Why are Jews leftists? The Kabbalah

Long-time readers of this blog are probably already aware that I do not hold so-called Jewish mysticism, AKA the “Kabbalah” in high regard. While living in Israel, I spent a lot of time and effort researching the origins of this malignant tumor upon Judaism. The more I researched, the more clear it became that most of the Kabbalah is based on forgeries, baseless fanciful thinking and thinly veiled ideas borrowed from the gnostics, Christians and various ancient pagan religions. I’m not saying that everything in authentic Judaism is true, only that the Kabbalah was a later, and foreign, graft.
The Kabbalah teaches, and stresses, such concepts as “we are all one”, “god is in everything” and “nothing is truly mundane”. One of the pivotal beliefs of the Kabbalah is that humans can affect the higher spiritual realms through our actions, and even through the words we speak – such as in prayer. According to the Kabbalah, a prayer is not simply a creature speaking to his creator. Rather, it is a creature acting as an engineer and manipulating the various relationships between the various lofty spheres (called “sephiroth”).
The belief in an ability to bring about change in remote entities, through seemingly minor actions (before the invention of remote control, mind you), is not unusual in primitive religions. In fact, the first such religion that pops into the minds of many people is Voodoo.
Some of you may be surprised to learn that there are Jews who practice Voodoo. But this does appear to be the case. According to Free Republic:

Voodoo Dialogue

by Jonathan Mark, Associate Editor
[…]There is Jewish-Christian dialogue; Jewish-Muslim dialogue; Jewish-Hindu dialogue; Jewish-Buddhist dialogue; rabbis have met with the pope, the Dalai Lama and imams, but Voodoo dialogue is the ecumenical stepchild. An informal round of phone calls to rabbis turned up nothing. Voodoo gets a laugh; to most Jews it’s a punchline.
Even Clal-The National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership, an organization that, decades ago, was one of the pioneers in serious interfaith understanding, has yet to meet its first houngan, mambo or manbo (Voodoo priests).
And yet, out on the street, there is more of a Jewish-Voodoo intersection than one might think.
Up in the Bronx, on Webster Avenue, Jason Mizrahi, son of a Turkish Jew, sells around 100 Voodoo dolls each week at his Original Products Corp. The emporium, founded by his father in the 1950s, sells potions, amulets, herbs, oils and varied accessories for the occult, on the site of an old A&P supermarket.
“We sell books on kabbalah,” says Mizrahi. “In Spanish.”
We telephoned Martha Ward, professor of anthropology at the University of New Orleans. Are there Jews involved with Voodoo in America’s capital of Voodoo?
She laughs out loud. “The largest [Voodoo] congregation here in New Orleans, La Source Ancienne, is headed by a nice Jewish girl from Maine, Sallie Ann Glassman.”
Glassman, who also operates a New Orleans spiritual emporium, fittingly on Piety Street, didn’t return our calls, but her Web site says she was ordained as a manbo in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, in 1995.
“She got into this out of the kabbalah,” says Ward. “Mysticism crosses all artificial boundaries. The Spirits choose whom they will, it is said, picking out people with special abilities and qualities and the Spirits contact them.”

But of course! It should be no surprise that the same people who are attracted to the hocus pocus of the Kabbalah would also be attracted to the hocus pocus of Voodoo.
Why do Jewish leftists so fear and loath “racism” – even when the “racist” is harming nobody? Perhaps because generations of their ancestors were conditioned to believe that mere words, spoken among friends, can harm others. They do not accept the old adage that “sticks and stones may break my bones but words can never harm me.” If the words of prayer can affect the heavenly spheres (“sephiroth”) then the words of racists (even amongst themselves – such as at an American Renaissance conference) can also affect non-whites, even if they’re thousands of miles away and know nothing of these conversations.
But believers in the Kabbalah/Voodoo/Leftism don’t stop there. They attribute supernatural powers even to thought. Hence their embrace of the concept of “thought crime”.
It never occurred to me, years ago when I rejected the Kabbalah, that this same type of critical thinking would some day lead me to reject Leftism. If I am correct, in linking the spread of the Kabbalah to the ultimate spread of Leftism, then the former can be viewed as one of the greatest sources of evil the world has ever known. It first poisoned the minds of Jews, then those same Jews helped spread the disease to the entire Western world.
It’s ironic that the most conservative Jews, traditional religious ones, are now the most fervent believers in the Kabbalah. They cling to it because they consider it an integral part of Judaism – and Judaism defines their identity. Yet the remnant of authentic Judaism, which they still keep to some extent, protects their minds from the poisonous brew of the Kabbalah. At least to a certain degree.
But once the Jew discards his mantle of Judaism, his immunity vanishes and he has no defense against Kabbalistic thinking. The Kabbalistic demon, freed from its restraints, is now at liberty to assert itself over the minds of its Jewish hosts and, by extension, the minds of the entire Occident. I’m not saying that the Kabbalah was the only source of Voodoo-like thinking, only that it laid the groundwork for Jewish Leftism.
It’s not difficult to reveal the true origins of Kabbalistic works such as the Zohar. They are blatant forgeries. What is difficult is to wean people of the defective thought processes that came along with it.

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19 Responses to Why are Jews leftists? The Kabbalah

  1. countenance says:

    Kabbalah:Judaism::Liberation Theology:Christianity?

  2. Cameron says:

    Fascinating, thanks.

  3. DD says:

    So the Jewish girl went to Port-au-Prince to get ordained as a Voodoo priestess. Where does the ridiculousness end?

  4. Georgia Resident says:

    I suppose it’s possible that the Jews are more left-leaning due to a kabbalistic worldview. But it’s certainly not unique to the Jews. Various superstitions about how to alter their spiritual fate existed among Catholics in Europe, from indulgences, for which the Church prescribed specific numbers of years a person could avoid in purgatory for obtaining, to the wearing of the Brown Scapular, which according to some was a guarantee against damnation. Disgust with many aspects of this unthinking ritualism helped to drive the Protestant Reformation.
    Perhaps this partially explains why, with the exception of Greece (though Orthodox Christianity and Catholicism share many similarities), all the Eurozone nations with severe financial problems (Italy, Spain, Portugal, and Ireland), are heavily Catholic countries. Maybe they believed the simple fact of joining the Euro would make them as prosperous and productive as Germans, a sort of magical thinking applied to economics, with dire consequences.

  5. J.L. says:

    As one who is neither Jewish nor a scholar of Judaism, I am not qualified to address the degree that Kabbalah represents a departure from the mainstream of Judaism, or whether it has any legitimate role to play in Judaism or in Jewish life.
    However, as one who was raised a Catholic Christian, and who has developed an interest in spirituality from various sources, I have to take issue with your characterization of Kabbalah as “hocus pocus,” and your association of Kabbalah with both voodoo and leftism.
    A question for one approaching Kabbalah is whether that person believes in levels of existence beyond the material world, or whether one has a purely materialistic view of existence. For one who believes that there is something beyond the material world, and who has some level of curiosity regarding that non-material world, a next natural step is to speculate about its nature. It has been the practice of religious traditions throughout the world to engage in speculation about the nature of that non-material world.
    Further, if one believes that there is a continuity between the non-material world, and the material world, then one aspect of that speculation is how one can interact with the non-material world. Suffice it to say, that if wishing to interact with that non-material realm, or with God, is “hocus pocus,” then there are quite a lot of people outside of Kabbalah who engage in such every time they pray, or read from the Bible, or light a ceremonial candle.
    The difference between Kabbalah’s method, and the type of “prayer” that most theistic people do, is that Kabballah has a more direct belief in the ability of its practitioners to affect the non-material world, without mediation from a higher entity. (i.e. that God has given humans the ability to manipulate the spiritual, just as we manipulate the physical, without asking for his permission.) Perhaps in this way, Kabbalah may be said to be “like voodoo,” but I would suggest that it is just as similar to architecture, medicine and other materialistic pursuits where one seeks to manipulate existence to bring about a good (to build something or cure a disease). Kabbalah has always struck me as being much more reason oriented, and much more complicated, than tribal religions, although one could argue that the goal is the same.
    In any case, notwithstanding the recent interest of certain pop singers and other lefty types to Kabbalah, I see no reason why it would lead to leftism. I would suspect that a belief in God (and please note, Kabbalah does assert belief in God, and in morality) is more likely to lead to a conservative set of beliefs rather than liberal.

  6. SFG says:

    Wish I could agree with you. But as much as you can discourse on the liturgical origins of tikkun olam and the rest, there are much simpler explanations for Jewish leftism:
    1. Christian antisemitism. Sorry, but it’s true. The Right were the bad guys vis-a-vis the Jews throughout most of European history–France, Germany, Russia, and so on. The Communists promised to deliver the Jews from this, and gained large amounts of Jewish support as a result, with Jews thus being involved in many of the huge Communist atrocities of the 20th century–cf. Bela Kun (Cohn). Note that in England, where this was less the case, Jews are not so reliably liberal. In America, you’ve got the whole Russian Jewish–>labor movement axis. They are still fighting the Czar.
    2. Jews live in cities, and the bigger the city, the better. The modern left-wing coalition favors cities over rural areas, and the modern right-wing coalition the reverse. If Western culture has Athens and Jerusalem, America has Massachusetts and Virginia…and Jews are a lot more comfortable with Massachusetts values (which work pretty well on the descendants of New England Purtians, it must be said. More diverse people…not so good).
    3. As Jackie Mason (not anti-Christian at all) said, you can’t be Jewish and Christian just like you can’t be a table and a chair. The American Right is Christian. This makes Jews uncomfortable.

  7. Generally agree with the post, but I take issue with one small point. You say that “It’s ironic that the most conservative Jews, traditional religious ones, are now the most fervent believers in the Kabbalah.” The most conservative Jews are opposed to Kabbalah, because they have actually studied Judaism, as opposed to just dancing and drinking. I’m referring of course, to Hassidim, who are followers of Kabbalah – as opposed to other Ultra-Orthodox Jews (Mitnagdim (or misnagdim), aka Litvaks).
    In fact, during last summer’s communist-fest in Tel Aviv (the so-called “tent city,” aka Israelis’ attempt at Woodstock without calling it that), some Hardalnikim (Haredi-leumi – national religious but practically ultra-orthodox) supported the protestors’ message – not exactly a conservative stance. I recall one person saying that when it comes to “social” issues (he really meant economic), he’s as left as they come…

    • jewamongyou says:

      The “Litvaks” (or,as you call them “Mitnagdim” – non Hassidic Orthodox Jews) do believe in the Kabbalah. It’s just that they don’t give it as much power over their lives as the Hassidic Jews. If you walk up to an Orthodox, non-Hassidic Jew (a “Litvak”) and tell him you reject the Kabbalah, he’ll call you a heretic and probably refuse to even speak to you.

  8. It seems as if the extremely religious are prone to pick up certain extra-Scriputural meme-complexes and assume them to be part of orthodox religious thinking. For conservative Jews, it’s apparently the Kabbalah. For conservative Protestant Christians, it’s nonsense such as “Creation Science.” For Muslims…well, for Muslims it seems to be pure superstition and malevolent cultural practices like “honor killings.”

  9. Free Man says:

    Hey J.A.Y. I have some questions:
    -How important Kabbalah is in Israel today?
    -Do you are familiar with the Kabbalisth SilverRedIndigo youtube channel? If you are what you make out of it?

    • jewamongyou says:

      I guess I was going to answer this, realized it was too complicated a question, and then forgot about it. Sorry. It would take a book to answer the first question. As for the second, I am not familiar with it.

  10. robertpinkerton says:

    First, I just now saw this article, referred to me by a friend. You have given me a bit of help with wrapping my mind around comparisons of Leftism with Gnosticism (which I disesteem as an enterprise for peddling mental illness under false color of religion). On the other hand, I seriously regret that there did not exist a psychiatric hospital, mishiggenhaus, in Jerusalem twenty-one hundred years ago: It would have solved Pilate’s problem without creating another problem immelsely bigger.
    As a gentile, I had understood Kaballah as a mystical system specifically optimized to one meta-program in the wetware, namely Orthodox Judaism; in the same way after-market proprietary software is specifically optimized to specific operating systems. Is this anywhere close to being accurate?
    Finally, are you aware of (sorry, first name forgotten) Bakan’s book, Freud and the Jewish Mystical Tradition?

    • jewamongyou says:

      I’ve never heard of that book; it sounds interesting and perhaps I’ll read it. According to Amazon it’s David Bakan.
      I think your analogy, of Kabbalah to proprietary software, is a good one. I’m pretty sure Islam and Christianity also have their own versions.

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  12. BS”D
    You’re right to be concerned about what is popularly termed, “kabbalah” these days – it’s a real hillul Hashem and Torah that the learning is so disgraced in this generation. The sources you mention are not based on truth at all, though. Your source of information isn’t reliable, sorry.
    However, what you write about “we’re all the same,” etc is NOT GENUINE kabbalah, but a farce. Where there is difficulty, there is emet, and this “kabbalah” that is so easily acccessible via the internet and by voodoo mekubalim demonstrates the truth that it can’t be real – it’s too easy to find. I know, we have the only yeshivah for Kabbalah in Tiberias, formerly in Tzfat, and the term “Mekubal” in Hebrew means “one who received” “kabbalah” also meaning receive, receipt. So, the tradition holds that if one is self-taught, he hasn’t RECEIVED, because he hasn’t learned from the source, a real Mekubal. That takes real zechut.
    Furthermore, as my husband, Rosh Yeshivah, haRav haMekubal Yehudah Alfasi, shlita, often tells those who believe they can learn alone, “Who will correct you?” Learning real kabbalah requires the ability to be humble and they must be able to memorize and demonstrate their EXACT understanding, not interpret.

  13. I hear where you’re coming from in your personal analogy equating kabbalah with leftism, but you’re mixing things up quite a bit. Your premise is sound, even tho you’re understanding of the origins of kabbalah isn’t.
    Goes like this – in brief:
    Written/ Oral Torah we Jews (observant Jews, anyway) all accept.
    “Enlightenment Movement”/ Haskalah killed God. Intellect is harnessed to enlighten and progress man/Jew to his most profoundly realized state = cerebral, logical explanations for everything that exists, no need for silly old-fashioned “God.” He’s for the unenlightend masses whom us intellectuals much try to free and enlighten with our wisdom.
    And THAT is the essence of Leftism. FREEDOM FROM, not shackled under the “Yoke of Torah.”
    Now, apply THAT theory to kabbalah and here’s what you have:
    Originally Kabbalah (have you noticed how I change the case of the “K” in Kabbalah depending upon my intentions? Good). Originally, Kabbalah was revealed and taught to/by only a select few, very very few, in each generation. It was NOT for anyone, the average Jew. It was closed. And the meaning of the WRITTEN Zohar, Eitz Chayim, etc was transmitted only to again, a select few, who went on to transmit that to only a select few. But remember, the Enlightenment was Open, right? Leftism is open and has no boundaries.
    So, under enlightenment thinking Jews can marry non-Jews, Men with men, we’re all good. Women lesbians can be rabbis. Jews can have Eretz haKodesh, or Western Africa, no biggie. Who needs Torah when we’ve got a whole country to run and not shame ourselves in the eyes of all the other enlightened countries? So now, with kabbalah – we’ve got the tangible source (Zohar, etc) equated with Torah, but no need for God anymore.
    Now, any Yosef or Brittany can pick up a poorly translated Zohar or Eitz Chaim and start plowing thru making his own meaning of whatever he reads. Better that way – it’s so freeing:)!
    In fact, in PostModern Literary Studies (where lefties thrive best) the “author’s intention” is considered meaningless. The text is read and dissected with an agenda: “Is this misogynistic?” Let’s prove it! Therefore, under leftist Enlightenment thinking they can read any author and pyschoanalize, post-mortem, without ANY regard for truth or stated intentions. To them the author isn’t even aware of his psychological reasons for writing such-and-such.
    The same is true now: Torah says Keep Shabbat, Lefties assume it’s outdated. Keep Kosher: the Torah didn’t really mean THAT, they meant cuz shellfish can be dangerous during months that…Brit Milah? Not a mitzvah (as written) but hygiene.
    As such, the same logical reasoning is applied to Kabbalah. Sefirot and tefillah with kavanot? Who says you actually need to know what that means? It isn’t for you, but in your hubris, you think it is. Let’s not ask a Mekubal what this means – they won’t tell you unless they’re sure you can handle the answer. What to do? Let’s read it ourselves and apply our own agenda-laced meaning. And that is rendering Kabbalah absolutely meaningless, but easily accessible, all over the internet so that everyone: Jew, Catholic, children, Madonna, are all FREE to believe they’re closer to “truth” whatever relative truth they can make of Kabbalah with their complete lack of background or guidance and their logic leading them wherever they like.
    And that’s the basis of Leftism, we should all be free to think and do whatever feels right at the time, cuz we’re all one. Hashem Echad? No, WE are! And if WE are – who needs God, anyway? And hey, according to Burg or Leitman, that’s what it says in the kabbalah, so wow, I can easily have the mysteries of “kabbalah” and not bother with Torah and 613 Mitzvot?! Good deal. Hope my sarcasm is coming thru here…PS: i think i’ll post this on my blog and refer to yours. Thanks for listening.

    • jewamongyou says:

      You seem to believe that my knowledge of the Kabbalah was gained through the internet. On the contrary. I studied the original books and had teachers. My conclusions, about the forgery of the Zohar, haBahir and Tiqqunim, are the result of years of careful research. I do not claim, however, to be an expert in the Kabbalah, but I do know, with 100% certainty, that it was spread through lies and deceit.

  14. Rabbanit Adina Ruth says:

    Sorry, I did get a notification you wrote…Who in the world were you “teachers”? Its is very rare to have access to the rabbanim who are qualified to pass on genuine Kabbalah (note upper-case K). All you suggest is one of the express concerns written in the Eitz Chayim, etc of careless teaching to anyone who comes along. It’s simply NOT for everyone.
    And, truly, one must have the zechut. Not sure how you came to your conclusions by “careful research” but I’d suggest asking those best qualified in this generation to give you answers with merit ie accepted “Mekubalim.” Examples might haRav haMekubal Shmueli, haRav haMekubal Yosef Bar El, haRav haMekubal Yehudah Alfasi (my husband). Of course, excellent command of Hebrew and the ability to meet with one of them, ie, actually come to a shiur in Israel, is an obvious prerequisite.I would NOT suggest speaking to someone who merely calls himself a mekubal, is Chassidic and delves into this, etc. It’s a tradition, you either mekubel or you don’t.
    if you’re sincere in wanting to reconcile your experience with emet, I’d suggest going and meeting with one and asking them.

  15. imnobody00 says:

    I admit not being an expert. But is it not Gnosticism the root cause of Kabbalah and Leftism? This would explain the similarities.

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