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Kabbalah adherents can this week add a black armband to their red string bracelets. Philip Berg, the founder of the Kabbalah Centre in Los Angeles, who drew several major celebrities to his new-age brand of ancient Jewish mysticism, has died. Most famously, the spiritual organisation counted Madonna among its followers, and in 2005 the actors Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher were married at the Kabbalah headquarters on Robertson Boulevard.

The Centre announced Berg’s death on its website on Monday, saying the Rabbi (Rav in Hebrew) was 86 – though the Los Angeles Times reported that public records show he was 84. In a statement, it said: “Throughout the Rav’s 86 years, he created a path for millions to learn and live Kabbalah. The Rav has left us with incredible knowledge through thousands of hours of teaching, examples of courage we will never forget, and the comfort of a Kabbalah Centre we can all call home.”

Leedlo todo en The Independent