Culture, Mishegas, Religion

Et tu, Roseanne?

The JTA today breaks the news: Roseanne Barr’s Christian now.

Roseanne Barr says she follows Christ and that “millions of Jews are not Zionists.”
The comedienne, who has touted her Jewish birth and upbringing in the past, told fans on her blog that she could no longer consider a mainstream TV talk show career “because I have opinions that are not sanctioned by the powers that be who refuse to allow even one dissenting voice over the airwaves of television.
She added, “I truly believe that millions of Jews are not Zionists, and that even if they are, they do not support Israeli occupation. I believe that Jews all over this planet choose peace in the Middle East over the never-ending death machine of hatred and division and terror that exists there now. I am a Kabbalist, as was Jesus Christ…(the one whom I follow). He tells me to seek first the Kingdom inside of my soul, and leave the rest to Him.”

Et tu, Roseanne? I mean, first it was Dr. Laura repudiating her Judaism, and now you, too, Roseanne?
Ignoring the blatant implications of the “powers that be” line (“Zionist-controlled media” I’m sure didn’t have as much panache), Roseanne’s declaration of anti-faith is unique in that it ties Christianity into Kabbalah. The painting of the founder of Christianity as an ancient Kabbalist may actually do wonders for the Kabbalah Centre — maybe they’ll finally sell a red string to Pat Robertson.

13 thoughts on “Et tu, Roseanne?

  1. Personally I think they can have Dr. Laura and Rosanne.
    Sam- Don’t you know you can make up whatever you want when you are a celebrity. No matter what, if it is true for you it is true for us all.

  2. Aside from the ‘kabbalistic Jesus’ stuff, is Roseanne’s position really much different than that of “Muzzlewatch” and some other far-leftist groups?

  3. A Kabbalist? Huh?
    Jesus was a Torah Jew. Faithful in all mitzvot, although his interpretation often seemed to break faith with the strict and legalistic interpretations of the day.
    ” That person amoung you who is without sin, let that person be the first to stone this harlot.”
    ” Which of you could truly say that you would not save a lamb or a calf from drowning in a well even though it was Shabbat?”
    So he was observant. But Kabbalist? Like other contributors here, I never heard that one, ever. Issac Luria died in the mid-16th Century CE anyway. Is he not credited with founding Kabbalah?
    D Harris
    North Carolina

  4. Well, she is no longer Jewish, but those ties were somewhat frazzled anyway, owing to her parents conversion to mormonism. She certainly isn’t a Pat Robertson conservative Christian, if she says Jesus was a Kabbalist, so the swipe at her being Doctor Laura isn’t fair.

  5. Issac Luria died in the mid-16th Century CE anyway. Is he not credited with founding Kabbalah?
    No. “Kabbalah” (which wasn’t “founded” by any one person) is often used as an umbrella term for Jewish mysticism, but is only one of several strains of Jewish esoteric thought and practice, and is itself multifacted. There are a number of theories about the origins of Jewish mysticism, but all of them go back much earlier than Isaac Luria (although he brought forth new formulations and variations). Luria himself studied under several renowned teachers. According to Moshe Idel, arguably the greatest authority on the history of Kabbalah today, extant written works of Kabbalah in Europe date from about the 12th century, which saw the first great flowering of Kabbalah. Some of the early written works (the Bahir, the Zohar, to name two of the best known) were remnants of an oral tradition, and there is dispute about just how far back that tradition goes. Certainly, there were Jewish mystical speculations as far back as the Talmudic era (c. 200-500 CE). Idel’s book, Kabbalah: New Perspectives is a great source of info but is quite dense. Aryeh Kaplan’s Meditation and Kabbalah provides a more basic intro and is considered to be quite reliable. For a thorough bio on Luria, see Lawrence Fine, Physician of the Soul, Healer of the Cosmos.

  6. BatyaK
    Thanks for the contribution. It’s a bit off topic here but you have clarified for me the roots of Kaballah being in the much earlier strains of myticism. Luria was no ” founder”, then.
    But I think my point still stands. Even though Luria was not by any means the first founder and advocate of Kaballah, there seems no reason historically to claim that Jesus was a mystic or proto-Kabbalist. Barr is off track here.
    You made a good comment.

  7. Dixon H Harris:
    Thanks, and yes, I agree with you about Barr. People tend to read their own perspectives into Jesus: He’s a feminist, a shamanic healer, a Pharisee, a Sadducee, an Essene, a freedom fighter, a Stoic, a gnostic, a pacifist, even a psychedelic mushroom (no joke). As the vast majority of the teachings attributed to Jesus in the Christian texts are quotations from the Torah, Prophets, and Writings, it’s interesting to watch non-Jewish people try to contort Jesus into any identity except the most obvious one: that he was a Jew of his time. That’s pretty much all that can be known for certain. The rest is commentary, so to speak. Since Barr considers herself a Kabbalist (oy), it’s not surprising that she joins the projection parade and sees Jesus as a Kabbalist, too.

  8. I wasn’t implying that she was anything like Dr. Laura — except in that she’s a public figure who publicly renounced their Judaism in connection to their media career.

  9. I don’t see how being a kabbalist implies renouncing judaism, but I also was not aware that she ever thoroughly embraced it.

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