"BLAH" to kabbalah
Why do stars put their faith in Kabbalah?
It's is the trendiest faith around, endorsed by superstars like Madonna, Demi Moore and Britney Spears. As I take my first lesson in Kabbalah, I begin to understand why.
"By the fourth class you will learn to see into the future," my teacher announces confidently.
I'm in a meeting room in a smart square off Oxford Street for an introductory session in the ancient branch of Jewish mysticism which is enjoying a star-struck resurgence.
From the offset it is easy to see why so many celebrities are attracted to Kabbalah, as I'm promised money, sexual energy, passion and beauty - all for £180.
Madonna is Kabbalah's most famous devotee (say no more), other celebrity students include Elizabeth Taylor, Jerry Hall, Winona Ryder, Jeff Goldblum, Courtney Love and Roseanne Barr.
Now it looks as if Victoria Beckham has become a convert after being spotted wearing a red string knotted around her wrist - a Kabbalah amulet to ward off the "evil eye".
As well as being able to see the future, other perks of becoming a believer are "money, good relationships, love and happiness," claims my teacher, Rabbi Chaim Solomon.
As if more reasons were needed, Kabbalists say the "positive flow of energy" can stop the ageing process. More bizarrely, they believe negative energy can be absorbed by swinging a chicken above the head.
The 10-week course will, claims Rabbi Solomon, teach me to tune myself like a TV set to become a better receiver of "rays of light", the infinite joy for which we're all searching for and, by no coincidence, the name of Madonna's 1998 album.
Kabbalah, described as "a divine system of wisdom", is believed to have been passed by God to Abraham and to Moses.
Rabbi Solomon describes it as the spiritual laws of creation, "like the DNA of the cosmos", but there's nothing very mystical or esoteric about Rabbi Solomon's presentation on his flip-chart.
The word Kabbalah is Hebrew for "receive" and it's this "gimme gimme" aspect that he decides to focus on: "The creator wants you to have everything you want."
Later, browsing the Kabbalah Centre's online store, it's the same story. One book, The 72 Names Of God, promises that by meditating on the appropriate name, you'll be able to "bring more money into your life, ignite sexual energy and passion, meet your true soul mate and radiate beauty to all who see you."
Followers are encouraged to pamper themselves and pursue their own happiness - which may explain why it has attracted so many self-obsessed celebrities.
Even the understanding of the Zohar, the 12th-century manuscript on which modern Kabbalah teaching is based, is surprisingly user-friendly. Rabbis at the Kabbalah Centre insist the Zohar - said to be too complicated for the most eminent scholars - can be "read" merely by running your hands over the text.
Which probably explains why its "unfathomable complexities" have become fully accessible to the likes of Britney Spears, who has also been seen sporting a Kabbalistic red-string wrist band.
"It's a bigger picture even than the Bible," she explained. "It's so interesting to me because I've never read stuff like this before." At the London Kabbalah Centre you can buy a red string bracelet like Britney's for £27. Also on offer is a "blessed, restoring" face cream at £78.
For £2.80 you can buy a small bottle of Kabbalah water, personally blessed by the movement's leader, Phillip Berg, and said to possess "centuries of wisdom in every drop".
The spring water has supposedly been transformed by a process called Quantum Resonance Technology, making it a "spiritual tool". Madonna claims the water cured husband Guy's verrucas.
Also on sale is Madonna's book The English Roses (proceeds donated to the Kabbalah Centre's Spirituality For Kids Foundation). Her latest book, Mr Peabody, based on an ancient Kabbalah story, nestles alongside Kabbalah texts, videos and DVDs.
You might expect London's Jewish community to be thrilled that their ancient wisdom is now being marketed to the general public: Jews and non-Jews, pop stars and nobodies alike.
Nothing, however, could be further from the truth.
Rabbi Barry Marcus, a member of the Chief Rabbi's cabinet and minister at the Central London Synagogue, says: "There's not a single Rabbinic authority on this planet who endorses what they're doing; the condemnation of them is universal."
He points out that the Zohar - on sale at the Kabbalah Centre for £289 - can be bought from any religious bookshop for around £35.
But Rabbi Marcus isn't surprised Kabbalah has so many celebrity followers. "If I'm being kind, I'll say that most of them have probably done well in their field and have everything that money can buy".
But they don't have the one thing money can't buy and that's inner peace, serenity and stability. So they go searching and they can afford to.
"But if I'm being unkind, I'd say that the celebrities I've come into contact with are the most insecure people I've ever met in my life."
And what of the spiritual properties of the Kabbalah Centre's magic red string?
Rabbi Marcus snorts. "I can get you the same string in John Lewis for 20p," he says.
"BLAH" to kabbalah (take 2)
straight from hell! The Freemason occult is based upon occult mysticism (a bunch
of hodge-podge) from the Zohar. Kabbalah is a branch of Jewish mysticism, which
is thought to have originated in the 13th century. Its teachings come from an
ancient 23-volume book called the Zohar, which offers interpretations of the
inner meaning of the Torah. Traditionally, its practices were reserved for a
select number of Jewish scholars who already had an advanced understanding of
Jewish law, but for the past 500 years it has been followed more widely.
Kaballah WILL take you away from Jesus Christ.
Jesus was NO follower of Kabbalism! John 14:2 clearly reveals that Jesus said
what He meant, and meant what He said. Jesus wasn't into mysticism, "...if it
were not so, I would have told you." The Word of God is straightforward. The
FACT that occult groups worldwide cherish the Kabbalah should speak volumes to
anyone who may consider it a holy book, it is NOT!
Kabbalah promises many things to help out your life, by taking away grief, pain, misery, worries, and much more. On the contrary, the Word of God promises us persecution if we live godly in Christ (Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution." -2nd Timothy 3:12). Isaiah 53:3, a prophecy about Jesus, declares "He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief" John 15:20 reads "The servant is not greater than his Lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you."
Kabbalism should be suspect for drawing attention to ones own "spirituality" rather than drawing attention to and glorifying Jesus Christ (God Almighty). As Isaiah 64:6 declares, "all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags." Kabbalist mysticism is the basis for Freemasonry, Rosicrucianism, the Illuminati, Knights Templar, and many other occult organizations. Their holy book is the Zohar. "Spell oils and incense blends produced according to Kabbalah" is the advertisement on this witchcraft website. The Bible is quick and powerful enough (Hebrews 4:12), without the need to resort to extra-Biblical religiosity, occult practices, or Satanism. Jesus clearly said that He was the ONLY Way to the Father (John 14:6). Kabbalah is wishy-washy and fails to present a Biblical plan of salvation through Jesus Christ. Kabbalah is of the devil. I dare anyone to show me a clear Gospel presentation from the Kaballah. Again, the FACT that Satanic occult groups base their damnable religions upon the Kabbalah speaks volumes. The "mysticism" of the Kaballah is demonism.
"BLAH" to kabbalah (take 3)
PAGAN ORIGINS OF KABBALAH (CABALA)
BY BARBARA AHO
division of Israel and the Assyrian captivity of the northern tribes, the
southern kingdom of Judah adopted the pagan traditions of the heathen nation of
ancient Babylon. These traditions, with their associated rituals which included
human sacrifice, provoked God to judge the southern kingdom, which judgment the
prophet Jeremiah forewarned the Jews for a period of forty years, to no avail.
The Babylonians destroyed Jerusalem in three stages, from 605 to 586 B.C., in
which year the Temple of Solomon was demolished and the remaining Jews were
carried into captivity. During the Babylonian captivity, the prophet Ezekiel
continued to reprove Judah for its apostasy from the God of Israel and their
love affair with Babylon. Note, in the following passage, the Jews’ admiration
for the images of rich, brightly attired Babylonian princes, which evoke visual
images of the elegant processions of the princes of the Roman Catholic Church
attired in their rich and colorful vestments:
“...[Jerusalem] increased her whoredoms: for when she saw men pourtrayed upon the wall, the images of the Chaldeans portrayed with vermilion, Girded with girdles upon their loins, exceeding in dyed attire upon their heads, all of them princes to look to, after the manner of the Babylonians of Chaldea, the land of their nativity: And as soon as she saw them with her eyes, she doted upon them, and sent messengers unto them into Chaldea. And the Babylonians came to her into the bed of love, and they defiled her with their whoredom, and she was polluted with them, and her mind was alienated from them. So she discovered her whoredoms, and discovered her nakedness: then my mind was alienated from her...” (Ezek.23:14-18)
Moreover, as Matthew Henry noted in his commentary on this passage, the kingdom of Judah patterned its own worship after the pomp and pageantry of the Babylonians with whom they had become enamored:
“Thus she increased her whoredoms; she fell in love, fell in league, with the Chaldeans. Hezekiah himself was faulty this way when he was proud of the court which the king of Babylon made to him and complimented his ambassadors with the sight of all his treasures, Isa. 39:2. And the humour increased (v. 14); she doted upon the pictures of the Babylonian captains (v. 15, 16), joined in alliance with that kingdom, invited them to come and settle in Jerusalem, that they might refine the genius of the Jewish nation and make it more polite; nay, they sent for patterns of their images, altars, and temples, and made use of them in their worship. Thus was she polluted with her whoredoms (v. 17), and thereby she discovered her own whoredom (v. 18), her own strong inclination to idolatry.”
According to two authoritative sources, H.P. Blavatsky and the Jewish Encyclopedia, the Jews also acquired from the Chaldeans their doctrines of Eastern mysticism. These were later developed into a written compendium of esoteric literature known as the Jewish Qabbalah or Kabalah, and in the Middle Ages as the Latin Cabala.
“Kabalah (Heb.) The hidden wisdom of the Hebrew Rabbis of the middle ages derived from the older secret doctrines concerning divine things and cosmogony, which were combined into a theology after the time of the captivity of the Jews in Babylon. All the works that fall under the esoteric category are termed Kabalistic.” (Blavatsky, Theosophical Glossary, p. 168)
“The Pythagorean idea of the creative powers of numbers and letters, upon which the ‘Sefer Yetzirah’ is founded, and which was known in tannaitic times…is here proved to be an old cabalistic conception. In fact, the belief in the magic power of the letters of the Tetragrammaton and other names of the Deity…seems to have originated in Chaldea (see Lenormant, ‘Chaldean Magic,’ pp. 29, 43). Whatever, then, the theurgic Cabala was …, the very fact that Abraham, and not a Talmudical hero like Akiba, is introduced in the ‘Sefer Yetzirah,’ at the close, as possessor of the Wisdom of the Alphabet, indicates an old tradition, if not the antiquity of the book itself.
“The whole dualistic system of good and of evil powers, which goes back to
Zoroastrianism and ultimately to old Chaldea, can be traced through Gnosticism;
having influenced the cosmology of the ancient Cabala before it reached the
“The gradual condensation of a primal substance into visible matter, a fundamental doctrine of the Cabala, … is the ancient Semitic conception of the ‘primal ocean,’ known to the Babylonians as ‘Apsu’ (compare Jastrow, ‘Religion of Babylonia’), and called by the Gnostics βύθος = (Anz, ‘Die Frage nach dem Ursprung des Gnostizismus,’ p. 98).”
The Chaldean religious tradition that was embraced by apostate Jews during their captivity in Babylon was delivered to subsequent generations by word of mouth. According to Blavatsky, these disseminators of the Chaldean tradition in the few centuries before Christ were known as Tanaim:
“Kabalist. From Q B L H, Kabala, an unwritten or oral tradition. The kabalist is a student of ‘secret science’, one who interprets the hidden meaning of the Scriptures with the help of the symbolical Kabala… The Tanaim were the first kabalists among the Jews; they appeared at Jerusalem about the beginning of the third century before the Christian era… This secret doctrine is identical with the Persian wisdom, or ‘magic’.” (Ibid. p.167)
The dictionary defines the Medieval Latin cabala as derived from the Hebrew word “qabblâ” which means “received doctrine, tradition, from qibbl, to receive.” According to the Jewish Encyclopedia, Cabalists claimed to have received these oral traditions, not from ancient Chaldeans, but from the Patriarchs and Prophets “by the power of the Holy Spirit.”
“Cabala comprised originally the entire traditional lore, in contradistinction to the written law (Torah), and therefore included the prophetic and hagiographic books of the Bible, which were supposed to have been ‘received’ by the power of the Holy Spirit rather than as writings from God’s hand... Each ‘received’ doctrine was claimed as tradition from the Fathers...to be traced back to the Prophets or to Moses on Sinai... The chief characteristic of the Cabala is that, unlike the Scriptures, it was entrusted only to the few elect ones;…’”
Because of its heretical nature, the Cabala was not generally promulgated among the Jews but remained the “secret doctrine” of “elect” Jews. That is to say, certain Jews who were deemed worthy could comprehend hidden teachings in the written Torah and, through mystical techniques, make direct contact with “God.” Among these practices are rapid recitation of the “Holy Name of God” (YHVH, or Tetragrammaton), meditation on the 11 Sephiroth of the Tree of Life which are believed to be emanations of God, learning to use the 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet as force-carrying energy patterns which serve as the building blocks of the cosmos, and, finally, transcending the space/time limitations of the physical world to realize one’s “inner divinity.” This “secret doctrine” has been preserved throughout the ages to the present time by a spiritual brotherhood who progress individually to various stages of enlightenment and proficiency in the hidden wisdom—from “elect” to “adepts” to “wise men” to “adepts in grace”:
“Cabala... The specific term for the esoteric or mystic doctrine concerning God and the universe, asserted to have come down as a revelation to elect saints from a remote past, and preserved only by a privileged few. At first consisting only of empirical lore, it assumed, under the influence of Neoplatonic and Neopythagorean philosophy, a speculative character. In the geonic period it is connected with a Mishnah-like text-book, the ‘Sefer Yetzirah,’ and forms the object of the systematic study of the elect, called ‘mekubbalim’ or ‘ba’ale ha-Kabbalah’ (possessors of, or adepts in, the Cabala). These receive afterward the name of ‘maskilim’ (the wise), after Dan. xii. 10; and because the Cabala is called (‘Hokmah nistarah’ = the hidden wisdom), the initials of which receive the meaning ‘adepts in grace’ (Eccl. ix. 11, Hebr.).” (Ibid.)
BLAH to kabbalah (take 4)
Kabbalah has many different ways of being spelled in English.
It can be as you have spelled it, or one of the following: Kaballah, Qabalah, or
Kabbalah developed between the 6th and 13th centuries among Jews in Babylonia, Italy, Provence, and Spain. The word Kabbalah means "to receive" and refers revelation from God received by Jews and passed to succeeding generations through oral tradition. The word was first used by mainstream Judaism but later came to refer to those who believed that only a select few were given the secret knowledge from God as to the "true" meaning of Scriptures. Kabbalah uses occultic practices and is considered to be a cult.
Kabbalah resembles closely some of the beliefs held by the Greek Gnostics in that both groups held that only a select few were given deeper understanding or knowledge. Also, Kabbalah teaches that emanations from God did the work of creation rather than creation being directly from God. With each descending emanation, the emanation became further away from God. The final emanation took the personal form of angels. This would be like God created a lesser god, and that one then created a lesser god, and this kept happening until the end result were angels. This directly contradicts God's revelation of Himself in the Bible. In the Bible, God teaches that He is both separate from all of His creation and yet is directly accessible by those who come to Him through Jesus Christ.
Kabbalah does hold to the inspiration of Scripture, but does not seek the plain meaning of Scripture. The Kabbalah approach is mystical and very subjective, using such things as numerology to find "hidden" meaning. Through this method, almost any teaching that one desires could be "found" in Scripture. This goes against the very heart of communication. God provided Scripture that He might communicate with mankind and teach humanity of Himself. It is obvious that Scripture is meant to be taken at face value and Not mystical interpretation. This can be demonstrated by fulfilled prophecy. God said something would happen, and it happened as He said it would. The greatest example of this is the fulfillment of the prophecies concerning the first coming of Jesus Christ. The were hundreds of verses referring to His coming, and they were fulfilled literally (Isaiah 7:14; 9:6; Micah 5:2; Isaiah 53. This is why the Bible should be interpreted literally or normally.
Kabbalah even has a pantheistic characteristic. Pantheism is the idea that God and His creation are one. This of course is not what God has told us in the Bible. God created all that exists from nothing (the Hebrew word "bara").
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