Put an end to hatred for no reason
Madonna has called for world peace during her five-day pilgrimage to the Holy Land.
Accompanied by her British husband Guy Ritchie, the 46-year-old was in Israel to practise her new-found faith in the mystical Jewish Kabbalah.
Israel hopes the star, the biggest pop celebrity to visit in years, will revive tourism battered by four years of violence.
Madonna, who recently adopted the Hebrew name Esther, wore a diamond initial “E” necklace and a protection red string on her wrist.
She met Jewish and Arab Israeli children met Madonna at a Kabbalah convention in Israel as part of her five-day pilgrimage to the Holy Land.
“I have held hands and sung and danced and prayed with Sufis, Christians, Jews, Muslims and Druze, old, young, rich, poor, famous,” she said.
“Well I didn’t actually meet that many famous people and not so famous but we all have one thing in common, 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.”
“I know there are a lot of powerful people out there tonight; people of influence, people with important jobs, people with money, people with the ability to effect change in the world, people who are capable of giving these children a better future. “So I’m here to ask this one question – what are you waiting for?”
Kabbalah teaches that Creation is made of ten “spheres”, each of which is symbolised by a different Hebrew letter and part of the human body.
The couple’s first stop was the grave at a Jewish cemetery of Rabbi Yehuda Ashlag, who established Kabbalah.
Orthodox Jews have argued that it is purely dogma and Madonna is said to be irritated by accusations her faith is nothing more than a celebrity fad.
The singer had been hesitant to visit Israel because of ongoing violence but said the biggest danger was “a few very naughty Paparazzi”.
“‘To be perfectly honest I was a bit hesitant to come here after seeing so many news reports about terrorist attacks and reading countless travel safety warnings,’ she said.