For the life of me, I can’t picture Madonna in Tsfat. The Material Girl in the land of the immaterial?
Madonna’s celebrity trip is being organized by the Los Angeles Kabbalah Center, starting on Rosh Hashanah and ending on Yom Kippur.
In a parallel move, the Jewish Federation of Palm Beach is in the process of establishing its own Kaballah Center in Tsfat– one of Judaism’s four holy cities. Supported by a seed grant of $100,000 (perhaps from one of those ladies we read about before?), the federation is seeking an additional $8 million for its full establishment, including a building and programming.
But how does Madonna fit in?
“We are a public organization dedicated to developing a pluralistic center for anyone, regardless of background or religious affiliation, whereas the Kabbalah Centre is a private enterprise with a very clear profit motive,” federation representative Sharon Levin asserts.
Must we expect a celebrity contribution from Madonna that is anything but spiritual? Does every famous person that comes have to give something to Israel?
It’s hard not to look at Madonna as a dollar sign when the premise of her fame was sex and money as its baseline measurement.
What we do know about Madonna’s charitable giving is that, like Madonna, it is a bit heavy handed. At present most of her attention is focused on children in need, especially in Africa from where her son was adopted. While she does attend charity galas, she is in no way known for her giving and is far outpaced by her counterparts in this regard. Most of her recent appearances have been on behalf of the Kabbalah Center itself.
Explaining her goals for her upcoming trip, Madonna said, “We want to create peace in the world. We want to put an end to chaos and suffering. But most of all we want to put an end to hatred for no reason.”
Who could argue with that?
We don’t have enough information to go on in regard to Madonna’s intentions in Israel for the short period she will be here. Rumor* has long claimed that Madonna has long been interested in purchasing property in Rosh Pina, far to Israel’s north. (Rosh Pina lies at the entrance of Tsfat, where religious Jews believe the Messiah will return.) Lady Madonna to Giveret Esther? That should give Hezbollah a moment’s pause.
If Madonna does establish a domicile here, I am curious as to whether she will participate in the new kabbalah center established by the federation or seek spiritual counsel from the rabbis of Tsfat.
Who is to say, but I’m ready to see where this leads. Speculation can only get you so far on someone who has based her career on being unpredictable.
Now if only we could get Brittney to come– but it would probably be better if she stayed in Tel Aviv.
* Not Demi Moore’s daughter (although Moore will also be in attendance)