the practice of scanning.
I am sorry to have to be iconoclastic, but this practice of scanning is pure and utter nonsense. There is no benefit or value in simply what the eye sees. Although someone might be able to weave together a number of Kabbalistic and non-Kabbbalistic teachings to validate this scanning practice, you must know that no legitimate Kabbalist performs this. No legitimate Kabbalist condones this. Every legitimate Kabbalist that I know (and I know a great number of them) condemns this scanning practice as a cultish sham.
Scanning books, however, while not affording one the great spiritual benefit that some promise, nonetheless is not forbidden. In reality, as long as it is understood as not being something mystical or magical, scanning is quite harmless. I view it as a waste of time. However, if someone receives pleasure from looking at pages upon pages of what to them is meaningless Hebrew, by all means enjoy yourself.
The only time scanning is absolutely
Regarding the recital of prayer, it is written in the holy Zohar (3, 294B):
“Every prayer and supplication that a man makes
Rabbi Yehuda Ashlag, in his commentary the Sulam (Zohar Vol. 3, Idra Zuta 294b, Sulam ed. vol. 16, page 69 writes that for a human there is no manifestation of the supernal lights (mohin) other than by what one speaks. “Even if one does not concentrate upon what comes out of his lips, being that [the words] have come forth, they have become manifest.”
This Kabbalistic teaching on scanning is the same as is written in Jewish law.
I know that some people are being told that if they cannot recite their daily prayers in Hebrew, rather than recite them in the language that they understand, they should simply scan them.
This teaching is horribly wrong!
It does tremendous harm for it prevents a person’s prayers from ever being heard by G-d.
The language of the Zohar is clear on this, as is Halakha.
Therefore any practice of scanning prayers is absolutely forbidden."