September 4, 2003
Dude, Where’s My Kabbalah?
It's official. The Kabbalah Centre has usurped the Church of Scientology's status as Hollywood's hottest creed of choice. These days, it seems like every celeb looking to add meaning to his or her glittering but empty life of fame and fortune is joining the red-string-wearing, holy-water-selling, quasi-Jewish group.
Earlier this week, the New York Post reported that Madonna -- fresh from French kissing Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera at the MTV Music Awards -- was seen with Rosie O'Donnell and an unnamed "Kabbalah Centre crony" at The Box Tree, New York's most expensive kosher restaurant. This just after the Material Girl and husband Guy Ritchie reportedly donated about $3.5 million to buy a London house for the controversial organization, of which they have been longtime supporters.
This week, the center got something even more important -- a figurative Tiger Beat seal of approval when hunky obsession-of-the-moment Ashton Kutcher ("My Boss's Daughter," "Dude, Where's My Car?," "That '70s Show") went with his much older, recently rejuvenated girlfriend Demi Moore to the Kabbalah Centre on Robertson Boulevard, where they bought a $78 poster of the names of God.
Billy Phillips, a spokesperson for the center, said that the study of Kabbalah has attracted celebrities for centuries, pointing out that 2,000 years ago philosophers Plato and Pythagoras studied kabbalah.
Phillips wouldn't give any details of Kutcher's visit to the center (and a call to the center's bookstore had the clerk asking "Who is Ashton Kutcher?") but Phillips did say that the most popular course for newcomers like Kutcher is the ten-week "Power of Kabbalah Course," which is taught on Wednesday nights.
"For the first time in history we are seeing people from all walks of life studying Kabbalah, which is the way that it is meant to be," Phillips said. "But it is the celebrities who make the newspapers."