Kabbalah can simply be defined as the acqusition of knowledge on how to gain purpose and meaning in our lives. This entails the process of connecting to the Light -the essence of God- and how to maintain a long-lasting connection to this Light.According to the traditions of the Orthodox Jews, it is ancient wisdom that equips individuals with the ability to create joy and lasting fulfillment. Kabbalah provides an insight into God’s essence, his purpose for creation, and the world as well.The Kabbalah Centre is situated in Los Angeles, California, with global centers in locations like Toronto, and London. Its roots are traced to Rav Yehuda Ashlag, who was the first to sow the seed of the Kabbalah Center in Jerusalem in 1992. He was then replaced as the center’s teacher by Rav Yehuda Tzvi Brandwein, who was one of Rav Ashlag’s most dedicated students. Later, in 1969, the leadership was taken up by Rav Philip Berg and his wife, Karen.
In the U.S, the Kabbalah Center was established in 1965 as the National Research Institute of Kabbalah by Rav Tzvi Brandwein, and Rav Berg. This move is noted as one of the significant steps made in spreading Kabbalah internationally and also expanding the reach of the Kabbalah Center.Today, it offers teachings on the Zohar which is the core document of Kabbalah. It was authored by Rav Shimon Bar Yochai and written by his disciple, Rav Abba. The Kabbalah Center is a religious community-based organization that gives the students a chance to relate with like-minded individuals, share their ideas, and most importantly grow spiritually.
The practice of Kabbalah was restricted to the traditional Jews because it dealt with explanations of God that were not revealed in the Torah. However, there are many reasons why non-Jewish celebrities are showing interest in the practice of Kabbalah. One of the most notable inclusions is singer Madonna who stated that people are put on earth to help others, and that this is one of the tenets of Kabbalah.Marilyn Monroe was attracted to Kabbalah because of the concept of having a close family life, and even later converted to Judaism.
However, Orthodox Jews claim that Kabbalah, and the Kabbalah Center,are a departure to their traditions because it is suited for Jews older than 40 years due to the complex nature. This is particularly the case because, in the 1970s, Rav Berg was willing to offer their teachings without precondition. They suggest that for one to take part, they have to be officially converted and attained the specified age.