Kabbalah Center International
The Kabbalah Centre International is a non-profit organization located in Los Angeles, California that provides courses on the Zohar and Kabbalistic teachings online as well as through its regional and city-based centers and study groups worldwide. The Kabbalah Centre's presentation of Kabbalah was developed by its director, Philip Berg,
along with his wife, Karen Berg.
The Kabbalah Centre's approach to teaching is to start students with teachings of Kabbalah that do not require knowledge of Hebrew and Jewish texts.
According to its views, all widely held spiritual or religious belief systems are merely specific branches of universal wisdom. The effect of this is a resemblance of religions such as Christianity, Judaism, Islam, and Buddhism, as well as new-age teachings, to Kabbalah. Following this belief, the Kabbalah Centre does not present itself as an alternative to any religion, but rather, as a supplement to it.
Some biblical passages, such as the Passage of the Red Sea, are understood to be codes to life and unseen universal laws that the Zohar and writings of the Kabbalists throughout history unravel. According to Berg "The Zohar reveals the dynamic interplay and interconnectedness of our universe and man's relationship to it. "The Kabbalah Centre has produced a series of the Books of the Bible with Kabbalistic commentaries to each of the Weekly portions of the Torah.
One should primarily be concerned with their relationship with the essence of God, rather than God itself, as it is beyond comprehension. The essence of God is referred to in its teachings as Light.
The five senses supposedly provide access to a mere 1% of reality, which is the byproduct of a 99% reality that cannot be accessed by the senses.
Kabbalah Centre teaches the Kabbalistic concept of Klippot. The idea is that everyone has a direct and clear connection to the upper metaphysical-spiritual world of the Light (Ein Sof, unbounded God), but that this channel is blocked by Klippot, restricting the spiritual energy from entering the physical body. It is through study and practice of Kabbalah teachings and Jewish law (which the Kabbalah Centre says is early rabbinic construction to aid in practicing Kabbalah without revealing its secrets) that one removes Klippot, and it is by violence and negative behavior that one adds Klippot.
The Kabbalah Centre has a strong belief in astrology and asserts that astrology has always been part of Judaism. Astrology was studied by Jewish scholars throughout the Middle Ages, though it was opposed by more philosophically inclined thinkers such as Maimonides.
There is a strong belief in the Kabbalah tradition that cosmic forces affect everything, and knowing how to understand them can prove to be valuable to the aspiring Kabbalist. Berg, the founder of the Kabbalah Centre, wrote numerous books on astrology during his career.
In a book written by Yehuda Berg, a former teacher at the center, he recommended that men not masturbate as semen generated without loving, shared intention does not serve its purpose. He also wrote that a man should not orgasm before the woman, as it injects selfishness into the act of lovemaking. Other thoughts on sex include that a man should not orgasm with the woman positioned above him, as she is then drawing energies into herself from below instead of above. The most Light is derived from sex that occurs just after midnight on Saturday morning.