Reuters Article on Madonna in Israel
Pop star Madonna has been hesitant to visit Israel because of news reports about violence but has found 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 in the Holy Land on Sunday.
But the biggest danger she had faced was “a few very naughty Paparazzi waiting outside my hotel“, she told fellow followers of Kabbalah, a new age brand of the Jewish mystical belief.
Her five-day visit was marred on Friday when two of her bodyguards got into a brawl with waiting photographers at her Tel Aviv hotel.
The Catholic-born singer, who last visited Israel more than a decade ago, made her comments in a speech at a conference for Kabbalah followers.
Madonna, accompanied by her husband, film director Guy Ritchie, was visibly moved after praying at the grave of a Jewish sage in Jerusalem on Saturday night.
But she was unable to approach the Western Wall, part of Judaism’s holiest site, due to throngs of photographers.
Madonna, who recently adopted the Hebrew name Esther and wears a trademark Kabbalah red string on her wrist, has said she is serious about her belief in Jewish mysticism and is irritated by accusations her faith is nothing more than a celebrity fad.
“It is also important that all of you know that I am not here representing a religion or any religious group. I am here as a student of Kabbalah,” Madonna said.
She joined about 2,000 Kabbalists from the Los Angeles-based Kabbalah Centre to celebrate the start of the Jewish New Year.
The study of Kabbalah has become increasingly popular among celebrities, including pop singer Britney Spears and Hollywood actress Demi Moore, who also sport red strings on their wrists.
In Judaism, Kabbalah means literally “what has been handed down” – writings dating to the Middle Ages and oral teachings which are held by the faithful to describe the true nature of God and man and reveal the secrets of Creation.
Article by Natalie RothmanSource: Reuters