Pigs On Purim

The Core Belief

Scientology and Kabbalah are the two forms of ‘spiritual worship’ most mentioned in concert with Hollywood celebrities. Unlike Scientology, Hollywood’s Kabbalah Center actually re-invents a part of Jewish theology for the modern age.  Although the average punters out there seem shocked, Jews re-inventing Judaism is nothing new.

Since the Romans threw the Jews out of Judea in approximately 70 AD, Judaism has been revised in order to keep the tribes together if only in an existential way.  The Talmud, Chasidism, Zionism and the American Reform movement are but a few examples.  However, the choice of Kabbalah as the next great Jewish foray into the mainstream of American/World sectarian consciousness is not only odd but down right scary to those deeply believing Jews.

Kabbalah is Jewish mysticism.  It’s a set of teachings from various sacred texts.  It is not a sect of Judaism like the Modern Orthodox or Conservative or the Satmar.  Essentially, it’s a form of rabbinic method meant to help the student achieve a communion with the Almighty.  According to myth, promulgated by our family Rabbi Silberberg, when one communes with the Great Magnet, you learn his/her true name and how to order the Hebrew alphabet to say said name.  If you are able to say the name then you can do just about everything G-d can do including the creation of life from clay.  This is where the story of the Golem of Prague (a man like monster made of clay made by a rabbi versed in the Kabbalah in order to save the Jews of Czech from pogroms) and its later incarnation Frankenstein came from.

While at NYU, I took a class on Kabbalah from noted Jewish scholar Elliot R. Wolfson.  While he was skeptical about Silberberg’s claims about the name of G-d and its use in the Golem myths, he was in utter and total agreement with the good Rabbi about one item: according to Jewish tradition only the holiest of the holy should study the Kabbalah deeply and attempt to commune with G-d.  The spiritual powers from the Almighty could possibly kill a user who had the stain of sin upon his or her soul.  At the very least, it will drive the aspiring mystic full of sin mad.  (These are themes explored, in various degrees, in the movies Raiders of the Lost Ark and Pi.)

Apparently the Hollywood Kabbalah Center adherents Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher didn’t get the No Sin on the Soul memo.

(From the New York Post)

Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher made the rounds on Saturday in pig costumes as the couple celebrated Purim. With Kutcher wearing a full pig’s head mask and kabbalah-practicing Moore wearing pig ears, they rolled into Meatpacking District club SL at about 2 a.m. Sunday morning and hit the dance floor. Ashton kept the mask on, said one observer, “assumedly so no one bothered him while he danced — not that he didn’t draw enough attention by wearing a pink, oversized stuffed mask.”

Dressing traef on a Jewish holiday?  Oy.  I see another GI Jane Demi’s future.





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