Thursday, November 10, 2005

Even though both Madonna (sorry, Esther) and my neighbour's DJ buddy go to the Kabbalah Centre, I'm a sceptic.

Partly, because I know a little about Kabbalah (pronounced Ka-Ba-La, all short As, not kur-bar-lar, in that weird way) and I know the last thing it includes is the crossing of palms with silver. My scepticism was validated by Rabbi YY Rubinstein on the Heaven and Earth show this weekend.

So I'm both apalled and not so surprised about last week's story about a poor woman who ended up donating nearly £30,000
for a fake cancer cure.

Say after me: C-U-L-T.

Side note:

This ridiculous paragraph at the end of the Guardian piece:

Kabbalah has only gained popular appeal in the last 20 years, after being developed by a lapsed rabbi, Philip Berg, and his second wife, Karen. It originally evolved in the Middle Ages as a mystical interpretation of the Torah which aimed to reach a better understanding of the divine than could be attained by literal or metaphorical analysis. If the bible is a code of laws for man, then Kabbalah is the attempt to work out the laws by which God created and governs the universe. It was restricted to Torah students over the age of 40 because of its complexity and the ease with which it can be misinterpreted. The Bergs divorced Kabbalah from its traditional roots, simplified it, opened it up to all faiths and commercialised it. They created the Kabbalah Centre, which has branches in Tel Aviv, London, New York and Los Angeles. In the new interpretation, the drinking of Kabbalah water and the possession of books that have never been read can lead to magical cures for illness.

So. The bold is the Guardian's doing, not mine.

  • Does the Guardian think we're so dense we can't read a whole paragraph without highlighting their version of key words? What do you think this is, the internet?
  • Kabbalah has not only gained appeal in the last twenty years: it's an ages old tradition that has been studied for generations
  • And it so hasn't been "developed" by Philip Berg. It's been bastardised, whatever.
  • I just don't care what his wife's called
  • At least they didn't spell Kabbalah with a Q
  • The tradition is so much more complex than you can get in a stupid soundbite
  • Why does Kabbalah have a capital K, and Torah a T, but bible doesn't have a B?
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