The disastrous results of unsupervised Kabbalah studies have reportedly led to a series of child abuse cases, Chief Rabbi Yona Metzger said Saturday.
Speaking during a Great Shabbat (the Shabbat which immediately precedes Passover) sermon in Jerusalem, Rabbi Metzger noted that Kabbalah studies by those who have yet to fully internalize the six books of the Mishnah and have yet to turn 40 years old have not been prohibited for nothing.
Even then, he said, this must only be done under the guidance of a famous rabbi with superior knowledge in mysticism.
"If, as a result of studying practical Kabbalah, this person's mind has been disrupted, and if it is true that this 'rabbi' (Elior Chen) explained this acts of abuse as a repair of the soul, this is horrifying proof of what can happen when Kabbalah is studied without being supervised and guided by the greatest sages of Israel who are known to all as having superior knowledge of Kabbalah's wisdom."
'Court has crushed symbol of freedom'
Rabbi Metzger went on to speak about his visit to the IDF base in Tze'elim last week.
"This week I met IDF regiment commanders who told me painfully about the constant drop in the number of officers and commanders enlisting to reserve duty. When we tried to understand the main cause for this phenomenon, there was an agreement that the reservists' value system is worn out, leading to a drop in the motivation for reserve duty.
"And I tell you, gentlemen, when the court crushes with its own hands a sacred Jewish value like prohibiting leavened food during Passover, this crushes the symbol of Jewish freedom.
"The 'matza' we eat in Pesach has served as a symbol of the Jewish people's freedom for 3,000 years. With it we left Egypt with the goal to immigrate to the fatherland. If we trample the flag of Jewish freedom with our own hands, we are to blame for the results. I was sorry to hear that officers refuse to serve because they don’t want to miss work days…
"When I served in the IDF, an officer would be ashamed to raise such an option, but when he sees that the values sacred to the Jewish people are being crushed, including those symbolizing the hasty Exodus in order to reach the Land of Israel which he is asked to fight for, unfortunately he does not feel the duty."
Metzger added, "I am not a legalist, and it is possible that the ruling includes different arguments explaining it, but I am puzzled by the timing of its delivery, just before the Passover holiday."