Kabbalah’s Commercialization in the Hands of Celebrities

Loren’s first textbroker article

It becomes easier to search out of the box, when resources and time outnumber simultaneously reach full abundance in your life. Wealthy people who have stretches of free time are difficult to find in the US, unless you’re looking in Hollywood.

Imagine being a celebrity, with an enviably large disposable income and a fair amount of influence, you have the potential of inspiring a movement and more information click here.

That’s how Kabbalah became the Fidget Spinner of the Stars many moons ago. Marilyn Monroe and Elizabeth Taylor grand mothered the movement, but Madonna really brought it into public consciousness with her conversion to Judaism that included assuming the name of the Biblical karma queen, Esther. Many stars over the years have turned to Kabbalah: Sandra Bernhard, Britney Spears, and Paris Hilton have all at least dabbled, some more seriously than others. Paris used Kabbalah as a means of recovering from a breakup from Nick Carter, while Britney, most likely due to her respect for Madonna as a mentor to her, studied Kabbalah at the height of Madonna’s prominent public relations campaign for the mystic school of thought.

The influence of these and other celebrities brought support to the construction of a major Kabbalah center in Los Angeles called simply, “Kabbalah Centre International.” This site became a sore spot, an insult to Orthodox Jews in Los Angeles, and any others within reach of television or a newspaper. Recalling some of the glitz and glamor of Scientology’s “Celebrity Center,” which shamelessly flaunts and even strongly encourages recruiting of celebrity members and their money, the House that Madge Built was a manifestation of the dumbing-down of an ancient mysticism from the oldest monotheistic religion. Ignoring Kabbalah’s complexities, celebrities tied on red strings as they had slipped on LiveStrong bracelets – making them a status symbol or fad, rather than a distinct cultural reference with steeped in religious meaning.

The goal of the Centre, officially, was to make the teachings more relevant and accessible – sort of a Vatican II or Buddy Jesus for Jewish Mysticism. By doing so, the floodgates opened to those looking to use a religion as a tourist attraction, and perverting Kabbalah by wearing it as an accessory, as an unintentional symbol of a culture vulture.

The Centre had taken on fire from the Jewish community, who took umbrage with the increased accessibility to what they held as sacred. Their is a sort of tough tradition of proving oneself, of showing worthiness and desire for knowledge in the Jewish tradition that makes it incapable of sitting down and becoming the tourist sensation that Buddhist Temples and even Buddhist and Hindu practices such as meditation and yoga have become and learn more about Kabbalah.

The sad effect of establishing a more accessible Kabbalah is that it became a sort of drive-thru religion in the minds of the general public (at best). The Kabbalah Centre in Los Angeles has the flash that we recognize as Hollywood’s shallow superficiality; a cheapness of design. Undisciplined clientele – notice, not adherents or practitioners, but clientele – threatened the authenticity of this Jewish off-set simply by associating themselves with it and Kabbalah’s Website.

Surely, there have existed those that took on Kabbalah for all of its worth and took to heart what it truly meant. Sammy Davis Jr. found similarities in the struggle of his people with the Jews, and used those lessons to navigate through a life lived in marginalization. Marilyn Monroe, who felt no ties to Christianity and found Kabbalah to cope with the struggle of her upbringing, genuinely embraced the religious teachings. Elizabeth Taylor even offered herself as a replacement for 100 Israeli hostages in 1976 and was inspired by her adopted faith to make genuine efforts at improving the world.

Surely Madonna meant no harm. She, like those before her, felt transformed and wanted to share this beautiful faith with others. Like so many other well-meaning proselytizers, she felt that other could and should benefit from what she believed was the Truth. Further, she called on her friends to donate money to expanding Kabbalah’s reach and making it accessible to more potential adherents. She wanted to build a temple to the God that she had rediscovered. Unfortunately in her great love and admiration, she made a mockery of her religion by creating a fad. The bright spot is, the word Kabbalah has entered the common lexicon. Her campaign of awareness truly was successful in that way, at least and Kabbalah’s lacrosse camp.