Sunday, May 30, 2004

Will the real Kabbalah please stand up?

Jim Davila over at makes some good points concerning Rabbi Berg's New Age Kabbalah, which has been single handedly responsible for getting Medonna mentioned on a weekly basis in Jewish publications:

"The thing that really does bother me about the new Kabbalah -- something that is a major departure from the tradition -- is its superficiality. Moses de Leon was tremendously learned and he produced a mystical canon that has exercised some of the most brilliant Jewish (and other) minds for many centuries. The superficial New Age platitudes of the new Kabbalah, harmless and perhaps even helpful in themselves, stand in tremendous contrast to the learned complexity of traditional Kabbalah. Although the idea of Kabbalah for the masses is appealing in principle, it really should have something to do with the teachings you actually find in traditional Kabbalah."

Davila has much more to say on the subject--pretty much all of which I endorse whole heartedly--and provides a bibliography for those who'd like to know what Kabbalah really is.


The background image on this page is a Hebrew translation of the verse from Bob Dylan's song  It's Alright, Ma (I'm Only Bleeding), from which the title of this blog is taken. Translation courtesy of Yoram Aharon of Hod-HaSharon's page--found via YudelLine-- which has many Dylan lyrics in Hebrew.