Ailing Liz Joins Forbidden Cult

After suffering months of chronic pain

Examiner/May 26, 1998
By Laurie Campbell

Liz Taylor is pinning her hopes on a bizarre Hollywood mystical group to win her battle against illness and pain.

The 66-year-old star has joined a host of other showbiz celebrities in the Kabbalah movement, a trendy offshoot of the Jewish religion that's taking Tinseltown by storm..

Dolly Parton, Madonna and Roseanne are followers of Kabbalah, too. And even though some religious leaders have warned that it's a very dangerous cult, Liz believes with all her heart that the Kabbalah teachings are helping her to cope with her various health problems.

She was finally getting her lifelong struggle with chronic back and hip pain under control last summer when she underwent surgery for a brain tumor and lived in constant fear of seizures. Then, her back troubles flared up again after she took a fall at home on her birthday in February.

She was forced to cancel all her AIDS charity appearances for several months. Now she's concentrating on getting back on her feet.

"Liz has her own Kabbalah rabbi, Eitan Yardeni, who conducts private classes at her home several times a week because she's almost completely confined to her Bel-Air mansion," one of the star's fellow students at the Kabbalah Learning Center in Los Angeles tells The EXAMINER.

"There's no set charge, just donations. But the typical donation is $200 to $300 per session for a wealthy student like Liz. Also, she's required to serve only kosher food.

"The rabbi places special emphasis on the prayers for healing. And all of Kabbalah's teachings are based on banishing negativity and releasing her from the darkness and into The Light, which is the term Kabbalah followers use for God.

"We all wear a red string tied with seven knots which is blessed with prayers to ward off negativity. It's never removed, not even when she bathes or swims in the pool. Eventually it disintegrates, and then it's replaced with a new one."

Kabbalah's ancient-wisdom is contained in a series of 24 books called the Zohar, and there are several chapters devoted to health.

"The teachings are used as a tool to promote healing," says our source.

"The goal is to replace negative energy, which attracts illness with positive energy, which can lessen the Pain."

Liz converted to Judaism when she was married to Eddie Fisher. But people of any faith can study Kabbalah.

"It's not an organized religion," says our source. "Rather, it's a spiritual path that seeks to explain the connection among God, man and creation."

"Many mainstream Jews oppose Kabbalah because it goes against traditional customs."

Since Liz took an interest in Kabbalah, she's formed a close bond with Madonna, who's said to be raising her daughter, Lourdes, according to its teachings.

Liz gives advice to Madonna about child-rearing," says our source.

"She had practically given up on ever feeling healthy again, until she found Kabbalah. But now she has a whole new outlook on life.

"It's given her a reason to live."

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