Tel Aviv police have placed Shaul Youdkevtich, head of Israel’s Kabbalah Center, under house arrest on charges that he bilked a cancer patient out of tens of thousands of dollars in order to “heal” her.
From YnetNews: A devotee of Kabbalah, the ill woman put her faith in the center and contributed $36,000 to the organization. When her condition deteriorated, members of the Israeli branch recommended she donate another $25,000. Meanwhile, rabbis recommended that she also purchase holy water to improve her condition – at an exorbitant price.
You can read more at Ha’aretz and there will certainly be plenty of jibs, jabs and blasts from the mainstream. Hopefully by now folks can tell the difference between the money-grabbing arms of the Kabbalah Center and the true, quiet ways of the ancient rabbis. It’ll probably get ugly, but kabbalah has survived pogroms, diaspora and a helluva lot more than Rick Ross pissing on it.
I’m deeply sorry for the suffering for this woman and her family, and the shanda Youdkevitch and his cronies have brought to the table is just so much worse than Madonna singing about Isaac Luria, even she’s humping the Zohar wearing a tefillin thong.
Oh yeah, the former Material Girl is taking her affinity for controversy to new heights: The NY Daily Dish reported last week that “her Madgesty” has long been kabbalah-courting Oprah Winfrey “in hopes that her fellow icon could help bring the Artist Occasionally Known as Esthers belief system to mainstream America.” Stay tuned for a Religious Celebrity Spokesperson Death Match with Tom Cruise.
Also in the news before the High Holy Daze: Some rabbis have their tzitzit in a wad over her new album Confessions On A Dance Floor, which is dedicated to 16th-century kabbalist Isaac Luria.
“Jewish law forbids the use of the name of the holy rabbi for profit. Her act is just simply unacceptable and I can only sympathize for her because of the punishment that she is going to receive from the heavens,” Rabbi Rafael Cohen, head of a seminary named after Luria, told Israeli newspaper Ma’ariv.
Being the macher that she is, Madonna has done double duty by simultaneously making her new album and Isaac Luria household names. Sheesh, the least she could do is cut the rebbes some profit for the free publicity.
We may be uprooting from the mountains of Northern California for the coastal bluffs of the South sometime in the next year, and we worry that the culture shock will make us irrevocably meshuggeh. But The Island Packet out of Bluffton, South Carolina reports that we’ll be able to study Kabbalah with the locals as we learn to navigate Southern social etiquette and toss back Jack Daniels’ without grimacing.
Photo by Jonathan Dyer of The Island Packet.
Florida state officials seem a little embarassed that their attempt four years ago to cure citrus trees of canker with something called “Celestial Drops” has not been effective. In spite of the drops’ “elegant crystalline structures” and “high energy and low entropy” and the claim that the substance was “so pure the company had been allowed to distribute [it] as drinking water,” canker cells remained resistant. Then secretary-of-State Kathleen Harris says she is “in the dark” about whether the mysterious cure she heralded for Florida’s citrus crops was in fact yer basic four-buck-a-bottle Kabbalah water, but she won’t be able to hide if the canker cells start forming red strings around the trees.
As more and more red bracelets appear on the red carpet, we have to ask ourselves: Is it a good thing for nice Jewish girls to be lumped in with the skanks?
Can you believe the chutzpah? My wonderful husband would never entertain such an offer! Right, honey? Honey…?
In a recent poll of male JMerica contributors, an astounding 100% were in favor of encouraging more female Jewish gymnasts.