Spiritual Technologies

Ira Rifkin has an interesting article in this week’s Jewish Week about the Tiferet Institute’s recent conference on Kabbalah for the Masses.
Rifkin notes that the most notable participant was the Kabbalah Centre’s Rabbi Michael Berg. Kudos to the conference organizers for finding a way to engage and debate Berg and not just ignore him.

One of the major topics at the conference was the ways in which Kabbalah should be studied by non-Jews.

Rabbi Schachter-Shalomi noted that Jewish Renewal has always borrowed “spiritual technologies from other traditions?” so why shouldn’t non-Jews borrow from Judaism? “HaShem speaks through other people and to other people also,” he said.

The primary dissenter on this point was Rabbi Moshe Genuth.

Rabbi Genuth, director of Toronto’s Ba’al Shem Tov Center, came as a disciple of Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsburgh, a Lubavitcher-Chabad Hasid who has aroused controversy within that movement – not least of all because his Website calls him “the world’s foremost authority on Kabbalah.”

Kabbalah, said Rabbi Genuth, is for Jews alone. “The Jewish people are the bride of the Almighty…and in the end you don’t let anyone into your bedroom.” Teaching gentiles Kabbalah “is like a couple exposing their most intimate secrets to the world.”

Related

Discover More

When Faced With Hatred, Do We Stay or Do We Go?

But there came a time when the racism joined with political power was simply too much...

The Most Essential Kitchen Gadgets for Jewish Cooking

For everything from chicken soup to latkes, we can't live without these useful tools.