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August 31, 2009

Sefat Chief Rabbi Asks Madonna To Perform In Modest Clothes

Madonna300 Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu asks Madonna to "act in accordance with Kabbalah's values."

Safed rabbi asks Madonna to 'perform in modest clothing'
On eve of her two Holy Land concerts, queen of pop receives surprising letter from Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu, who urges her to act in accordance with values of Kabbalah

Kobi Nahshoni • Ynet

While she surely receives thousands of letters a day from fans, a letter like this Madonna likely wasn't expecting. Safed's rabbi, Shmuel Eliyahu, has sent a personal letter to the international pop Madonna300 star who landed in Israel on Saturday night, urging her to honor the Holy Land and wear modest clothes while performing in Tel Aviv on Tuesday and Wednesday.

According to the rabbi, the way Madonna's concerts are marketed in Israel does not match the values of Kabbalah, which she is so well identified with. On behalf of many who believe in those values, he asks her to respect them.

The rabbi began his letter to "Mrs. Madonna Louise Ciccone" by welcoming her to Israel and its holy sites.

"Many people have been waiting for your arrival," he wrote. "I assume you have also been waiting for the moment you would set foot on the Holy Land – the land where the wisdom of Kabbalah was discovered, the enchanting wisdom you have so much respect for."

The rabbi went on to say that "in this time in history many are making efforts to study the wisdom of Kabbalah, including you, and many are trying to adopt its customs… You are about to perform here in the coming week in front of an audience of thousands of people. The ads announcing your concert decorate newspapers and billboards here. One cannot escape them. The way you are being marketed is not, in any way, in line with Kabbalah, with Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai, with internal enlightenment and with faith and love."

According to Rabbi Eliyahu, the powers hidden in exposing a woman's body do not honor her, Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu black hat but "may raise the lust instead of raising the love – and that's a shame."

He said it was important to intensify and strengthen love, the connection and loyalty between a man and his wife, and added that men looking at other women are only hurt by it. "It doesn't do well to the home, doesn't do well to the family and doesn't strengthen the children – and this is definitely not something you want.
   
"I appeal to you on behalf of many people who appreciate the wisdom of Kabbalah, who appreciate the faith," the rabbi concluded. "I appeal to you on behalf of all the people who would really like to see a better world, who would like to fix the world with deeds rather than just with words. I ask you, on their behalf, to honor this place with modesty, to honor the land you are stepping on.

"We have reason to believe that you are sensitive enough to accept our request. We have reason to believe that you really want to bring good to the world, that you don't settle for talking or singing about it, that you want the good here, in real life. We will greatly appreciate your respect to the Land of Israel in a more modest performance."

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if he cannot stop Madonna from coming to Israel how can he stop the swine flue from coming to Israel

This guy seems to be a bigger wako then Madonna. The question is which one of them needs to be distaned from Israel first?

I am not sure why one needs to vent vitriol on this Rabbi. I believe his letter was from the heart and a respectful plea for her to uphold the values of modesty, appealing to her in a manner that may resonate with her.

Especially the costumes for the songs Like a Betulah and Material Maidel.

I don't see what was wrong with his letter. He was being polite about it and she kind of asked for it getting into the kaballah nonsense anyway.

He's kinda right. If you're going to tote a Kabbalah around and don Hebrew tattoos (another story, I guess), then quit being a hypocrite and live the life, no?

I happen to agree that dressing like trailer trash or a professional prostitute just shows that a woman entertainer's talent is insufficient. And certainly a woman of her age should be well past needing to strip in public to entertain her audience if her talents are legitimate. The fact that she continues to think she has no value as an entertainer unless her whole body is on display is a sad commentary - both on her own deep seated insecurities and on the society that encourages such behavior. Madonna clearly does not understand real Kabbalah, or even real self-esteem. (For example: You don't notice barbara streisand prancing around like that, and her talent is undeniable - and she makes plenty of money.)

Madonna is many things, chief among them being a master of self-promotion and periodic professional reinvention. That's what it takes to be a success in show business. But a whacko? Not so much.

The Rabbi has a point. If you're going to make Kabbalah part of your life it's only right to show a little respect for the tradition when you're doing a show in its homeland. If the excerpt is representative he makes the point in a positive manner, very reasonable, not bullying or overly preachy.

i think Modanna should make a deal with im. She wear sniute clothing and he wears her stainless steal bullet bra !

Why cant he just not go to the concert ?

Madonna is an international, pop star; furthermore, it is not in her BEST BUSINESS INTEREST to dress modestly (as defined by R. Eliyahu). I am sure that his perspective of modesty is different from her perspective of modesty; therefore, one can argue that it might be impossible for both of them to compromise on this issue. I strongly believe that R. Eliyahu and all the other MO & ultra-orthodox Jews need to back off Madonna. There are far more other important issues that need to be addressed instead of MADONNA'S WARDROBE!! Madonna is a FULL GROWN WOMAN who can dress however she pleases to dress and she does not need ANYBODY'S PERMISSION!

Yakira he got your attention which is what most Rabbis do before they give a droshah

i would like to be adopted by madonna.

I think the religious response here was pretty tame as compared with, say, Poland, where they threatened riots and street demonstrations:

Lech Walesa aveva dettato la linea già più di un mese fa: il concerto di Madonna a Ferragosto (festività dell'Assunzione in cielo della Madonna, quella vera) è una provocazione satanica, e va boicottato. Detto e fatto: la Polonia cattolica si è mobilitata contro il concerto blasfemo di Varsavia.

If the great Rabbi thinks her performance will be inappropriate then maybe he should encourage his followers not to attend! So if the men can't attend, surely they would not let the women see such an independent star either. She might as well stay home! I'm sure her idea of modesty is light years away from his!

"it is not in her BEST BUSINESS INTEREST to dress modestly (as defined by R. Eliyahu). "

I dunno, it would sure get a lot of attention.

Also, I suspect M could manage to stay within the four cubits ot tziniut (long sleeves, skirts below the knee, etc) and STILL manage to subvert it all.

Everyone is so busy with this letter, and somehow we ignore something even more than that. A powerful and dangerous weapon as Kabbalah in the hands of.......MADONA?????

Scares the crap out of me.

I think the rabbi wrote a very nice letter and hopefully Madonna will take his advice. I found it interesting that rather than saying that she is some sort of horrible person who should not defile the holy land with her odious presence, he seems to speak respectfully to her and to her purported sensibilities. He is recognizing the reality that the world is more interested in what she has to say than in what he and his colleagues have to say, and is making the most of the situation. Kol hakavod.

Rav Shmuel Eliyahu is using the typical Sefardic approach ie. you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.

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