יום שלישי, 2 בספטמבר 2008

Shaul and Osnat Youdkevitch leaving The Kabbalah Centre - The Short Story

Dear Friends,
On February 2008 Osnat and I had to leave The Kabbalah Centre. For some of you this will be the first time hearing about it. Others have heard rumors concerning the story of our departure. As you have been a part of our lives through the years, Osnat and I want to inform you of the ongoing events. We have tried quietly to bring the relationship with the Kabbalah Center to a peaceful conclusion and in hope to resolve the matter; we have refrained from responding to the false information that has been going around.

In July of 2008, Kabbalah Centre International, Inc. brought suit against Osnat, myself and Universal Kabbalah Communities, Inc. (our new organization). We believe that this lawsuit was brought against us to discourage us from establishing an alternative community which is our constitutional right for the free practice of our religion. Kabbalah is part of Judaism. The lawsuit attempts to suppress our rights to to practice Judaism by following the teachings of Rav Berg, to honor the anniversary of Rav Brandwein, to maintain a web site regarding the teachings of Kabbalah and to call ourselves the Universal Kabbalah Communities. It is self evident that the grounds of this lawsuit are designed to pressure our determination and commitment to the study and to the teachings of Kabbalah.

I was exposed to the study of Kabbalah twenty eight years ago. As were many of you, I experienced this tremendous hope and excitement for a better world. Three years later I began to teach the principles of Kabbalah at the Kabbalah Centre in Israel. Over the years Osnat and I dedicated our lives to the teachings of Kabbalah as an instrument that would generate peace around the world. We saw the Kabbalah Centre as a means to build upon the teachings and embraced it as our family, our home and our community. We trusted The Light and we trusted the people around us to be there for each other until we achieved the common goal, bringing humanity to a state of unity, peace, love and immortality. This is why we relied upon those around us for the worldly things, like savings and shelter. We trusted the people who led us to take care of all of this and this is how we could be totally dedicated to this amazing noble cause we all believe in to this day.


a. The Hope and the Vision
As the years passed, we’ve found ourselves experiencing miracles of love, happiness and healing. We’ve shared it with many individuals and communities around the world. It was a new and improved reality, a better one and a magical one too.
The only purpose of this message is that we want everyone to keep on believing that what we’ve all experienced was true and can be achieved again in a way that can last this time forever.

b. Efforts for improvement

During all of those years we all saw things that did not fit into the picture of a perfect society. We have been trained to see those doubts as the enemy, many experienced guilt and remorse for having those doubts about The Kabbalah Centre. The truth is that these were not doubts but simply common sense observations that we all tried so hard to suppress. We wanted it to work. As time passed, it became more and more certain that something is very wrong and it is only getting worse. Many of us gave all of what we had to fix it, but in vain. We believed that revealing Light would remove the darkness but the disturbances turned into a terrible nightmare. The magic was gone; the love turned into confusion, cynicism and bitterness.

On December of 2005 we were invited to move to Los Angeles from Israel in order to help in bringing The Kabbalah Centre to the next phase: to improve the curriculum and the quality of Kabbalah studies for beginners and for advanced students and to improve the training of the Centre’s teachers. We agreed to move to LA because we felt the need mentioned above to find a way to improve the situation.

During the last two years in the LA headquarters of the Kabbalah Centre I’ve realized that the study of Kabbalah cannot be governed by any one person. As I looked at case histories and into Biblical law the picture became very clear to me. Biblical law has never allowed any human being to be above the law and above constructive criticism-even great righteous people like Moses, King David etc. King David himself, who really possessed the Holy Spirit, was not above the law and had the Sanhedrin- an assembly of lawmakers to approve his every decision.

After mentioning the issue, our projects were shut down and about two months later we were presented with an ultimatum (February 2008): to have us agree that Karen Berg possessed Ru’ah HaKodesh - Holy Spirit (total obedience to every decision of hers) or that we could no longer work within The Kabbalah Centre.

Our answer was that we cannot see how a large organization can be run by one person only, without a board or a Sanhedrin like assembly.

c. Trying to achieve an agreement without a lawsuit

To try and reach an agreement concerning our compensation following 28 years of service, we attempted every avenue of dialogue. The negotiations however became abusive and soon enough we realized that it could go like this without resolution for a long time. We contacted Israeli lawyers to attempt mediation and negotiate for us so we could be free to go on with our lives and dreams. Our lawyers sent a letter which was entitled "Strictly for Negotiation purposes towards a compromise." There was no litigation filed. At the mediation, only the Centre's lawyers appeared and it became obvious that there was no meaningful intention of resolution. Instead we were mostly threatened by a lawsuit.

d. The Lawsuit Against Shaul, Osnat Youdkevitch and UKC
A week after the “mediation”, we were served a lawsuit in a federal court with the following claims against us
(The complete lawsuit can be downloaded from the site of The Federal District Court site: http://dockets.justia.com/docket/court-cacdce/case_no-2:2008cv04599/case_id-420671/):

1. Opening a competing business few blocks away from the Centre in LA - The fact is that we prayed and studied in a friends’ garage (This is our right according to the 1st amendment of the American constitution).
2. “Upon information and belief, Defendants invited Centre’s students to a public forum where Defendants falsely held out Defendant Shaul Youdkevitch as successor of Rav Berg...” - The fact is that this never happened
3. “Defendants invited students … to the…anniversary of Rav Brandwein…” - Yes we celebrated that anniversary.
4. The website www.livekabbalah.org is using the color red like the sites of the Centre and it has a similar look (We’ve changed the colors).
5. The name of the new organization is Universal Kabbalah Communities (UKC) and this is too close to the name of the Centre
6. It’s illegal for us to use the word Beehive Groups because they are using it (by the way anybody heard about it lately?)
7. They accused us of stealing the list of the Centre’s students and the amount of donations they made so we could solicit money from them - This is incorrect. We made sure to get in touch about our activities only with people who’ve approached us.
8. We’ve been blamed for mentioning that we believe in Rav Berg’s teachings
9. We’ve been blamed for stealing the Centre’s works with the intention of publishing it under our name

The Lawsuit is demanding that:
We should pay The Centre $100,000 for all the damages they claim that the Centre suffered from our behavior etc. etc.
We should pay the Centre’s attorney’s fees
We should give them all what we’ve created by now for destruction
We should give them all the profits we’ve made up until now from our activities
Court should fine us an additional sum for our “criminal activities”

e. Building a Better Future through Kabbalah

The lessons of this story are very clear to us:

We live in an age that the powers of Kabbalah, The Bible and Spirituality are available for everyone who chooses, in order to create communities of love, magic and healing. That has been done in the past and it can be done again.
These communities must be based on loving criticism so nobody is above the law and above others.
It is a spiritual knowledge and a major lesson for us that what you’re not ready to fight for can be taken away from you.
There’s a need this time to educate people to be ready to fight injustice and stand up for their inner truth.


We’ve decided to move on and focus on the future.

We’re committed to support everyone around the world who wants to recreate the magic and the utopia that is connected to the study of Kabbalah and the creation of communities focused around the teachings of the Kabbalah. We hope that you are still capable of believing that you can create a better world for all of humanity.
We will continue to develop the peace projects we've started for children and for their mothers and fathers

At the present time we live in Los Angeles studying together with a small group of people, praying together and learning how to build a community.
(That has been changed since we've moved to Israel on February 2009)

If you would like to learn more about our dreams and our activities you can visit our site.


With love and thanks for whoever supported us until now.

Shaul and Osnat Youdkevitch

Contact us:
Shaul@livekabbalah.org
osnat@livekabbalah.org




Study with us and share your thoughts:
www.livekabbalah.org
www.universalkabbalahcommunities.org

אין תגובות: