Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Mystic Tackles Madonna, Figuratively Speaking 

MSNBC reports a leading Kabbalistic Rabbi has a few very choice words for Madonna and her latest mystically inspired song:

The 'Confessions on a Dance Floor' collection includes a song titled 'Isaac' -- in reference, entertainment media say, to Rabbi Isaac Luria, founder of the Kabbalah school of mysticism which counts Madonna, 47, as one of its devotees.

The custodians of Luria's tomb and seminary in the northern Israeli town of Safed accused her of breaking a taboo.

'There is a prohibition in Jewish law against using the holy name of our master, the Sage Isaac, for profit,' the seminary's director, Rabbi Rafael Cohen, told the Israeli newspaper Maariv on Sunday.
Hmmm. That first part kind of makes sense, when Rabbi Cohen wards off Madonna's impurity by declaring Sage Isaac's "holy name" off-limits.

But then he throws in the words "for profit." I can only speculate what Madonna, having fought her way to the top of the media mountain, will make of those two little words. She might wonder what would happen if she were to, oh let's just say for instance, donate all of the "profit" to this or that appropriate charity -- one that lived up to Rabbi Cohen's expectations of holiness. Would her use of the Sage's "holy name" suddenly be sanctioned, since it would no longer be "for profit"?

Stranger things have happened in Madonna's world.

And would she bother paying her way to legitimacy? After all, I don't think the mega-rich, super-successful Ethereal Girl is recording a tribute song to her 16th-century Rebbe in order to make scads of extra cash. Even if she were, would she believe that securing Rabbi Cohen's blessing would have the slightest influence on her album-buying public?

But crass as it may sound, I suspect Madonna's intentions here are relatively pure, even if not totally grounded in a traditional Jewish view of Kaballah. So you never know, she might see some value in reassuring Rabbi Cohen she is not motivated here by profit -- assuming that really is the issue. She might consider a well-placed donation to be a virtuous act.

Then again, she might just answer the Rabbi in song:

Rabbi Don't Preach

Rabbi I know you’re going to be upset
’cause Ari was always your little world
But you should know by now
I don't have cooties

Don't try to teach me right from wrong
You need my help, Rabbi play along
I may be just a tart
But I know what I’m singing

The one you warn me all about
The name you said I should do without
We're gonna awesome bless, just ask Ashton and Demi - please


Rabbi don’t preach, I’m no troubled sheep
Rabbi don’t preach, I'm not losing sleep
But I made up my mind, I’m keeping my Rebbe, oh
I’m gonna keep my Rebbe, mmm...

You say that you're going to harry me
But profits come so very easily
Maybe a fee's all right
It’s no sacrifice

But your friends keep praying that I'll give it up
Saying I’m all tongue, I ought to zip it up
What we need right now is some tax advice, please


Rabbi, Rabbi if you could only see
Just how good is entreating me
You’d ask for my blessing right now
’cause red thread is enough, red thread is enough, so please


Rabbi don’t preach, I’m no troubled sheep
Rabbi don’t preach, I'm not losing sleep

Oh, I’m gonna keep my Rebbe, ooh
Don’t stop promoting me Rabbi
I know, I’m keeping my Rebbe

If you really, really liked this -- or even really, really hated it -- there's lots more: