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Not Just for Britney and Madonna

We’ve heard Madonna talk about it, we’ve seen Britney Spears show off her T-shirts and now Kabbalah has hit closer to home as more and more MSU students are showing an interest in this ancient Jewish mysticism of self-healing.
Kabbalah means at which has been received. People have begun studying it as a way to balance out their lives in four main areas: physically, emotionally, mentally and spitually.
The goal of learning these mystical teachings from the Old Testament is aimed at enhancing the good, eliminating the negative, quieting, restructuring and reprogramming the mind.
However, learning the ropes of Kabbalah does not commit one to converting to Judaism. The teachings use words from the Old Testament to form a 12-step course. Another way to look at Kabbalah is as a method of increasing brain capacity and organizing thoughts.
For Sarah Levin, audiology and speech sciences junior, Kabbalah has made a significant change for the better in her life. “I have noticed a change in myself all together,” Levin said. “It is hard for me to pinpoint one exact aspect of my life that has changed. I’m just generally happier.”
Not only are adults educating themselves in Kabbalah, but students here at MSU are actively participating as well. Karen Greenberg, a Kabbalah instructor in Ann Arbor, travels to MSU to teach a group of ten girls. They meet at someone’s apartment for three hours, once a month, for a year.
“Since I’ve been doing it, I’ve realized how to make myself happier. I figured out what my faults are and what I need to do in order to solve them effectively,” said Amy Cosola, a communications junior and member of a Kabbalah class.
[hard] “Once someone has achieved this balance, it is likely they will grow to lead a happy, successful and prosperous life,” said Greenberg.
Although, the teachings of Kabbalah are from ancient Jewish mysticism, it does not mean that it is for Jewish people only. It is the study of the tree of life which makes it universal and great to share with everyone.
“Kabbalah being a Hollywood trend is weird, yet interesting,” Kirsten Fermaglich, assistant professor of history and Jewish studies, said. “I look at it as a different entrance into Jewish life.” Greenberg agrees that people seeing Kabbalah as a way to help their life is a good thing, and celebrites such as Madonna and Britney Spears are only publicizing it.
The red string is one of main components of people participating in Kabbalah. A $26 red string bracelet blocks out demons and potential threats. \”The purpose of the Red String bracelet is for protection,\” Greenberg said. \”The idea of it is to protect against danger, evil and negativity. Nobody really knows how long it has been around but many believe that it has been passed down by old traditional scholars.”
[holly] Currently, there are no designated Kabbalah centers here in Michigan, but there are other alternatives to finding that inner peace. Barnes and Noble, 333 E. Grand River Ave. in East Lansing, has a large selection of books, DVD’s and CD’s that can help to enhance your learning.
As for whether or not the “trend” of Kabbalah weakens its integrity, it does teach a person how to go through life in different steps. “If you obey the steps, you see the changes,” Cosola said. “Every month you seem to get more spirituality out of it. It’s really amazing, a great thing.”
Whether Kabbalah is a fad or the real deal, it is aimed at everyone. It requires self-discipline and dedication. Whether you read about it, listen to it or take a class on it, there is nothing wrong with wanting to organize and improve your life. So, go ahead, get a red bracelet and find yourself.

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Play Time

Playing doctor isn’t just for kids anymore. But they could be the result.
Sexual role-playing is more common than one might think. Behind closed doors, lovers turn into teachers and students, doctors and patients, librarians and patrons, and these kinky characters may be just what you need to spice up your love life.
[one1] “A lot of times people find it to be exciting,” Christie Schulz, an employee at Priscilla’s novelty store, 3205 W. Saginaw in Lansing, said. “The thrill of being someone or something different allows couples to use their imagination sexually.”
Acting out a fantasy with a partner may provide various elements of flattery, excitement and the feeling of being swept away. However, initiating the idea to your partner may be difficult.
“My ex-wife and I used to be into role-playing because we were both adventurous people,” 38-year-old Del, who asks his last name not be revealed, said. “Now that I’m re-married, I would never even think to mention the idea to my wife. She would not have any part of it.”
According to Dr. Barnaby Barratt, a licensed sex therapist in Farmington Hills, “[R]ole-playing can be good or bad in a relationship. It depends solely on the couple who is partaking in the experience.”
Role-playing isn’t just kinky, it can also be a healthy change of pace for couples.
“Most of the time, the quietest people are the freakiest people in bed,” Schulz said. “For them, the ‘behind closed doors’ setting allows them to be themselves and act out their fantasies.”
[two2] However, before you and your partner jump right into this form of alternative sex, make sure you talk about it. Both you and your partner need to be comfortable with what you are going to do. Set boundaries to clear up any confusion that may come during the heat of the moment.
Once the stage is set, costumes can be found at local adult entertainment shops. For instance, Priscilla’s has a wide selection of playful toys and outfits.
“The most popular outfits we have here are the school girl, the maid and the cat,” Schulz said. “Men love the school girl the most. It makes them think of ‘good girls gone bad.’”
Eric, an accounting senior who would like his last name sealed, said he would not be up for role-playing antics during sex. “I don’t know if I would ever feel comfortable dressing as someone else. Maybe it’s just me, but I think I would laugh the whole time.”
Apparently, he won’t be dating Lindsey Sikora, a psychology junior at Oakland University, anytime soon. “My boyfriend loves it when I pretend I am his babysitter,” Sikora said. “It gives him a feeling of being altogether naughty. He likes it when I say ‘It’s bedtime.’”
[three3] Some couples may not be into the idea of completely changing identities in bed but might have other fetishes. “It can indeed help a relationship, but it can also interfere,” Barratt said. “Again, it depends on the couple, how they have organized it and what they are doing.”
There is absolutely nothing wrong with experimenting with different forms of sexual play, provided both of you are content with them. In fact, bringing new fundamentals into your sexual relationship can actually improve your connection and make it healthier. It might sound like something from an adult film, but you’ll never know unless you try. Besides, it might be just what the doctor ordered.

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