MSNBC’s Kabbalah Corner

Does anyone else find interesting how much MSNBC covers the new-age Kabbalah craze? It could just be the standard mocking of stupid celebrities. Not only are people like Madonna and Britney prime journalistic fodder, but they won’t have to worry about the Kabbalah center suing them into oblivion for defamaiton unlike some other “religious” institutions.1
For example, in a recent Newsweek interview which appeared on MSNBC:

When Spears talks about the South Asian musical influences on ?In the Zone,? she says she?s ?been into a lot of Indian spiritual religions.? When asked if one of them is Hinduism, she says, ?What?s that? Is it like kabbalah??

So she’s not exactly a religion major.2 It’s possible she has some insightful comments about comparative religion. I doubt it considering her teacher has some trouble keeping her own Kabbalah straight. See for example, MSNBC’s review of Madonna’s new children’s book, Mr. Peabody’s Apples:

In her introduction, Madonna explains that ?Mr. Peabody?s Apples? is based on a 300-year-old Ukrainian tale called ?The Baad Shem Tov.? [sic] She says her instructor in Kabbalah, or Jewish mysticism, first turned her on to the story, which aims to demonstrate the power of words.

This could be a simple typo on the part of Madonna or MSNBC. Frankly I’m curious if Madonna knows something we don’t (undoubtedly she does, but regarding Jewish History. On second thought, scratch that too). Did the Baal Shem Tov have an evil twin? Or maybe this guy was a Hassid from the ‘Hood?
At any rate, I’m sure MSNBC will continue to humiliate the these two for many months to come. They just make it too easy.

1. What, you’d think I’d mention them by name? They scare me.
2. But a poster child for not learning Kabbalah until one turns 40. Incidentally, Madonna easilly meets the age requirement.


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