“Vodka + Kabbalah” Does Have A Certain Ring

from Allentown’s Moring Call: Combine medieval Jewish mysticism, a fizzy strawberry-flavored drink loaded with vitamins and a splash of holy water and you have the perfect fusion of two of the hottest fads sweeping the country: Kabbalah and energy drinks.
Next week, the hip, the curious and the thirsty in the Lehigh Valley will be among the first consumers east of the Mississippi to find 16-ounce cans of Kabbalah Energy Drink at select convenience stores and supermarkets. It helps that the East Coast distributor, XL Beverage, is based in Bethlehem.
What is Kabbalah Energy Drink? A $2 can of sweetened, carbonated, caffeinated, vitamin-charged water to which some Canadian mountain spring water blessed by a rabbi is added. Red Bull, the leader in the nearly $1 billion energy drink market, can’t say that.
But what is this newest energy drink’s link to Kabbalah, besides its name?
Religious scholars and mainstream Jews say the energy drink and other items marketed under the Kabbalah rubric have nothing to do with true Kabbalah teachings, and everything to do with money.
”Frankly, I think it’s marketing,” says Rabbi Mordechai Torczyner, of Congregation Sons of Israel, an Orthodox synagogue in Allentown. ”The original kabbalists weren’t marketing products with logos and the like.”
Chava Weissler, a religion studies professor at Lehigh University who teaches an undergraduate course about Kabbalah, says, ”I would not think there would be any actual spiritual benefit to drink this. The true teachings of Kabbalah have nothing to do with energy drinks.”



About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.