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Tag: Red String

Friendship & Kabbalah The Ever Growing Tradition

Dancing Group of Religious Men in IsraelTwo weeks ago, the New York Times had an article about Kabbalistic dancers, it was a reminder of the ubiquity and diversity of the various forms of this ancient mysticism; today, Kabbalah is not just a red-string on the left wrist of Ashton Kutcher, it connects to various aspects of our lives in ways that are sometimes hard to foretell and are always interesting and enriching.

Two of the main fields Kabbalah has always had a hold in are art and jewelry, spiritual home decor and jewelry engraved with verses or blessed with special meaning for a certain purpose. In such a popular and long-established world it’s hard to create something new, but like the Kabbalah modern dancing group, examples of creativity are out there waiting to be found.

Kabbalah Friendship Bracelet by MIZZE
Mizze Jewelry, a company in Israel recently created a new line of handmade jewelry that combines two very traditional and popular ideas, the red string strand from Rachel’s Tomb and the friendship bracelet we all know and love, the result is what they call the Kabbalah Friendship Bracelet.
How is it done you wonder, well, within the hand knit friendship bracelet given by men and women of all ages throughout the world, runs a single Red String strand believed to offer the wearer protection and ward off spiritual harm.

What caught my eye about the combination is the fact that the idea marries a worldwide cultural tradition to the ancient Kabbalah mystical tradition while managing to preserve the beauty and uniqueness of each, love and friendship are interweaved with good fortune and safekeeping.

Kutcher Visits the Jewish Homeland

Ashton Kutcher in JerusalemOneJerusalem is in no position to judge another’s religious affiliation. Therefore, when Ashton Kutcher made it publicly known that under the auspices of the Berg Modern Kabbalah Dynasty – if we may call it that – he is indeed an adherent to this particular brand of the Jewish faith, despite his Roman Catholic upbringing.

Well, Israel was happy to have Ashton Kutcher visit last week. The occasion? It was the birthday party of the founder of the Kabbalah Center, Rabbi Shraga Berg.

Well, Mr. Kutcher also visited the Tower of David and the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem and even stopped by Abu Ghosh for some of the world’s finest humus.
Demi Moore wearing red string braceletOne of the most impressive stops on Kutcher’s itinerary was a visit to Hebron, where he saw firsthand the tomb of the Patriarchs of the Jewish faith. On several occasions Demi and Ashton were seen wearing the famous Kabbalah Red String from the Tomb of Rachel. He also visited the grave of Joshua the elder in a village called Kafel-Hareth, outside of Nablus. He was greeted their by IDF Colonel Avi Gil, commander of the Ephraim Brigade who gave the 32-year-old American actor a baseball hat bearing the logo of his brigade.
 

The News and Opinions blog, The Promised Land wrote:
 

“I wonder if Ashton Kutcher knows what poor judgment he demonstrated yesterday. Both Nablus and Hebron are well within the occupied territories. For more than 40 years now, hundreds of thousands of Palestinians living in these cities have no political or civil rights, can’t travel, work or study freely, and are tried in Israeli military courts under British colonial laws. The area of the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron is particularly nasty. Entire streets are forbidden to Palestinians, kept only for the use of a tiny and radical settlers’ community, which frequently harass and abuse the Arab residents.”

 
Let’s assume, quite to the contrary, that if there were any political motives behind the visit, it was a religious pilgrimage in the face of Islamic-fascism and anti-Semitism. The blog post continued:

“Did anyone tell Ashton Kutcher that in 1994 a Jewish Terrorist named Baruch Goldstien (another resident of Jewish Hebron) opened fire on the Arabs praying there, killing 29 and wounding more than a hundred? Does Kutcher understand that coming to Hebron to pray with the Jewish community there is like riding into a black neighborhood in Alabama, 1950, with a KKK group? Does he realize that going to Nablus with an army hat is seen in the same way as going there on a Tank?”

Ashton Kutcher is a follower of Kabbalah, not Islamism – why should he care? Besides, will anyone remind the author of the Promised Land blog that on August 23 and 24 of 1929, Arabs massacred sixty-seven Jews in Hebron, which was then part of the British Mandate of Palestine…

Rihanna Does Israel Right

The Grammy Award winning popular rhythm and blues singer Rihanna performed at Tel Aviv’s Bloomfield Stadium Sunday night.

The 22-year-old singer, born in Barbados and currently based in the United States, spent two days prior to the concert touring sites in Israel – one such site was of course the Kotel where she purchased a Red-String Protection From Evil Eye Bracelet. She bought it on the steps in front of the Beit Midrash of the Aish HaTorah world center and made of it a photo opportunity.

As part of a volunteer project, Rihanna also helped paint a mural on the Kfir Scouts community center in Tel Aviv.
She said that her Israel journey was an “amazing, amazing experience.”

In September 2009, Rihanna performed at Jay-Z’s “Answer to Call” concert, a tribute to the police officers and firefighters who died during the September 11 attacks.
Metallica also performed in Israel a couple of weeks ago and other artists, such as the Pixies and Elton John have shows scheduled in Israel this summer.

In addition to her tour of Jerusalem, Rihanna’s first Israel visit also included a taste of hummus in Abu Gosh. The young artist refused to tell the reporters what she wrote in the note she hid in the Western Wall, saying that it was between her, God and the wall.

It was requested of the reporters to not to ask about her personal life or about the cancellation of the Elvis Costello gigs. Most of the press conference was devoted to the volunteering project, with Rihanna expressing her delight over the success of the campaign.

Tel Aviv was Rihanna’s last destination in her current European tour, which was launched to promote her latest album, “Rated R”. In the past two months she performed in Ireland, the United Kingdom, Switzerland, Germany, Belgium, Holland and Scotland.

Madonna’s Letter In Israel

Madonna
There is an old cliché: When the student is ready the teacher appears.

I had traveled the world many times over, performed in soccer stadiums, appeared in films, dined with state leaders, collaborated with great artists and achieved what most people would view as a high level of success but I still felt something was missing in my life.

I was pregnant with my daughter, almost 14 years ago and I had just finished the film Evita and realized I had spent my whole life worrying about myself, and that I would soon be responsible for someone else’s life.

I was raised a Catholic and my father was very religious but none of my questions ever really got answered when it came to trying to understand why people suffered in the world or what the meaning of life was all about.

And suddenly I thought, “What will I teach my child about the important things in life?”

I was practicing Yoga for years and studying Sanskrit. I had read many books by the great Yogi Masters and Indian Avatars. I studied Buddhism and the teachings of the Dali Lama. I studied Taoism and the Art of War.

I read about the Gnostics and the early Christians. I learned a lot and I was very inspired but I still could not connect the dots and find a way to take this knowledge and apply it to my daily life.

I was looking for an answer.

I went to a dinner party in L.A.

A woman sitting next to me was telling me about a class she was taking from a Rabbi.

She said it was so inspiring and that I should come along. I asked her what it was about.

She said, “Life.”

I asked her what it was called.

She said “Kabbalah.”

I told her I wasn’t Jewish and she said: “What difference does it make what it’s called and what religious upbringing you have had if you are inspired?”

She had a point.

So I went to the class and sat in the back and I listened to a man named Eitan teach the class.

I heard what he had to say and I knew at this moment my life would never be the same.

I began to go to the classes regularly and sit in the class with my notebook. No one bothered me. I took notes.

Red StringI met with Eitan privately and asked a lot of questions. The thing that was encouraged the most was to inquire further.

All the questions I had about life began to be answered and I realized I had finally found a “belief system” or philosophy that incorporated Science and Spirituality.

I was learning about Physics, Astronomy, Nature and the laws of Cause and Effect.

All the puzzle pieces started falling into place.

Life no longer seemed like a series of Random events. I started to see patterns in life. I woke up. I began to be conscious of my words and my actions and to really see the results of them.

I also began to see that being Rich and Famous wasn’t going to bring me lasting fulfillment and that it was not the end of the journey; that it was the beginning of the journey.

I have been studying with Eitan consistently since that first class and it was only a matter of time before I met Michael Berg, whose father Rav Berg comes from a long line of Kabbalists and was the teacher of Eitan.

Michael Berg is a very unique human being. He might be the smartest person I know.

At first he seemed quiet and shy, conservative and even perhaps a bit naïve. But ask him a question on any subject and you will find yourself swimming in an ocean of information.

It’s astounding what he knows and what he has accomplished at such a young age. The fact that he translated 22 volumes of the Zohar from Aramaic into Hebrew and English is remarkable.

The funny thing about Michael is that he is as comfortable and knowledgeable about discussing the teachings of the Ari as he is of discussing his favorite Seinfeld episode.

He knows more about Pop Culture and what’s going on in the world than anyone I know and yet his desire to really affect change in the world and the compassion he feels for people who are suffering is unparalleled.

When Michael gets up to tell a story in front of a room full of people there is never a dry eye in the house, including his own.

I am lucky to call him my friend.

He has a child with Down Syndrome and it is perhaps because of this that he feels the need to come to the rescue of children who are living in challenging situations or abject poverty.

We were both looking for a project to do with children and low and behold a Malawian woman appeared and told us about the plight of over 1 million children orphaned by AIDS in a small landlocked country in Africa.

Before we knew it we were visiting Malawi and that was the birth of our foundation: Raising Malawi.

Of course now that I know what I know, I realize that this did not happen by chance.

Once again the students were ready and the teacher appeared. In this case the children of Malawi are the teachers.

They have taught me so much. And they continue to teach me.

As do Michael and Eitan.

Read more about Kabbalah Bracelets

The Kabbalah Red String Wars

Red Kabbalah BraceletI just read this post on Defamer about Target and how its getting out of the Kabbalah Bracelet business. Apparently one angry email was all it took to fold Target..

An “activist” was disturbed that Target was selling the Kabbalah Center’s red string bracelets on their website and sent them a disapproving e-mail. And the retailer folded like Michael Moore showed up in the Housewares aisle with a bullhorn and a copy of the Center’s plans for world domination–the Kabbalah Red String is no longer available for purchase at Target.com or sold in their stores.

USA Today had this to say about Madonna and her “ties” to Kabbalah. She is the one at “fault” here. I am sure she and the people at the Kabbalah Center are planning to take over the world one celebrity at a time 🙂

Red String KabbalahThe 45-year-old pop priestess introduced Britney Spears to the discipline last year. This month she wrapped Red Strings around the wrists of David and Victoria Beckham.

I think its great that one little Red String can make so many people feel good about themselves while getting others all pissed off, all at the same time. I mean that in itself means the little Red String has some sort of powers. Then again I could be sitting here, wearing nothing but Red yarn as I am writing this … who knows.

Hat Tip: Lara Levi Kabbalah Jewelry

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