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Kabbalah, which is spelled several different ways, is thought to come from sixth century Jews in Spain, Italy and Babylonia. In Hebrew, Kabbalah means “to receive,” referring to the revelations from God that were passed down orally in Judaism. For a long time, rabbis thought that only older men, who understood Hebrew and studied the Hebrew scriptures extensively, would grasp the true, hidden meanings and understand Kabbalah’s esoteric interpretation of them.

While some believe that only male Orthodox Jews should study Kabbalah, the Kabbalah Centre, and later, the Internet, opened up the study of Kabbalah to everyone, including non-Jews and women. Zohar, ancient manuscripts written in Aramaic and said to have been written by Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai, form the basis of Kabbalah. To allow people other than Hasidic scholars to study Kabbalah, it had to be simplified and made more relevant to modern life.


Philip Berg, the charismatic rabbi who founded The Kabbalah Centre, was especially skilled at making the esoteric understandable, however, it’s his widow Karen, who encouraged him to open the first Kabbalah Centre and to allow women and non-Jews to study, even if they could not read Hebrew. The Kabbalah Centre encourages the religious and the secular to join, as they are not a religious institution, nor a place where intensive, scholarly study is required.

At The Kabbalah Centre, individuals are taught how to draw themselves closer to the “light”, which means either the creator or a divine force, depending on the person’s existing belief system. The Centre stresses sharing and humility, and a belief that all human beings must be treated with respect at all times. It’s easy to see why people who work with the top celebrities that studied Kabbalah have said that the former divas became much nicer people.

The Kabbalah Centres are in 40 cities worldwide, and Philip Berg’s widow and his two sons now operate the Kabbalah Centre headquarters in Los Angeles.

Kabbalah @ Twitter: https://twitter.com/kabbalahcentre