Cannabis and Kabbalah
by Rabbi Aron Moss
Did you read the news about a new-age "Kabbalah" teacher who was arrested for growing cannabis in her living room? This caught my attention, as I have always had two loves in my life: Spirituality (not always the Jewish type) and getting high on cannabis. I really believe that both of them are connected and they both need to be enjoyed together, but I never thought I could do that in a Jewish context. I know you teach Kabbalah - do you offer such a combined spiritual high, or would you consider trying?
Many spiritual paths promote escaping the here-and-now to find something higher. Whether it be heaven, nirvana, or some other transcendent state, the aim is to reach beyond the confines of the body and the physical, mundane world and enter another reality. Not so in Judaism.
The purpose of Jewish spirituality is to make this physical world into a G-dly place, a divine home. We resolve the tension between body and soul not by negating one over the other, but by fusing the two. This means facing reality as it is and rather than escaping this life, transforming it.
The technique we use is called Mitzvot - the divine commands of the Torah. They give us a holy way to do everything. There is a way to sanctify eating, business, relationships, dress, speech - every area of life. The purpose of it all is that this world, our physical body, our conscious mind and our human personality should all become aligned with G-d. Don't escape earth to go to a higher reality, make this reality higher.
Drug taking does nothing to contribute to this endeavour. We do not fulfil our purpose by altering our minds, but rather by refining them. A spiritual experience, no matter how high, that does not translate into productive action is a waste of time and energy.
If you seek authentic Jewish spirituality then you need to seek help for your drug problem. You will not be able to fully fulfil your soul's mission on this earth as long as you are playing with your mind. Your soul has all the power it needs to fulfil its mission. Drugs won't help. A Mitzva will.