Pimpin’ In the Name of God

Math and Science have always been two subjects Jewish parents place an emphasis in excellence, however it seems we’re going to have to add Torah. Usually considered to be one of those subjects where you’re not all that troubled if your child doesn’t excel, it’s somewhat akin to P.E. or an elective. But apparently, these days a Rabbinical career can prove to be quite rewarding.

According to Forbes Israel, the “Baba” economy accounts for one of Israel’s most lucrative sectors cashing in at a billion shekels per year. This figure is actually an estimate. How much, exactly, is still not clear as all income is not reported to the Tax Authority. Indeed knowledge in Kabbalah and the ability to “work miracles” are not these rock star rabbis only ability.  They are equally adept at tax evasion and fraud.  Interesting I recall neither Tax Evasion 101 nor Rudimentary Fraud as lessons in any of my Torah classes. Perhaps I was out sick with the flu those days.

Pity for me.  As well that the thought never crossed my mind when I was learning the Shema or Migilot these could actually be money tools.  Silly me.  Will someone give Suze Orman a call and inform her she needs a revision of her Money Tools?

Forget money market accounts or stringent savings plans.  Handing out blessings and giving spiritual advice to the greedy, I mean needy, can earn you an upwards of 1.3 billion shekels annually. But even if you’re not the best advisor no need to worry. You still can earn 180 million shekels. And push comes to shove, if you really stink, well the government will still pay you a modest 16,000 shekels per month. It’s no jackpot but still twice that of the average Israeli salary.

Study of the Torah, the laws, holy writings, etc were always things which I considered to draw one nigh onto his or her Creator. It is about one’s personal spiritual growth; something which cannot be measured by others. We do not need a mediator, even one well versed in Kabbalah, to the Creator. Every individual has the potential to communicate with the God that dwells within.  Rabbis Pinchas Abuhatzeira nor Ovadia Yosef do not have a private, direct line to God.  Perhaps to Benjamin Netanyahu, but not God.

The fact that Abuhatzeira and his ilk posturing as Kabbalists have taken pimping in the name of God to heightened levels is not only antithetical to true Judaism but disgraceful.  There is nothing righteous in lying, cheating nor stealing. I suppose I was absent during those lessons as well, when the aforementioned were referenced as virtues as opposed to vices. Perhaps I should have strove to become a rebbetzin as opposed to a “bleeding heart liberal” journalist.  But who knew the word of God could be so profitable.