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Philip S. Berg (original name Feivel Gruberger) (August 20, 1927 – September 16, 2013)[1] was an American rabbi and dean of the worldwide Kabbalah Centre
Kabbalah Centre
organization. Having written a number of books on the subject of Kabbalah, Berg believed that the philosophy should not be taught exclusively to a select few Jewish scholars but become a shared wealth of practical wisdom available to all of humankind. There is disagreement about whether Berg's teachings, as relayed through the Kabbalah
Kabbalah
Centre, have sufficient grounds and/or genuine authority according to Jewish law, as they include some dogmas and translations differing markedly from those of more-traditional Kabbalists. Some Jewish scholars emphatically reject such teachings, deeming them as foreign to both the Kabbalah
Kabbalah
in particular and to Judaism
Judaism
in general. In poor health following a stroke in 2004, he died on September 16, 2013.[2]

Contents

1 Biography 2 Works by Berg and his sons 3 See also 4 Notes 5 References 6 Further reading 7 External links

Biography[edit] Berg was born as Shraga Feivel Gruberger in Brooklyn, to an Orthodox Jewish family.[3] His first wife was named Rivkah with whom he had eight children. It was Rivka's uncle, Rabbi
Rabbi
Yehuda Brandwein, dean of a Yeshiva named Kol Yehuda, whom Berg first met on a trip to Israel
Israel
in 1962, and who would become his Kabbalistic mentor. There is some disagreement over who succeeded Rabbi
Rabbi
Brandwein as dean of Yeshiva Kol Yehuda - Berg has claimed to have replaced Rabbi
Rabbi
Brandwein in that role, but that claim is disputed by Brandwein's son Avraham, who is the current dean.[3] After Brandwein's death in 1969, Berg returned to the U.S. and began working again with his former secretary and future wife, Karen, on the condition that she let him teach her Kabbalah, a discipline he claimed was reserved exclusively for men. In 1971 Philip and Karen married and traveled to Israel. Then, in 1973, the Bergs returned to Queens, where they established their full-time headquarters during the 1980s.[3] Reports about Berg are conflicting. According to a 1994 article in Tel Aviv magazine, Berg said he was ordained in the U.S.A. in the early '50s and received an additional ordination in Israel
Israel
from his former father-in-law. Berg received rabbinic ordination by the Lakewood Yeshiva in 1951,[4] though he has been denounced by the traditional Orthodox Jewish community as represented by the Lakewood Yeshiva. According to Burg website he was an alumnus of Yeshiva Torah VeDaas not BMG, Lakewood. The Los Angeles Task Force on Cults and Missionaries claimed he was not affiliated with the 80-year-old Yeshiva Kol Yehuda in Jerusalem, once headed by Berg's ex-uncle-in-law by his first wife, the late Rabbi
Rabbi
Brandwein, though he claimed he was.[5] He also fathered 8 children with his first wife RIfkah. In 2010, the Internal Revenue Service
Internal Revenue Service
launched an investigation, reportedly investigating whether funds were directed to the personal enrichment of the Berg family, and subpoenaed financial records of the organization and two affiliated charities connected to Madonna. The centre called the allegations “merit-less” and said it “intends to defend the case vigorously”.[6] Berg had been ill since suffering a stroke in 2004. He died on September 16, 2013. He was generally reported to be 86 (although the Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times
reported that according to public records he was 84). He is survived by his wife Karen and two sons, Yehuda and Michael[2] who have led the Centre since his stroke.[6] He also had eight children from his first marriage.[4] Works by Berg and his sons[edit]

Philip S. Berg, The Wheels of a Soul. Research Centre of Kabbalah, 1984. ISBN 0-943688-13-2 Philip S. Berg, Astrology, the Star Connection: The Science of Judaic Astrology. Research Centre of Kabbalah, 1987. ISBN 0-943688-37-X Philip S. Berg, " Kabbalah
Kabbalah
for the Layman", Vol. II. Research Centre of Kabbalah, 1993. ISBN 0-924457-19-8 Philip S. Berg, Kabbalistic Astrology Made Easy. Research Centre of Kabbalah, 1999. ISBN 1-57189-053-X Michael Berg, The Way: Using the Wisdom of Kabbalah
Kabbalah
for Spiritual Transformation and Fulfillment. Wiley Publishing, 2003. ISBN 0-471-22879-6 Yehuda Berg, The 72 Names of God: Technology for the Soul. Kabbalah Publishing, 2003. ISBN 1-57189-135-8 Yehuda Berg, The Power of Kabbalah. Kabbalah
Kabbalah
Publishing, 2004. ISBN 1-57189-250-8 Yehuda Berg, The Red String Book: The Power of Protection. Kabbalah Publishing, 2004. ISBN 1-57189-248-6 Rav P. S. Berg, Kabbalistic Astrology: And the Meaning of Our Lives. Kabbalah
Kabbalah
Publishing, 2006. ISBN 1-57189-556-6

See also[edit]

Yehuda Berg Michael Berg ( Kabbalah
Kabbalah
Centre)

Notes[edit]

^ Petition for Naturalization of Max Gruberger, Philip Berg's father accessed at Ancestry.com. Selected U.S. Naturalization Records - Original Documents, 1790-1974 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2009. ^ a b Harriet Ryan (September 16, 2013). " Kabbalah Centre
Kabbalah Centre
founder Philip Berg dead at 84". Los Angeles Times.  ^ a b c Udovich, Mim. " Kabbalah
Kabbalah
Chronicles: Inside Hollywood's hottest cult", Radar Online, June 15, 2005. (Copy at "Archived copy". Archived from the original on October 24, 2007. Retrieved 2006-08-05. CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link) ) ^ a b " Rabbi
Rabbi
Philip Berg, Who Updated Jewish Mysticism, Dies at 86". The New York Times. Retrieved 22 September 2013.  ^ Ellin, Abby; Sacks, Adam J. "The Kabbalah Centre
Kabbalah Centre
Wants your Heart - and your Money: The String that Binds" in The Village Voice, August 11, 2004. ^ a b " Rabbi
Rabbi
Philip Berg". Daily Telegraph. 2013-09-20. Retrieved 2013-09-21. 

References[edit]

This article includes a list of references, but its sources remain unclear because it has insufficient inline citations. Please help to improve this article by introducing more precise citations. (November 2010) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)

Daphne Merkin, In Search of the Skeptical, Hopeful, Mystical Jew
Jew
That Could Be Me, New York Times Magazine, April 13, 2008 Tamara Ikenberg, Madonna, et al. have watered down Jewish mysticism, scholars charge Louisville Courier-Journal, August 26, 2004 David Rowan, Chief Rabbi
Rabbi
sounds alarm on mystical Kabbalah
Kabbalah
group The Times, April 3, 2004 Robert Eshman, L.A.'s Kabbalah
Kabbalah
Learning Center seems to attract many searching Jews, but criticism of it is widespread The Jewish Journal, February 14, 1997 Aynat Fishbein, The Cabal of the Cabbalah Centre Exposed: New Relations "Tel Aviv" (An Israeli magazine) September 1994, pp. 31–35 Nadya Labi, What Profits Kabbalah? Time Magazine, November 24, 1997 The Truth about the Kabbalah Centre
Kabbalah Centre
Task Force on Cults and Missionaries, Los Angeles, CA 1995

Further reading[edit]

Jody Myers. Kabbalah
Kabbalah
and the Spiritual Quest: The Kabbalah Centre
Kabbalah Centre
in America, London 2007. Boaz Huss. "The New Age of Kabbalah: Contemporary Kabbalah, the New Age and postmodern spirituality", Journal of Modern Jewish Studies, 6 (2006), pp. 107–125 Jonatan Meir. "The Revealed and the Revealed within the Concealed: On the Opposition to the "Followers" of Rabbi
Rabbi
Yehudah Ashlag and the Dissemination of Esoteric Literature", Kabbalah: Journal for the Study of Jewish Mystical Texts 16 (2007), pp. 151–258 Jonatan Meir. "Phillip Berg and the Kabbalah
Kabbalah
Centre", Daat 70 (2011), pp. 159–162 Jonatan Meir, "The Beginnings of Kabbalah
Kabbalah
in America: The Unpublished Manuscripts of R. Levi Isaac Krakovsky", Aries: Journal for the Study of Western Esotericism 13, 2 (2013), pp. 237-268

External links[edit]

Wikiquote has quotations related to: Philip Berg

Kabbalah Centre
Kabbalah Centre
(in English) Kabbalah Centre
Kabbalah Centre
Israel
Israel
(in Hebrew) " Rabbi
Rabbi
Philip Berg, Who Updated Jewish Mysticism, Dies at 86". Obituary. NY Times. Sep 20, 2013. 

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 17255782 LCCN: n84150735 ISNI: 0000 0001 1600 2826 GND: 103575766 SUDOC: 079487033 BNF:

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