Kaballah References in Pop Culture Concern Senior Rabbi

It may be trendy and championed by singers like Madonna and Britney Spears, but mainstream Jewish leaders are concerned about references made to “Kaballah,” especially references that refer to it as a ‘cult.’

“People are free to do what they wish, but I do think these people are trivilizing Judaism,” Temple Beth-El Senior Rabbi Barry Block told 1200 WOAI’s Jeff Vexler.

“Kaballah is one aspect of Judaism, and you can’t just pluck it out of the fullness of Judaism without appreciating the role Kaballah plays in Judaism.”

Kaballah, from the Hebrew word ‘to accept,’ is a form of Jewish mystacism which involves studies on the nature of the soul, divinity, and creation. But lately it has been intertwined with so called “New Age” practices, and that’s what bothers Rabbi Block.

“Some people who don’t understand could think that these adherents are representative of Judaism and thereby develop a dim opinion of Judaism on the basis of their trivalism of one aspect of our faith and tradition,” he said.

What concerns Block and other mainstream Jewish leaders was a photograph of the singer Madonna leaving the trendy ‘Kaballah Center‘ in Beverly Hills wearing a t-shirt reading ‘Cult Member.’


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May 27, 2004
Jim Forsyth
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Religion News Blog posted this on Friday May 28, 2004.
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