The Kabbalah Centre Helps Spread Jewish Mysticism around the World

Numerous prominent Western occultists and academic religious scholars have often called the Jewish Kabbalah (Hebrew: קַבָּלָה) the “Yoga of the West.” Without a doubt, the texts that constitute the Kabbalah have all been instrumental in the numerous esoteric paths of the Western world. Whether Christian, Jewish, or even Pagan, all major religious traditions in the West have admired the rich and profound teachings contained within the Kabbalah.

Kabbalah literally means “tradition” in Hebrew, and it refers to an esoteric spiritual discipline to help practitioners connect with the Divine. For hundreds of years, rabbis only taught a select few Jewish men over the age of 40 the secrets of this sacred path. Today, thanks in large part to the work of European occultists involved in the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, a whole new generation of spiritual practitioners has access to wonderful translations of these formerly secret teachings.

New Agers and Western occultists nowadays are interested in how similar many of the teachings in the Kabbalah are to other serious esoteric paths. Just a few spiritual disciplines the Kabbalah has resonances with include the Pāli Canon of Theravāda Buddhism, Zen Buddhism, Taoist yoga, the scriptures of the Gnostic Christians, Sufism, and Hindu Vedānta. Many occultists have also noted how systems of spirituality such as astronomy and Tarot can be enhanced with a proper understanding of the Kabbalah.

One group working to make the Kabbalah more mainstream is the Kabbalah Centre International. Founded in Los Angeles in 1984, the Kabbalah Centre welcomes people of various faiths to learn the precious teachings of the greatest Kabbalistic texts. Although it’s helpful to have some basic understanding of the Torah and the Talmud, teachers at the Kabbalah Centre assume no prior knowledge of Judaism. Instead, Kabbalah Centre instructors are more interested in looking for similarities between religions as well as ways to incorporate the teachings of the Kabbalah into daily life.

Kabbalah Centres can now be found in major cities around the world. Just a few cities with Kabbalah Centres include Warsaw, Milan, Moscow, Toronto, New York City, and Tel Aviv. Just a few famous students of the Kabbalah Centre include Madonna, Mick Jagger, Rosie O’Donnell, and Lindsay Lohan.

The Kabbalah Centre: Over 50 Worldwide Branches

Kabbalah is one of those mystical things that is seen everywhere in Hollywood, but not much talked about. After Madonna showed her interest in this Jewish mysticism, more and more stars came forward to share their interest in Kabbalah. People like Elizabeth Taylor, Marilyn Monroe, Paris Hilton, and Britney Spears came out to the world about their interest in studying the ancient Jewish tradition. Why are so many stars fascinated with the world of Kabbalah?

When asked why the celebrities were studying Kabbalah, some responded that the ancient study eliminated chaos in their lives. Some sought solace in LA’s Kabbalah Centre in trouble times, like Paris Hilton who ran towards Kabbalah after a bad break up. Most celebrities claim that Kabbalah helps them deal with their stressful, crazy lives.

While some celebrities use Kabbalah and the Kabbalah Centre to help them cope with their personal lives, others like Sammy Davis wanted to become part of the ancient history; to become closer to something less material. Some feel naturally attached to Judaism and others are looking for their place. Madonna claimed she used Kabbalah to help her figure out what her job on Earth was; as Kabbalah teaches that each of us are placed on the world to help people.

While some are critical of celebrities in the Kabbalah world, the Kabbalah Centre shares no such sentiment. Some believe that celebrities have no place within the world of Kabbalah because traditional Kabbalah is only meant to be studied by Jews over the age of 40; those younger than 40 are not believed to be able to understand all that the Kabbalah has to offer. Founder of the Kabbalah Centre however believed that by making Kabbalah easier to understand, it could be made more relevant and accessible to more people.

The Kabbalah Centre is a non-profit organization that is based in Los Angeles, California. It provides courses and teachings on Kabbalistic teachings through both their centers and online classes. These centers were originally founded Philip Berg as The National Research Institute of Kabbalah in 1965. There are more than 50 branches worldwide, including international hubs like New York City, Toronto, and London.

The Kabbalah Centre has attracted the interests of famous people like Demi Moore, Nicole Richie, Mischa Barton, Lindsay Lohan, Ashton Kutcher, Roseanne Barr, Lucy Liu, Mick Jagger, Ariana Grande, and Anthony Kiedis.