The Resurgence of Red-carpet Mysticism: Hollywood and The Kabbalah

Many people today have heard of the Kabbalah, the ancient Jewish mystical tradition, through numerous Hollywood stars such as Madonna who has arguable done more to popularize the spiritual philosophy than most rabbis. Madonna, however, is not the only one who has taken up a profound interest in Kabbalistic study, other red carpet celebs, such as Ashton Kutcher, Elizabeth Taylor, Britney Spears and the late Sammy Davis, all also shared a connection to the Jewish wisdom tradition. But one thing that still baffles many people is just why the study and practice of Kabbalah seems to be so popular within Hollywood in particular, especially since the actual tenets of Kabbalistic practice are in many (if not most) ways at complete odds with the typical celebrity lifestyle of materialism, mansions, money, sex and (in some cases) drugs and alcohol.

One of the main reasons as to why the tradition spoke to them, according to many practitioners of Kabbalah within Hollywood themselves, was precisely because it was so different and often at odds with the way that they had previously been living their life. For instance, the popular comedian and actress, Sandra Bernhard had publically stated on numerous occasions in various interviews, that “over 80 percent of the chaos” in her life had gone away due to Kabbalah. Most other well known practitioners of the wisdom tradition have given similar answers and it makes a great deal of sense. For Kabbalah is primarily concerned with introspection and contemplation, generally with the end goal of distancing one’s self from egotistical and material impulses and becoming closer to the Ein Sof (the infinite realms of divinity).

This kind of rigid focuses on one’s internal landscape and dreams and aspirations would naturally have a quelling effect upon celebrities esspecially given how chaos-ridden their lives must so often be – flying around country to country doing photo and film shoots, being harassed by fans and paparazzi, journalists and production studios. It is very likely due to the actual core tenets of Kabbalah that so many celebrities seemed to have found peace.