Rabbi Eliyahu, Jr: It’s OK To Teach Non-Jews Kabbala, If There’s Money In It


Arutz Sheva reports:

Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu, the Chief Rabbi of the city that what was once the Kabbalah center of the world, Tzfat, says that Kabbalah studies for Gentiles is "positive," if done in the proper manner.

Speaking with Arutz-7 today, Rabbi Eliyahu said, "I believe that the study of the Zohar by Gentiles, as in the common phenomenon we see today with Gentile musicians and entertainers studying Kabbalah, is a positive phenomenon – as long as it is done in the right way." He explained that it should not just be a matter of curiosity, but of a genuine search for the "Torah of life."

Rabbi Eliyahu addressed the matter in light of the jump in sales of books of Kabbalah. The Manufacturers Association informed Arutz-7 that in light of the world-wide awakening to Kabbalah around the world, exports of such books have tripled of late. Thirty-five million dollars worth of Kabbalah texts were exported around the world from Israel in 2005, and professional printers are in short supply relative to the continuing demand for holy books from Israel.

"This is exactly what Elijah the Prophet told [1st-century C.E. Zohar author] Rabbe Shimon bar Yochai and his group when they began writing the Zohar," Rabbi Eliyahu said, "that in the course of time, people will begin making a living from this work. Of course, Elijah was referring to the fact that it would have a spiritual effect on those who study it, but it can be understood this way as well."

"It is told about King David," the rabbi said, "that when he wanted to bring people closer to an authentic Torah life, he would teach them the ‘secrets of Torah.’ In general, to see people searching for spirituality is a positive and important development."

Meir Bar-El, Deputy Director of the Manufacturers Association, said that total exports of Jewish holy books in 2005 grew by 119% over the year before, and totaled $92 million – 70% of all book exports from Israel. He said that Israel is lacking in training courses for professional printers.

So it is all about the money.



Filed under Modern Orthodoxy, Religion, Sefardim

19 responses to “Rabbi Eliyahu, Jr: It’s OK To Teach Non-Jews Kabbala, If There’s Money In It

  1. chaim shmerel

    get rid of that disgusting picture

  2. I tell you what. You get one disgusting rabbi to retire and I’ll take down that disgusting picture. Either of the Eliyhu’s would do nicely.

  3. Hey! There are plenty of (somewhat) decent pictures about this kaballah nonsense that you can put up that won’t offend your viewers!

    Well, at least he doesn’t say the kaballah water/red strings are fine, because then I would hit the roof…

  4. DK

    How dare you sully a perfectly good picture of two babes kissing with this nonsense about teaching the masses kabbalah!

    Shmarya, you may be a cutting edge writer, but you don’t know how to party!

  5. You should ask those I’ve partied with!

  6. Neo-Conservaguy

    I did, but Madonna said nothing doing, she don’t kill and tell.

  7. Neo-Conservaguy

    Should be “kiss and tell”, duh. Must stop posting too late at night…

  8. Shepard

    The photo matches the story. Blah.

  9. chaim shmerel

    sorry shmarya it doesn’t work. one hand doesn’t wash the other two wrongs don’t make a right etc. just because these rabbis have it all backwards doesn’t mean you have to follow suit. would you walk off a cliff just because some idiot in front of you is doing the same thing.

    I understand your trying to make the point of the absurdity of (eliyahu) berg’s position. You could make the same point through an intelligent post without that disgusting picture. these people have done much worse stuff. are you going to turn this into a porn site to make the point. by the way most normal rabbis and jews don’t buy into berg’s new age kabbalah.

  10. B”H
    I don’t don’t understand why are you disgusted by what Rabbi Eliyahu said.
    See it in the full context of the article and in the full context of the quote from the Zohar and also the title of Shmaryah’s post is very deceptive (as are many other titles here).
    Also the Lubavitcher Rebbe says that it’s good and proper for non Jews to study many parts of Kabbalah and Chassidus those that enhance the observance of the 7 Noahide Laws increase love and awe of G-d Almighty etc.
    Why are there some people who have to find negative in everything?

  11. chaim shmerel

    There are very strict prohibitions against teaching the secrets of the torah to people who are not worthy. the zohar is full of those type of prohibitions. Rashbi many times hesitated to reveal secrets to his own talmidim because he was uncertain wheter they were worthy of hearing them. Its a pusik Holech Ruchil Migaleh Soid. and yes Lubavitch is one of the worst offenders of this prohibition teaching to kabbalah to goyim and the like. Berg has caused a complete churban with his disgusting business. Shmarya is very much on target in his criticism. The picture is disgusting though. GET RID OF IT SHMARYA SO RESPONSIBLE JEWS CAN GET INVOLVED HERE OTHERWISE IM BOYCOTTING THIS BLOG!!!!!

  12. Relax. The picture will be off the front page soon. Anyway, nothing makes my point better than that picture. Sometimes one needs to confront disgusting things so that others can learn.

  13. So, according to your logic Shmarya, in a post about the wrongs of pornography, would you show a pornographic clip?

  14. Jerome Soller

    Interesting post. I laughed so hard at the picture (it was the funniest thing I have seen in a while), even though I thought it was a little over the top. However, several orthodox Jews in Salt Lake City talked to me this week and said, “Did you see Shmarya’s latest Kabbalah article on failedmessiah.com ?” They thought the picture was appropriate, as it exposed hypocrisy. You are building up quite a fan base here (even among people who don’t agree with you). Are you sure we can’t convince you to move to Utah 🙂 to help us with our minyons at our synagogue (Sha’Arei Tefila)?

    On a serious note, I (as well as other people I know) believe the Madonna thing is making a mockery of Kabbalistic study. On one hand, I personally don’t see a problem with non-Jews learning aspects of torah, kabbalah, etc (I realize that many in the orthodox world oppose teaching torah to non-jews). However, I strongly believe that it has to be taught in the right way for the right reasons to a person with the right intent. The person needs a moral foundation and an understanding of the Jewish faith. It can’t be a side show of selling magic bottled water, ribbons, and amulets to people that are spiritually looking for a quick fix or a replacement to their lucky rabbit’s foot. I was equalled concerned that many of the articles described Kaballah as a “religion” started by “Rabbi (I use this term loosely)” Berg. I think Berg should rename his “religion” “Kabbalantology” (in the spirit of Scientology) and write a book (Jewenetics: Kabbalah for Dummies), and stop sullying the name of Kabbalah with his nonsense.


  15. Jerome Soller

    One other thing I forgot to mention in the last note. For the sake of balance, I felt that Shmarya should have noted in this article that the late Rav Kaduri stood by his principles and would not meet with Madonna (previous articles mentioned this). Although some people are skeptical about Kaduri’s amulets, one needs to respect that Kaduri was a man of principle, who applied his principles consistently without being impressed by celebrity. This is a contrast to some of Kaduri’s peers.

  16. “So, according to your logic Shmarya, in a post about the wrongs of pornography, would you show a pornographic clip?”

    If it was the best way to prove the point? Yes, I would. You want to understand the corruption of the Eliyahu family? See that picture.

  17. YusselZ

    Case # 1
    Lubavitch is wrong. The Rebbe died. He wasn’t Moshiach. End of story. So whats the problem? Arrogance. They can’t admit they are wrong. So they make up a story. He’s still coming. Now they make complete fools out of themselves starting a new religion based on their inability to admit they are wrong.

    Moral. Admit when you are wrong or risk being an arrogant fool.

    Case # 2
    Makes a mistake. Puts up an uneccasarily offensive picture that alienates his viewers. So take it down whats the problem. Arrogance. Shmarya can’t admit he’s wrong.

    Moral. After all is said and done Shmarya’s still a Lubavitcher after all.

  18. ben matityah

    chabad, min haktubim !
    how so ?
    sheneemar :
    ל לֹא-אָבוּ לַעֲצָתִי; נָאֲצוּ, כָּל-תּוֹכַחְתִּי.
    לא וְיֹאכְלוּ, מִפְּרִי דַרְכָּם; וּמִמֹּעֲצֹתֵיהֶם יִשְׂבָּעוּ . לב כִּי מְשׁוּבַת פְּתָיִם תַּהַרְגֵם; וְשַׁלְוַת כְּסִילִים תְּאַבְּדֵם.

  19. David

    Even most Jews shouldn’t waste time on kabballah and chassidut. I’m not so sure Mussar is worth the time, either. If you aren’t a mamash lamdan in Tanakh, Talmud, and Midrashim – and I mean real old world lamdut – you don’t have any business bothering with it. The Rav answered that he did not teach mussar because you do not give medicine to someone who isn’t sick. And Rav Feinsteim OBM said his hashkafah was the hashkafah of not learning hashkafah. Its a total waste of time. Emunah, Yirat Hashem, and Niglah! Everything else is just two blonds kissing, which appeals to the human animal, but has nothing to do with Torah.

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