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Thursday, June 03, 2004

The Low Down on the Kabbala Center

R' Lazer Brody exposes some of the untruths regarding The Kabbala Center, the new spiritual center of the stars:

Let's compare the frauds with the real thing:

1. Kabbala means "reception", that is, receiving the secrets of Torah from your master, and he from his master, all the way back to Moses. The Kabbala center, especially its owner and his wife, pride themselves on the fact that they've broken away from tradition. That's the opposite of Kabbala.
2. True spirituality and materialism are mutually exclusive. Any real kabbalist limits his material consumption to the barest minimum. The Kabbala Center on the other hand, is out to make money - lots of it. So far, they're doing a good job by preying on this generation's spiritual hunger.
3. The Torah is egalitarian; real kabbala academies (which by the way are well-hidden from the public eye) accept students on the basis of their moral righteousness, humility, excellence in Torah, and strict observance of all the Torah's commandments. The Kabbala Center accepts you according to the money you can pay. You won't see them operating in poor neighborhoods.
4. A real kabbalist will hide the fact that he learns Kabbala. Why? Modesty. One no sooner discusses the secrets of G-d's holy names in public - and with ritually impure listeners - than one would discuss the intimacies of one's own personal life.
5. The Kabbala Center does not encourage people to observe the Torah's commandments. One can't begin learning Kabbala without a strong background in written Torah, oral Torah, and observence of Torah statutes.
6. The Kabbala Center's "gear" department is the ripoff of the century, and a mockery of authentic Jewish spirituality.
7. A real Kabbala student will never use the secret name of G-d for his own benefit. The Kabbala center teaches that the Holy names are tools for making money, enjoying sex, and pursuing your own appetites.