Madonna In Israel
Pop music star, Madonna, arrived back in Israel to celebrate the High Holidays at a special international Kabbalah conference being held in Tel Aviv. She wasn’t alone this time, as besides arriving with her husband, Guy Ritchie (shown here with Israel President Shimon Peres), she was accompanied by an entourage of other celebrities including actress Demi Moore, actor Ashton Kutcher, and comedian Rosie O’Donnel.

Madonna appears to be getting into Kabbalistic study, and she presented President Peres with a copy of the Zohar, the ancient book of Jewish mysticism upon which the study of Kabbalah is based. Peres in turn presented her with a copy of the Old Testament Bible in Hebrew at a special reception held at his home in “Bet Hanasei” in central Jerusalem. The pop star has also become renowned for her humanitarian work, including adopting at least two children from impoverished African countries. She always wears the “Kabbalah Red String” on her left wrist, which is alleged by Kaballah believers to ward of the dangers of The Evil Eye. Her children are also seen wearing this amulet as well.

Orthodox Jews, especially ones trained in Kaballistic studies take a dim view of Madonna’s enthusiasm and even her participation as “an abomination” due to her not being Jewish, as well as her ‘interesting’ lifestyle. The singer’s fans don’t seem to mind, however; and even appear to admire her interest in this area. The other celebrities who came with her, have not appeared to get any real attention at all, including fashion designer Donna Karan, who perhaps came to become inspired to create some new fashion design that is influenced by Kabbalistic symbolism.

When questioned by reporters regarding her giving a copy of the Zohar, or Book of Splendor as it is known in English, to President Peres, she said that she was thrilled to give such a book to President Peres as it is very special to her and is “very popular in Hollywood”. She also went to say that she considers herself as “an ambassador for Judaism”.

As for Kutcher, a well known Hollywood character actor, he said that involvement in Kaballistic studies has improved his life and made him “a better actor”.

Rosie O’Donnel, who is well known for her “no holds barred” comments and ‘alternative life style’ may also be looking for some kind of inspiration to improve her life. This may also be so following her recent feud with billionaire real estate mogul Donald Trump.

Madonna, who was raised in the Roman Catholic faith, plans to stay several more days in Israel and will visit a number of sacred Kabbalah sites. She last visited Israel three years ago on a trip that was also connected with the Kaballah. She considers her visit during the Jewish High Holy Days as “a dream come true”.

The Kabbalah is a very involved study that most Jews, mostly men, only become involved in after age 40. It may be that the singing star, whose last big public appearance was in London during the recent Live Earth ecology song fest, may finally be coming to terms with her age which is “somewhere in her 40’s”. In fact, it wasn’t too long ago that she said of U.S. actress and pop singer, Cher (who herself is Jewish and now in her late 50’s), that “Cher is aging gracefully”.

Perhaps, with the help of the “Book of Splendor”, Madonna, who also calls herself by the Hebrew name of Esther, is beginning to “age gracefully” herself.