“Confessions” tour mock crucifixion. As Madonna sings the song, “Live to Tell” she is suspended from a large mirrored cross, complete with a crown of thorns, as images of the impoverished flash on giant video screens. The imagery is unquestionably interpreted as being Jesus. In fact, Rolling Stone magazine’s review of the opening proclaims in the headline: “In her first trek in two years, material girl plays Jesus, pole dancer, jockey and dominatrix.” (from The Watchman Fellowship “Madonna, It’s Not Your Cross to Bear”)
Some Israeli gays are criticizing Madonna for taking part in a conference in Tel Aviv put on by Kabbalah when Israeli leaders of the mystic Jewish sect have been vocal in their opposition to homosexuality.
Mainstream Judaism has been critical of the Kabbalah movement but Orthodox rabbis embraced Kabbalah leaders when they joined in voicing outrage over Worldpride in Israel and gay pride marches in Jerusalem.
Last year Rabbi David Basri, head of the Kabbalah’s Magen David Yeshiva in Jerusalem blamed gays for an outbreak of bird flu.
Basri said the outbreak was God’s punishment for the promotion of same-sex marriage.
“The Bible says that God punishes depravity first through plagues against animals and then in people,” Basri said in a religious edict.
In 2004 he lashed out at gays on the eve of pride celebrations in Jerusalem.
“This is not a disease or a deviation, but a straight-out abomination. Even animals don’t behave this way… There is no place in the Holy City for such a phenomenon,” he said.
Several hundred Kabbalah followers from around the world took part Thursday in Jewish New Year observances in a Tel Aviv hotel. In addition to Madonna other celebrities included Moore and her husband, Ashton Kutcher.
Madonna was raised a Roman Catholic but has become a follower of Jewish mysticism in recent years. She has adopted the Hebrew name Esther and wears a red thread on her wrist to ward off the evil eye.