Authentic Kabbalah or Authentic Business?

Authentic Kabbalah or Authentic BusinessA 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…

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  1. Rav,Have you considered suing Berg?

  2. I also stopped by the”kabbalah” center and someone named Ira kept telling me you studied together and you were a dentist or something. When we left we looked both ways to get a cab as the one in front of us someone was getting into. as my head turned back the car door was open and whoever got the cab was gone no where to be seen. So we got in and left like we were supposed to leave. It was weird it seemed like they wanted to discredit you.  Anyway my question is on spirits and the phenomenon of ghosts and celestial beings? If there are so many souls and if we reincarnate. What are the things percieved as ghosts?

  3. Rav. Laitman,

    Thank you for addressing the issue of the disparity of the teachings between Bnei Baruch and the Kabbalah Center. I have been studying with you daily via for seven months, and I have been attending a Kabbalah Center in my home of Boca Raton, FL for three weeks. The reason why I chose to join a class at their center is so that I may join a physical group as well as for my curiosity of their teaching.

    Even three weeks into their beginner’s course, and after reading Berg’s entry level text “Power of Kabbalah”, I can clearly see how authentic, and fulfilling your teachings are from the texts of Baal HaSulam and the ARI. Often in my group discussions I find myself referring to my learning which I acquired through you in order to more accurately contribute to discussion. Surprisingly, they seem to treat me as a sage when I am simply a beginning dedicated student of Bnei Baruch.

    Furthermore, when I raise questions to the mentor of my group on the purpose of usage of red strings and astrology, I am always met with answers that are less than forthcoming. They would have me believe that I am not at a level yet to understand those practices. Not only that, but my questions of the origin of the split between Bnei Baruch and the Kabbalah Centers are also met with a downplay and disregard. 

    Generally I feel that it is good that people are continually and increasingly drawn to these centers. However, to the degree of which they are apart from attaining the goal, can cause further confusion and concealment until one can truly study the authentic texts in groups and lessons from leaders in attainment such as yourself.


  4. Rav Laitman:Thank you for all you do! I started my search for ” A point in the heart” 3 years ago. After much searching I came to Kabbalah. I have no local Kabbalah centers.   I found many Kabbalah sites via a Google search.   I began to search each of these individually, including the Kabbalah Center.  It didn’t take long  to realize  the Kabbalah Center was  psychology mixed with astrology. Everything at the Kabbalah Center had a price tag attached.  I purchased an item from them and after listening to over 10 CDs, I still had not learned anything other than some psychology techniques and a review of astrology.  They were only interested in me ordering the next item.  I couldn’t even watch a program or ask a question without paying money. I can’t tell you how happy I was when I found your site!  I have been studying with you and the Ari every since then.  I studied all your books available in English on line initially  and then purchased them later.  I just wanted  to say thank you for allowing me the availability of the materials without cost or “strings attached” !  You share your wisdom freely to all and for that I am greatful !

  5. I have to say that I am forever grateful to Kabbalah Centre. I have searched my whole life as many of us have. I read book after book and looking back now it seems like tiny building blocks. I found the Kabbalah Centre and there was a bit of material that made me want to know made more about Kabbalah. I could never trust someone who demands my money as they do but they led me to BB and for that I thank them. When I found BB and they asked for no money but taught me for free I knew I had found my home.
    You cannot buy peace or spirituality; you give from your heart with the right intention!
    I love you all

  6. I say there’s a way you can tell the difference between Laitman, and Berg; who’s true and who’s false. Listen to them both; one of them will tell you a story about them; the other, about you…and then decide. i picked the latter; that’s why i am here. Thank you Rabboni!

  7. You ask, “What works of the great Kabbalists do they study there? ”

    Matan Torah by Rav Ashlag
    Talmud Eser Sefirot by Rav Ashlag
    Kitvei haAri by Ari haKadosh
    Sefer haZohar by Rav Shimon bar Yochai

  8. I had the opportunity to visit the kabbalah Center in Miami Florida. I was very impressed with the kindness I received by several of the women there. However, when I sat to listen to their presentation, I found no substance and a lack of understanding and knowledge of the principles taught by Baal HaSulam and the Ari. Most of the members had never herd of Bnei Baruch and Michael Laitman. The Kabbalah they were teaching consisted of promises of financial blessings and finding love when one purchases and reads Berg’s Zohar Library. The show room was very luxurious. (forgive my spelling). All the books on the shelves were by Berg and they were not cheap. I did not notice any literature by the line of great Kabbalists throughout history. I left dissapointed with my findings and realized that their popularity is all due to the fact there are many hungry souls looking for answers to the meaning of life. May HaVaYah bring them to the Authentic Kabbalah. A multitude of greatfulness to Rav. Michael Laitman for being faithful to the teaching of the lineage of great Kabbalists. Michael Laitman, the last Great Kabbalist.

  9. I was originally introduced to the Kabbalah through the K abbalahCenter because I was curious – what was this Kabbalah? I googled the word and the Center was the first to come up. At first I was intrigued by the website, mostly because the language was familiar to my own background and studies of Religious Science. I ordered a book which was rather surface, shallow and unoriginal and some kind of a kit which totally turned me off, it was offensive to the depths of my personal journey and commercial – in addition to the red string, it had a CD program which promised 30 days to something and a key ring! Of all things a key ring. I paid 135.00 for it I think. Within 24 hours it was on the second half of its round trip back to the publisher. Back to google and the Bnei Baruch center for which I am forever grateful. Here I do not need affirmation of authenticity, I don’t have to know the difference, I feel it. No one is trying to sell anything, it is given, without question.

  10. In my country there´s no Bnei Baruch centres. So I started study Kabbalah at Berg´s Institute with those books. There is familiar lenguage and examples at those. After a while I needed something else and I found Bnei Baruch online curses… and they were for free! (That is impossible at Berg´s)
    But there is something I found great at Berg´s: it´s easy for beginers. It was a great intro to kabbalah for me. Whitout that firsts concepts I learned at Berg´s, would be very difficult for me to understand the lessons of Laitman (even the one for beguiners).

  11. Dear Rav,

    The Melodies of the Upper Worlds, like Ashlag’s texts, decode the sensations that the biblical patriarchs felt, as they climbed through the spiritual matrix towards attainment. When someone hears an authentic melody or reads from authentic materials, this helps purify the soul from egoistical pollutants and garden the spirit for producing optimum fruit connections with the Creator. The resulting seeds polinate the souls of others throughout the world. This is why it is important to remain true to the sources. It has been one of my greatest honors and achievements to have learned from you!

  12. How can we have an united world if even those that are talking about consciousness of union are not united?

  13. Gus!!!!
    U so damn right!!!!!

  14. Hey there! I’ve ben reading your website for some time now and finally got the courage to go ahead
    aand give you a shout out frrom Atascocita Tx!
    Just wanted to say keep up the great work!

  15. That’s right, Gus. It happens all the time. Here in Brazil we have the same situation between to famous and notorious yoga teachers. Both have schools. Both have thousands of followers. One of them died this year and the other goes on with the feud that already lasts 50 years. One claims the other was his pupil, the other denies – very similar to that of Rav Berg and Laitman’s situation – so… I guess it is always like that. Life repeats itself.

  16. When we students of Kabbalah apply what we learn as Michael Laitman did with his teachers, we change and grow and and live the message. As we mature, we become a different expression of the same knowledge. We see him as great because our lives have been transformed at a scientific level. Others that come in to our lives may one day see us as we see Michael. This is why persistence and being in a group is so necessary.

  17. Correction from the Creator will come. This is all a design at the hand of the Creator. I hate to blame him but he made it happen this way. Remember the power of egoism can do many things to a man’s mind.

  18. I just want to notice how once again our universe split something into two;

    Rav Berg Doctor Michael Laitman

    Spirituality Science

    Asks for money Gives free lessons

    Black beard White beard (it’s no joke)

    Seems a bit evil Seems a warm friendly person

    I can think of a couple more opposites between both groups teaching Kabbalah.

    I’m just very upset that even when we would be able to forget our traditional religions, that even Kabbalah can go split up into groups. We’re all searching for answers to the big questions in life and just when you think you find the most valuable teachings, you notice that there are two different paths!

    But I think it makes sense that before the world can become 1, there need to be 2

  19. “How can we have an united world if even those that are talking about consciousness of union are not united?”

    Because Kabbalah doesn’t speak about unity in our level of existence (animal level, physical body) but in a higher level, another dimension until there is no we but we is you. So forget unity in our egoistic level.

  20. I, too, had a very similar experience visiting the Kabbalah Center in LA to inquire about joining a study group or some other way to meet with other followers and learn more. I was so eager and excited to meet others who could open my heart and mind and help me begin my journey. I wanted so desperately to meet others who shared my beliefs, who I could talk to and learn from and share with. Imagine my utter disappointment to find out that everything had a cost associated with it – study groups cost hundreds of dollars to attend. Even so, I was still interested in learning more, so I attended a 15 minute introductory class – the only free information available. As others have mentioned, it was a vague, shallow overview given by people who seemed to have only a superficial understanding of basic Kabbalah principles I had learned from a brief visit to the Bnei Baruch website. They had never heard of Rav Laitman and couldn’t answer any basic questions I had, though they assured me if I enrolled in the courses they offered, each costing hundreds and sometimes thousands of dollars, all my questions would be answered, and I would get the love and success in life that I was so obviously lacking. But no one could share any information beyond that, unless I wanted to buy some books or CDs or journals or candles or decks of flash cards or any number of other items from the gift shop. Which I did, and which I found to be as shallow and superficial as the meeting. Even their red string bracelet package, which cost $25, was cheap commercialism. The string didn’t last more than 3 months, requiring regular purchases of more $20 red string kits. I found a source directly from Israel that has lasted me years now – string that came directly from Rachel’s tomb, whereas I think the string from the Center came from the Yarn Barn. I quickly realized they were more interested in making money and attracting celebrities. I went back to the internet and found my way back to Bnei Baruch and Rav Laitman and I am grateful every day for the guidance and wisdom and knowledge and Light he shares so freely and with such love and caring. It is truly a gift to have found you and to be given the opportunity to learn from your wisdom and experience. Thank you for the wonderful, vital, beautiful, inspiring work you do every day and the gifts you share so freely and lovingly with all who seek.

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