I heard some familiar words spoken in a foreign language by two women and a man sitting at the table next to me, but what drew my attention was something that sounded like “Kabbalah.”
Something or Someone got to me!
I looked up and saw what turned out to be a husband and wife with a younger woman, perhaps a sister of one of them. Went back to reading, adjusted my cap and stretched my sandal-less stocking feet across the chair I use to rest while finishing breakfast at the Conshohocken IKEA. Getting deeper into the book, I continue reading something I can barely comprehend: the 125 degrees of Spirituality in the Kabbalistic Worlds. Caught a little something about Eve in the Garden of Eden. Seems when the Serpent talked with her, Eve claimed the Creator had not only forbidden Adam not to eat of the fruit, but not to even “touch” it. But there was nothing in the Bible saying: “No Touch.” Somebody created a new “prohibition” by adding “Thou Shalt Not Touch,” according to the book, “Kabblah for the Student.”
Coincidentally, a rabbi conducting a Bar Mitzvah in Long Island, NY, where I attended Saturday, told the congregation that Adam was at fault for adding that extra element to the Crimes Code. (my words, not the clergymans’) He found Adam to be at fault for breaking His Rule, forbidding the eating of the fruit. (Watch out, folks. God never said it was an “apple.” Check your Bible. The only reference to any fruit in the Book of Genesis was the type of leaf Adam used to clothe himself when noticing they were naked: a fig leaf.)
But, Kabbalah says it was Eve, and not Adam, that came up with this extra prohibition. She added “Please Don’t Touch” to the mix. And I deduced this. Me, a Recovering Catholic, an Initiate Buddhist, a former student of both Sufi and Hindu philosophy now enmeshed in Kabbalah, have uncovered a discrepancy to send to the good rabbi and see what his learned sages have to say about this.
What’s this all have to do with breakfast at IKEA?
The trio was speaking Russian, from the lands where the greatest Kabbalistic teacher of the 20th century originated, Baal Ha-Sulam. I introduced myself, and casually asked if they were speaking that language. They were. I mentioned I was studying Kabbalah in Philadelphia with a group of Russians from their homeland, Ukraine (participated in two Internet classes just the night before), and “Wallah!” The wife of the man from Kiev went into her pocketbook (one of those oversized ones that carry everything but the kitchen sink!) and pulled out a little red book entitled, you guessed it, “Kabbalah.”
[The first thing they tell you in studying the science of Kabbalah, is that there is nothing mystical about Kabbalah. But, I tell you mysticism is in the eye and the ear of the beholder/listener.]
The husband was not into it. Usually, its the woman leading the man “to the Light.” Wanted to sit and chat, comparing the several “Western” schools of Kabbalah thought, including the “Berg” approach (Michael_Berg_(Kabbalah_Centre), and the one I follow with Rav Michael Laitman, but they had to leave.
“I heard it could cost you some money to study Kabbalah under Berg,” I said to the wife.
“A little,” she said.
Mine’s free,” I said.
“So is the Bible,” the younger woman chimed in, and we all had to agree.
Kabbalah. Three days in a row. Here, there, everywhere. This is no Coincidence. This is Synchronicity. Dare I say, “Mystical?”