Madonna Says she is an an ambassador for Judaism


Madonna, the woman with an ego that knows no bounds, has declared herself “an Ambassador for Judaism.” I’m pretty sure most people consider her an ambassador for narcissistic personality disorder, but don’t ever say that to Madonna or her red string bracelet. Madonna took a trip to Israel for Rosh Hashanah, along with husband Guy Ritchie, Rosie O’Donnell, Demi Moore, Ashton Kutcher, and Donna Karan. If Ashton Kutcher doesn’t lend legitimacy to the stars’ love of Kabbala, I don’t know what does.

“Madonna and husband Guy Ritchie rang in the Jewish new year with Israeli President Shimon Peres and declared herself an ‘ambassador for Judaism,’ local newspapers reported Sunday. The singer arrived in Israel on Wednesday, the eve of Jewish new year, to attend a conference on Kabbalah, a form of Jewish mysticism.

The 49-year-old Material Girl met Peres at his Jerusalem residence on Saturday evening and the two exchanged gifts. Peres gifted Madonna with a lavishly bound copy of the Jewish Bible. She gave Peres a volume of The Book of Splendor, the guiding text of Kabbalah, inscribed ‘To Shimon Peres, the man I admire and love, Madonna,’ the Yediot Ahronot daily reported.

“‘You don’t know how popular the Book of Splendor is among Hollywood actors,’ Madonna told Peres, according to the Yediot. ‘Everyone I meet talks to me only about that. I am an ambassador for Judaism.’”

[From Us Weekly]

Um… yeah. Too many ways to mock. Can’t choose. Hurting brain. So let’s talk about people’s reactions in Israel. They’re not too pleased. Kabbala is only supposed to be taught to Jews. Madonna is not Jewish and has never converted. It’s also only supposed to be taught to strictly adherent Jews, generally Orthodox Jews, who have learned the Talmud backwards and forwards (so to speak… if you’re Jewish, you get the joke) and meticulously follow all of the commandments. So Madonna – and I’m guessing most of Hollywood – is pretty much out. A lot of rabbis have been pretty offended by her inclusion in Kabbala in general, and her flouting the rules of the religion. Her stupid quotes don’t help either.

“Orthodox teachers of Kabbala reacted with disdain Sunday to pop idol Madonna’s Rosh Hashana visit in Israel, during which she took part in a study session of Judaism’s most esoteric texts. ‘It is a known fact in Kabbala that impurity and evil are inherently attracted to sanctity,’ said a director of one of the most respected Kabbala yeshivot in Jerusalem who preferred that he and his institution remain anonymous.

“‘That’s why people of Hollywood, a place of iniquity and lasciviousness, are naturally attracted to the holiness of Kabbala.’ The director of the yeshiva said he was explaining a basic Kabbalistic concept according to which ‘sparks’ of holiness tightly connected to ‘shells’ of impurity are waiting to be let free. These ‘shells’ [klipot] are naturally attracted to their polar opposite – holiness.

“Rabbi Yitzhak Batzri, son of Jerusalem-based kabbalist David Batzri, head of the Shalom Yeshiva, said that it was forbidden to teach Kabbala to non-Jews such as Madonna.”

[From The Jerusalem Post]

Did he just call Madonna evil? I think he just called her evil! And I laughed and agreed. I think it’s great to be interested in other religions, and there’s a lot we all can learn by exploring them. But it’s incredibly important to be respectful of that religion’s rules. If Judaism strictly states that you have to be a strictly adherent Jew to read the kabbalist texts, than it’s important to respect that. I live in a Orthodox/Hassidic community in New York, and though I’m not Jewish, I can’t help but respect their piousness. It annoys me that I can’t shop on Saturdays… or this past week because of Rosh Hashana… and some other dates I never know about until I walk to the grocery store and find it’s closed… but it’s a nice place to live, and it’s interesting to see people constantly reading the Talmud on the subway instead of reading Hustler. I don’t quite understand why Madonna hasn’t converted, but it’s none of my business and she doesn’t have to explain her spirituality to the rest of us. I do think it’d be nice if she made it a little more personal and a little less commercial though.

Picture note by JayBird: Here’s Madonna’s exercising with her famous red string bracelet. Images thanks to PR Photos. Header image of Madonna and Guy Ritchie meeting Israeli President Shimon Peres in Jerusalem on Saturday. Images thanks to WENN.


You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

Comments are Closed

We close comments on older posts to fight comment spam.