A question I received: You are constantly making stabs at the Kabbalah Centre and for the life of me I can’t understand why. They have the lineage. Rav Berg learned through Ashlag and the lineage. Is it because you were connected, but not given the Kabbalah Centre? You then started your own center. I read your books, including The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Kabbalah. It is a book without religion or spirituality, it is just science. I enjoyed it, but the Kabbalah Centre offers spirituality, holiday observance and they have lineage with Brandwein, Ashlag and the Ari. It just hurts me to see someone who is into Kabbalah, like yourself, putting down other people for the red string and their own beliefs. Isn’t that anti-Kabbalah?
My Answer: Personally, I consider Berg a failed Kabbalist. He just didn’t have a true teacher. Berg did not study Kabbalah with any true Kabbalist; you can ask Ashlag or Brandwein about it. No true Kabbalist could have taught him to sell Kabbalah for money. And I never wanted his center. I had a teacher – the last great Kabbalist, the eldest son of Baal HaSulam and his spiritual successor – Rav Baruch Ashlag. I was never connected to the Kabbalah Center. I was there once to give an introductory lecture and immediately understood that there is nothing to learn there. After I was studying with Rav Baruch Ashlag for a year, I offered teaching a class to Berg’s lecturers in the Kabbalah Center, in order to teach them at least something. As a result, they left his center and came to my teacher, and they became Kabbalists. That acquaintance and my visit to his center took place in 1980, but I opened my center only in 1995. Please tell me: what Kabbalistic sources are used for study in those “Kabbalah” centers? What works of the great Kabbalists do they study there? But after all, it’s only by studying them that a person receives the recognition of evil and its correction (Ohr Makif). And about me envying Berg: There was a time when I was giving lectures in LA and he offered me a teaching job in his center. I said I would do it, but on the condition that we study from the original sources. He laughed when I said this to him, and he told me “Who will pay you the kind of money for this that I’m now getting?” And he was right…What Is the Essence of Kabbalah? [04:32m]: Play Now | Download