In Trying Times, Paterson Turns to Kabbalah Bracelet to Ward Off Trouble

Governor looks to another lifeline

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    New York Gov. David Paterson listens to a speaker during a legislative leaders budget meeting at the Capitol in Albany, N.Y., on Wednesday, June 16, 2010. Paterson has given lawmakers a June 28 deadline to complete the state budget, which was due on April 1. (AP Photo/Mike Groll)

    No one can say David Paterson's had an easy time as governor of New York.

    Perhaps that's why, some time this spring when the effort to pass the now-infamous 2011 budget became a war, he started sporting a red string kabbalah bracelet believed to bring luck to its wearers.

    "His attitude was that he'll take all the help he can get," Paterson spokesman Morgan Hook told the New York Daily News. 

    Kabbalah is a mystical branch of Judaism concerning a body of oral and written traditions which emphasize the power of words, letters and numbers in prayers and the Bible. The diverse movement dates back to Egypt and Palestine over two thousand years ago.

    "It was explained to the governor that the red string is a symbol of protection [that] wards off problems and tribulations," Hook said.  That person might have mentioned to the governor that the bracelet's supposed to be worn on the left wrist, not the right.

    Kabbalah bracelets have been popular among several celebrities, including Madonna, Demi Moore and Britney Spears.  Most recently, Alex Rodriguez was seen wearing the red string around his left wrist at a press conference about his steroid use -- right around the time rumors were flying about a possible affair with Madonna.

    Paterson's spokesman says just because the governor wears the bracelet doesn't mean he's fallen for its spiritual spell. 

    "Kabbalah didn't change his life, just to be clear here," Hook told the News.