July 15, 2019

When Did Kabbalah Go Out of Fashion?

“Before Cartier Love bracelets or Yeezys, there was a time you couldn’t open an Us Weekly without seeing one covetable accessory: a red string Kabbalah bracelet. The religion was the celebrity spiritual moment du jour during the 2000s, and everyone from Madonna to Ashton Kutcher to Lindsay Lohan dabbled in the mystical religion. But in the decade since its heyday, the spiritual movement has all but faded from the forefront of popular culture, suffering major blows along the way.

“Kabbalah is an ancient wisdom that provides practical tools for creating joy and lasting fulfillment. It’s an incredible system of technology that will completely change the way you look at your world,” reads the website of the Kabbalah Centre, the organization that introduced many celebrities to the practice.

Experts believe the Kabbalah Centre should be distinguished from Kabbalah itself. “There is no uniform way of studying Kabbalah in the traditional sense,” says Elliot Wolfson, a Professor of Religious Studies at University of California, Santa Barbara focusing on Jewish Mysticism. “There are various texts that have achieved a canonical status, most importantly, the Zohar and the so-called Lurianic texts, but other Kabbalistic works are studied as well in traditional settings, such as the works of Moses Cordovero, Shalom Sharabi, or the Vilna Gaon.””

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