Praises U.S. Government in Denial of "Kabbalah Centre"
[ORIGINAL DOCUMENTS HERE 1,
International Society for Sephardic Progress (ISFSP) praises the
U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, the U.S. Commissioner for Trademarks
and Henry S. Zak, examining attorney. Together the aforementioned
have refused to allow a quasi-Jewish cult in Los Angeles known
as the Kabbalah Centre to trademark and exploit a traditional
item of the Jewish religion.
Kabbalah Centre operated by Philip Berg (formerly Feivel Gruberger)
and his wife Karen, applied for a patent and trademark on "red
string bracelets." Their application demonstrates they planned
to exclusively own red string bracelets--then would sell them
for profit. Though they sell in Israel for about $.20 cents (1
Sheqel), it was recently reported the Kabbalah Centre in Los Angeles
sells them for an incredible $26.00 USD each.
stunts exploiting Judaism have been committed before. Berg exploited
the Zohar, a holy book of Judaism which was revealed to the world
in Spain by a Sephardic Jew named Moses de Leon in the 14th century.
Berg would sell an expensive set of the books to his "students,"
then he would teach them to scan the book with their finger tips.
The Zohar, written in Aramaic, is read according to the Kabbalah
Centre by looking at the letters without needing to know their
meaning. The Kabbalah Centre also invented allegedly curative
drinking water called Kabbalah Mountain Spring Water which
is said to be "blessed" by Berg.
should be known the Chief Rabbi, the Bet Din [Jewish religious
court] of Johannesburg, and the Rabbinical Association of South
Africa, also "issued decrees of condemnation against the
Kabbalah Centre." The Toronto Vaad HaRabanim [rabbinical
council] and the Queens Vaad HaRabanim "issued statements
to the public about avoiding the learning in Kabbalah Centres
as well as purchasing books which were on the market." The
New York Jewish Community Task Force on Missionaries and Cults,
the Canadian Jewish Congress, and the Cult Clinic Hotline of New
York have all received complaints and/or cited problems with the
importantly, in Israel, the world's leading Kabbalist, Harav Kadouri
shelit'a, issued a statement saying, "Whomever is supporting
Mr. Berg financially or otherwise, or any of his affiliated organizations
is endangering his soul."
International Society for Sephardic Progress thus commends the
decision of the United States Government to turn down the application
for trademark #76/490387. The decision was a wise one, a sensible
one, and a practical one.
The International Society for Sephardic Progress (ISFSP) is
a Jewish agency developed to serve the Sephardic community--the
descendants of the Jews of historic Spain, Portugal, North Africa
and the Levant who share both common religious and cultural bonds.
Although based in the United States, the ISFSP is an advocacy
organization representing Sephardim internationally. The ISFSP
also functions to produce high quality Jewish educational projects
which will educate the public on the rich Sephardic Jewish communities,
past and present.
ISFSP is a
a non-profit organization.
official primer and fact sheet on what Kabbalah actually is, produced
for the media by an authentic Jewish organization
Commissioner for Trademarks