Let Them Drink Kabbalah Water!

Spiegel/January 5, 2005

The trendy Jewish sect says it will send exactly what the survivors of last week's tsunami catastrophe need: 10,000 bottles of water blessed by the Kabbalah Center.

Lest we get too serious here, we'll also keep you informed on the vapid side of the international tsunami tragedy -- bringing you the lamest, weirdest or just plain bizarrest links we can find.

In some hard-to-reach parts of Indonesia's Aceh province, victims of the earthquake tsunami haven't had access to food or water for more than a week. Better fortunes may soon be coming their way. No, we're not talking about a hospital ship or an aircraft carrier. We're talking about the Kabbalah Center. It's helped Madonna and Demi Moore and maybe now it can help the tsunami victims, too. The trendy Jewish sect -- not to be confused with the serious Jewish mysticism it is based on -- is sending 10,000 liters of blessed water. The Center, which has been slammed for its superficiality by serious scholars, says the water not only quenches thirst but also comes with "centuries of wisdom in every drop."

Heartthrob Leonardo DiCaprio helped popularize Phi Phi island in Thailand through his role in the movie "The Beach." He's now planning to lend his mug to the island again through what MSNBC describes when he soon visits the crisis-stricken region. But he won't be traveling to the region alone -- soccer star David Beckham, who moonlights as a UNICEF goodwill ambassador when he isn't bending it for Real Madrid, is also expected to visit.

In the United States, people are worried about all aspects of the tsunami. Will I be able to get a new pair of Nikes or Reeboks? Both companies manufacture more than one-third of their footwear in Indonesia and Thailand.

We've all obsessed over the macabre pictures that have filled our newspapers and televisions. First the Swedish toddler who got separated from his parents in the flood. Then the images of the dead, their hands grasping in front of them as if to stop the coming waves. That's going to be the picture of the tragedy, we say. No, that one. When we realize how cynically we're behaving, we get a little sick to our stomachs. Good thing, then, we've got Matthew Parris at the London Times to make excuses for us. "Try to imagine a world without all these interventions of faith," Parris writes. "Would you prefer it? Of course not. It's thrilling."

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