Phone Conversation, 10:32 p.m. E.S.T.:
Kabbalah Energy Drink, which is packaged in a 16-ounce red, white and blue can, contains taurine—thought to help regulate heart rates, maintain cell membrane stability and detoxify the body—B vitamins and caffeine. The company says celebrities Madonna, Guy Ritchie, Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore—all practicing Kabbalists—have all tried the Kabbalah Energy Drink, which sports the tagline “Source of Power.”
—Beverage Industry magazine
Madonna: Ohh, God. Hello?
Ashton: Hey, M., you up?
Madonna: Um—what? Ashton?
Ashton: Hey, something’s been bothering me. I really have to talk to somebody.
Madonna: Well—why don’t you talk to Demi? I mean—holy fuck, is it four-thirty?
Ashton: Demi’s out of town. And I didn’t know who else to call. Listen, I was reading the Sod ha-Shabbat this afternoon. You know, from the Tola’at Ya’aqov of Rabbi Meir ibn Gabbai. And I suddenly had this weird feeling that even though Binah and Hokhmah are connected on the Tree of Life, I don’t know if they’re necessarily connected in practice. And I’m having a total breakdown, man.
Madonna: Woah, Ashton, slow down. Take a breath. O.K., so you’re saying Binah, which was born from the seed of Hokhmah, isn’t connected to it? How do you figure?
Ashton: Well, like, if Binah is the Sephiroth that stands for understanding and discernment, then you’d think it would come from Hokhmah, which is Wisdom. But the other day, when we were shooting the new episode of “Punk’d,” where I make Stevie Wonder think he’s getting attacked by a herd of starving hyenas—I mean, he can’t tell, ’cause he’s blind, right?—I thought: I feel like I understand the universe right now. I can discern what will make people laugh, and what humiliates people. But are my actions truly wise? Couldn’t this understanding of the human condition lead to wisdom, versus wisdom leading to discernment?
Madonna: Um …
Ashton: Y’know? (Pause.) Hey, what was that sound?
Madonna: Oh, I’m just cracking open a Kabbalah Energy Drink.
Ashton: Ooh, my favorite. It makes me feel so, like, one with the Godhead.
Madonna: Doesn’t it? Anyway, love, you’ve got to remember that Binah is also connected to the Shekhinah, God’s presence. None of it could happen without the concurrent awareness and permission of Jahveh, who sees and knows all and permeates throughout the Tree of Life. So therefore, if Hokhmah plants the seed of Binah, then maybe the Shekhinah is kind of, you know, supervising the process, and it can go backwards and forwards simultaneously.
Madonna: Yeah. Like the lead stylist in your dressing room supervises the manicurist and the hairdresser.
Ashton: Dude. Totally. Wow. But I thought that Binah was the mother of the Shekhinah?
Madonna: Wait, is Binah feminine?
Ashton: Yeah, duh.
Madonna: Right, you’re right. You’d think I could at least keep that straight.
Ashton: Hey, distinguishing between the masculine and feminine energies can be tough. Look at Dennis Rodman.
Madonna: Wait a minute! You’re not recording this, are you?
Ashton: Madonna, baby, I take this medieval Jewish mysticism shit very seriously. Do I seem like the type who would trivialize an ancient tradition for the sake of a cheap joke on syndicated cable television?
Madonna: Uh, well …
Ashton: The point is, the Sephiroth all seem to be flowing in the wrong direction, and the more I try to figure it out, the farther I feel like I’m getting from Ein Sof.
Madonna: Ashton, Ein Sof is the infinite, unknowable God.
Ashton: O.K., that’s the buzz and everything, but are you telling me that people can break the sound barrier and put some guy on the moon, but we can’t get an idea of what the infinite, unknowable God is like? That’s whack, yo.
Madonna: Well, maybe you should learn to read fluent Biblical Hebrew like you said you were gonna do.
Ashton: Give me a break, will you? I’m halfway through the Dead Sea Scrolls. I just still need a dictionary. It’s not like I’ve been slacking.
Madonna: So can we talk about this later?
Ashton: Sure. How’s Guy?
Madonna: Fine, Ashton. Still English.
Ashton: Hey, can I get a shalom?
Madonna: Shalom, Ashton.
Ashton: You rock.