Photo: Henry Jabobs
Rabbi Levi Brackman
Photo: Henry Jabobs
Looking for spirituality. Madonna
Photo: Reuters
Universal face of Kabbalah
Having grown disappointed from the limits of what materialism can offer by way of contentment and fulfillment we turn to spirituality and Kabbalah fills this void in a wonderful way
What attracts Madonna to Kabbalah? I have been asked this question many times - strangely so, since as a rabbi, I have never met Madonna and certainly have no idea what she finds attractive and why. However, the question is a broader one: why do people who have access to every possible material pleasure wish to search out spirituality and mysticism? This I am qualified to answer. I have the privilege of sharing the inner lives of many people and I have yet to meet a person who has found real and long lasting fulfillment from immersion in materialism.


Most of us are on a journey seeking meaning, fulfillment and contentment in life. For many, regular fixes of a variety of retail therapies seems to work - at least temporarily. But the person who has reached the pinnacle of what materialism has to offer, the person who has satisfied every imaginable materialistic desire, knows that retail therapy will not provide long-term contentment.


For most this realization only dawns after a lifetime of futile materialistic pursuit. However, the super rich and famous are able to recognize this sooner. Disappointed with the limitations of what materialism can offer, they turn to spirituality, and Kabbalah fills this void in a phenomenal way.


The difficulty however for most people is that, contrary to popular public belief, Kabbalah is not an easy study – it is both deep and involved. To tread the spiritual path of Kabbalah takes huge dedication. So the challenge is to present the Jewish spiritual tradition in a way that will allow people to see past their materialistic concerns, yet not cause them to shut off because they feel overwhelmed or out of their depth.


There is no doubt that authentic teachings are not to be dumbed down in order to draw the masses. However any good teacher knows that the best way to teach a difficult subject is by simplifying it at first and then going into greater detail and depth once the student understands the general idea.




Many Jewish organizations have had success in this with the help of modern technology. The Internet has transformed the way spiritual topics are taught and websites like and lead the way. But there is one project that is breaking new ground. Guy Lieberman is a South African filmmaker living in Jerusalem whose latest project seeks to portray all the 10 Kabbalistic Sefirot in an accessible and creative manner.


The project is called Universal Face and the pilot film “Earth” is currently on tour in the USA. In an 18-minute musical documentary Guy Lieberman interviews some of the most creative Kabbalistic minds in Israel and mixes their musings with melody and visual imagery. The result is an inspiring film that provides an excellent introduction to Jewish spirituality.


An irresistible aspect of the film is the portrayal of some fascinating people. Divinely inspired individuals are always an inspiration to others and this film is able to encapsulate the spiritual essence of some very gifted spiritual teachers and thereby inspire in a subtle and fulfilling manner. In fact after we showed it to an audience here in Colorado they were so inspired that they unanimously asked to see it again.


Although this film may not resonate with all sectors of Jewish society the concept is groundbreaking. The use of creative media to introduce people to authentic spiritual teachings in a subtle, non-preachy and non-threatening manner is an art that is much needed in today’s ultra - materialistic world. Universal Face has achieved just this in an exemplary manner and should be used as a model by those interested in inspiring the masses with teachings of a spiritual and abstract nature.


Rabbi Levi Brackman is executive director of Judaism in the Foothills and the author of numerous articles on a whole range of topics and issues, many of which can be found on his website.




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