What can I say, this week I plan to be in synagogue essentially beseeching GOD to forgive my trespasses.

Ah yes, I still recall how just a few days ago I said in a different prayer, “Uteshuva, utefilla, utzedakah maavirin et roa hagzerah.” Roughly translated, this means that if we should repent, pray and be righteous/generous benefactors to those who need, then the harshness of GOD’s decree with respect to our lot in life – including the possibility of death – will be mitigated.

We then enter the period of the ten Days of Awe culminating in Yom Kippur’s Kol Nidre and the remainder of the Day of Atonement as we hope that GOD will seal us “well” in his petite but handy BOOK (does GOD write from left to right or right to left?).

Now if you had the week I just had, you would be wondering whether GOD has it in for The Middle and is about to launch some whoop-ass his way; wants to help The Middle but first make sure The Middle remain anxious – and very humble – about the future; or simply wants to further confuse The Middle with respect to his entire already shaky foundation of faith.

But I digress.

I really just wanted to tell you that Ma’ariv has published a report that some Safed (Tzfat) rabbis who specialize in the study of Kabbalah are plenty angry with Esther Madonna for a song in her upcoming new album “Confessions on a Dance Floor.” The song is called “Isaac” and it is not at all about Isaac Ben Lolo, the erstwhile friend of ck, but rather it is about the fabled 16th Century Kabbalist Isaac Luria.

Madge Yup, some rabbis cannot imagine the lithe, scantily-clad, Madonna standing on a stage or a recording studio singing about their beloved master.

Or perhaps they can imagine this and are somewhat upset by the image. Worse, without even having heard it, they presume the song is going to defile his memory and that, in fact, there is no place in song generally for a pure master such as Rabbi Luria.

I don’t know why they’d think an album with the name “Confessions on a Dance Floor” isn’t going to offer demure and mellifluous songs like those we would expect from Barbra Streisand or Tammy Faye Baker. I mean, I’m positive the album will put people to sleep.

StreisandSo anyhoo, some reporter from Maariv had a slow day and decided to visit a couple of these rabbis. At least I hope that’s what happened because the alternative is that the Tzfat Rabbinical Council sent a press release to Ma’ariv. Nah, that would never happen. A newspaper printing a press release as a news story? Impossible!

So yeah, they’ve got a couple of rabbis on record saying nasty things about the queen of, uh, pop music. First, Rabbi Israel Deri, who seems to have some important job handling important religious issues, recommended Madonna be cast out and ostracized from the Kabbalah community.

😆 AS IF!

Then, Rabbi Rafael Cohen who heads a yeshiva named after Luria, suggested that,”

“חל איסור הלכתי לעשות שימוש בשמו של האר”×™ הקדוש לשם עשיית רווחים. המעשה שלה פשוט לא מתאים, ולא נותר לי אלא לרחם

עליה בגלל העונש משמים שהיא תקבל. האר”×™ הוא קדוש וטהור, ואנשים לא צנועים לא יכולים לשיר עליו

Translation: “It is absolutely halachically forbidden to use the name of the holy ARI (Luria) in order to create profits. Her action is simply inappropriate and I can do nothing but feel pity for [Madonna] because of the punishment from the heavens that she will receive. The ARI is holy and pure, and people who are not bearers of tzniut may not sing about him.”

Don’t worry yourselves too much about this, folks. The forward march of pure and holy Kabbalah drinking water (which I believe is filtered and bottled somewhere in Ontario and therefore must be quite healthy and transformative, and I say this having seen dead fish wash up on Lake Ontario’s beaches) is certain to continue.

Original Ma’ariv article in Hebrew.

AP article about the article in English.

About the author



  • No fair. Everyone knows I’m the official Madonna News Correspondent for Jewlicious. If I didn’t have five deadlines before midday, I’d sue.

  • The ‘original’ hebrew article is a typical ‘little on fact, large on drama’. Valid blog post, but as always you turn on the Rabbis who were relegated to bad sound bites I assure you. Real Rabbis, don’t give a crap about some shiksa at a rock concert.

  • And BTW, I saw an article about this last week, but Rabbis Disapprove of Madonna’s Music just didn’t strike me as news. What next? Rabbis Disapprove of Madonna’s Fashion Choices? Whateva.

  • It’s not such a big deal anyway ’cause no one buys her albums. Oh, they used to back in the day, I’m sure. But not anymore. Now she’s just an “icon.”

  • nice post, but we’ve got to teach you how to add photos and make them look pretty (or at least not skewed)

  • Josh, who said this was news? And who is taking it seriously? Thankfully, you did acknowledge this is a “valid” blog post. You could have said “vapid.”

    Esther, I apologize if I usurped your Madonna Monopoly, it’s just that whenever I write about politics, people get pissed off. I thought I’d see what happens when you put up images of bare-shouldered divas and of two women kissing each other on a stage. So far, I have to say that I see more political and fewer (un)cultural posts in my future.

  • Laya, darling, I need to get a hold of Michael. His blessed luggage finally made it from Chicago to Newark this morning. I spoke to a guy named Tony from El Al this morning (who sounded oddly like Tony) and he is waiting for my call with Michael’s telephone # so they can deliver his farshlagene luggage with proper fanfare. Can you or someone e-mail me Michael’s tel#, cos Tony is a busy guy and ain’t got all day, capice? Please e-mail to dlpacken@gmail.com.

    And thank you for taking care of my boy.

  • he is on his way over to my house right now for tofu and broccli stir fry. when he gets here i will have him call you, but in the mean time, i believe he got a phone today and its 052 420 1074.

  • Now ya telling me… Anything else I need to know to prevent future calamity?

  • Middle, no worries. All is forgiveness this week. Michael has a phone, will call his mother, and will be well-fed by Laya. All is right with the world.

  • Plus, Nice Jewish Girl finally kissed a man.

    Michael’s Mother, of course there are edited by TheMiddle because it’s not fair to Michael’s mom! other things that can be done to prevent future calamity, but I just can’t think of any right now.

    Okay, okay, I apologize for that right now, even as I post it.

  • “forbidden to use the name to create profits!” Ha! Have you seen the tourist trade up in Tzfat based on Luria? They are selling everything from ashtrays to shotglasses with his name on it. They just don’t want the pop diva encroaching on their marketshare.

  • TM, I’m gonna get back at you later :-).

    Here’s the deal: Michael doesn’t have to call me at work.

    I just spoke with my best pal Tony–the bags are in the hands of security and there are two scenarios (so far):
    1. Security x-rays and rummages through the bags and sends them off today on a passenger flight, in which case they will arrive in TA tomorrow morning.
    2. Lazy-ass security does not get to the bags today, in which case Tony will have to send the bags (while I’m holding my breath) to JFK where they will undergo utmost scrutiny and then be loaded onto a cargo plane, which may take a day or two for them to arrive (or, rather, never be seen again).

    In any case, they will be delivered to Laya’s address.

    My sweetheart Tony will call me later in the day as to which scenario took place.

  • Would someone explain why I have to keep readjusting the images in my own post? How about sending an email saying, “would you like those two chicks separated by a paragraph, or did you purposely juxtapose the images because it amuses you?” I promise to answer honestly.

  • Why not just have ck give you a posting photos 101 course over the phone? Sure, it’s not as exciting as accounting school, but its still a good skill to have.

  • Because I was happy with the way the pics were set up?

    After the initial adjustments were made by someone else, presumably you, Laya, I went back in and re-adjusted the images’ location back to my preferences. Now if there’s an html reason to separate the photos or not have that last little one at the very bottom, I guess there’s something more to learn here. But ultimately I was happy.

    And you can’t buy happiness.

  • Thanks Tzfatdiva. I seem to recall that the Baba Sali used to sell tap water he blessed by the bottle. I wonder how it tasted.

  • And at Chaim Yisrael concerts, there is usually someone from Lev L’Achim selling wine blessed by Rav Kaduri. They make us buy a certain number of bottles before he’s allowed back on stage. All sorts of promises of health, wealth, and straight frum kids are made.

    It may be popalicious, but it sells.

  • Is that Chaim Yisrael or Chaim Dovid. I don’t see the harm is selling that stuff myself. I believe there is a tradition of this sort of thing in both Eastern Europe and Morrocco.

  • Chaim Yisrael — Yeminite pop star. My teenager introduced us to his music, and we love it.

    I don’t see any harm either, buyer beware, as long as you don’t really believe that it causes miracles. Only G-d makes miracles.

  • Madonna’s act reminds me of Lilith, the first wife of Adam, who was bad tempered and finally spelled the true name of God.(Schem ha mephorasch) After this she fled to Egypt and started giving birth to demons. As a fan for Kabbala M also propably knows this one, and that ‘Lilith’ is for example the name of a current jewish feminist magazine published in New York. Rabbi Isaac Luria initiated ascetic-phonetic direction,(Ari, Adonenu Rabbi Jizchak) and a whole great scholarship in interpreting Zohar. So it’s quite obvious where M is fishing nowdays. BR Mika

  • In tracking Madonna’s motive we have only a couple of known(historical) facts which also M is aware of. ARI didn’t write down his teachings at all. So he’s an easy target for anybody trying to color him with something extra to white and blue. ARI’s teaching scoped to the correct way of studying the holy writings. M has also earlier shown interest in touching the mental states of ‘those concerned’(people in her lyrics) and supernature. If ARI has available some lyrics written by M, he will propably comment that there is very little of sephirot to be found in those. Greed seems to be present instead. Call me Esther and I’ll clean the floor with your holy writings. BR Mika

  • To tsfatdivas question, if anybody had seen the lyrics i also have to say that this song is not visible on any sites with lyrics. There are though other songs of this cd, but this one is missing.(!?) The song can however be heard on some sites.

    BR Mika