Wednesday, June 16, 2004

QUIEN ES LA NINA? (WHO'S THAT GIRL?)

Dear Madonna,

Who's that girl? Mom, Mystic, Material Girl? It's like I don't even know you anymore.

I remember when we first began. Didn't know how lost I was, until I found you. And you made me feel shiny and new. You were burning up, burning up with your love of Judaism, and you asked me questions till you were true blue in the face.

I answered the best I could. I issued invitations to Shabbat dinner, to which you never responded. You asked me about Kabbalah, and I told you what little I knew. I remember how the parks of New York used to be our playground. It used to be the place we ran to, whenever we were in need of a friend. Lourdes and Rocco loved our Shabbat afternoon forays to Riverside Park for lunch, and then our walk over to Central Park, where we scoped out eligible ex-yeshiva boys for me; you were always so good at identifying the "yeshiva boys gone wild," it was a talent, sheer and true.

When you asked me about the biblical significance of my name, I told you. I had no idea that "the Mother of Reinvention" was about to reinvent herself as me. Or at least, as an extreme sort of "The Swan"-like Madge-Esther hybrid.

I know you envy my freelancer's lifestyle, wherein I splurge on 1.5 liters of Diet Coke when I'm having a good income week. I know you harbor a secret desire to work for Jewish nonprofit institutions. And I know Guy won't let you switch careers and move back to New York, where you, as an artist, began. I know that's what that weird accent of yours is about: the quest for identity. I know that's the reason for your endless production of Kabbalah-related children's books, because you desperately want the chance to start over.

But be careful as you "attach yourself to the energy of a new name." Your Judaism is not my Judaism. In fact, your Judaism isn't even my Judaism's Kabbalah. You've been swallowed by the L.A. incarnation of the Kabbalah Center, and they're not any kind of Jewish that I recognize. You pray every day, but to what? In what language and using whose words?

Madge, this is my last letter. I beg of you: take some time off from the Kabbalah Center. Study with a real rabbi; although I know you'd never describe yourself as conservative, in terms of rabbis, Conservative's probably your best bet. I can recommend a few people, if you're really interested in learning about Judaism, and what Kabbalah really is.

But in all likelihood, you're not really interested. What you needed was a big strong hand to lift you to a higher ground; The Kabbalah Center came along at a time when you were looking for a values structure for your family, and you grasped at it, maybe without even thinking about what it was.

As you prepare to release your next children's book, I am preparing to release you from my life. I can't be party to your superficial minings of the more elusive elements of my religious tradition. Find yourself a new Jew guru. I'm done.

I wish you happiness, that you may truly find it somewhere beyond the cash value of it all, and the spirituality you've been craving ever since childhood. But remember the keys to spirituality: Life is a mystery. Everyone must stand alone. But then, you hear someone call your name and it feels like home.

Esther


Thanks, Karol, for bringing this latest development to my attention.

4 Comments:

At 5:53 PM, June 16, 2004, Blogger Hilary said...

That was VERY well said.

 
At 5:42 PM, June 17, 2004, Blogger Dawn Summers said...

I can't believe Madge is all coopting your faith! That sucks,
I don't know what I'd do if Madonna ever goes Roman Catholic...oh, wait...nevermind.

 
At 6:27 PM, June 17, 2004, Blogger Ken Wheaton said...

Hmmm. What's worse? Fake Kabbalah or Scientology?

 
At 11:16 AM, March 23, 2005, Anonymous Ana said...

Yes, yes, yes...
So many words that I had inside of me and could not get out because it was too painful.
So much strength and comfort with oneself that I have absorbed for years from you.
It is like I sucked your energy. I put so much attention in your moves, your words, your gestures that it's all gone.
Maybe it is just that I needed you and now I have grown and I don't need you anymore.
Maybe it is just that fame always sends you the invoice.
Esther the blogger just said loud the words I did not dare to say aloud!
I still love you, but can I get more from you?
After 18 years of inspiration I have to say bye?

 

Post a Comment

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My Urban Kvetch: QUIEN ES LA NINA? (WHO'S THAT GIRL?)

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

QUIEN ES LA NINA? (WHO'S THAT GIRL?)

Dear Madonna,

Who's that girl? Mom, Mystic, Material Girl? It's like I don't even know you anymore.

I remember when we first began. Didn't know how lost I was, until I found you. And you made me feel shiny and new. You were burning up, burning up with your love of Judaism, and you asked me questions till you were true blue in the face.

I answered the best I could. I issued invitations to Shabbat dinner, to which you never responded. You asked me about Kabbalah, and I told you what little I knew. I remember how the parks of New York used to be our playground. It used to be the place we ran to, whenever we were in need of a friend. Lourdes and Rocco loved our Shabbat afternoon forays to Riverside Park for lunch, and then our walk over to Central Park, where we scoped out eligible ex-yeshiva boys for me; you were always so good at identifying the "yeshiva boys gone wild," it was a talent, sheer and true.

When you asked me about the biblical significance of my name, I told you. I had no idea that "the Mother of Reinvention" was about to reinvent herself as me. Or at least, as an extreme sort of "The Swan"-like Madge-Esther hybrid.

I know you envy my freelancer's lifestyle, wherein I splurge on 1.5 liters of Diet Coke when I'm having a good income week. I know you harbor a secret desire to work for Jewish nonprofit institutions. And I know Guy won't let you switch careers and move back to New York, where you, as an artist, began. I know that's what that weird accent of yours is about: the quest for identity. I know that's the reason for your endless production of Kabbalah-related children's books, because you desperately want the chance to start over.

But be careful as you "attach yourself to the energy of a new name." Your Judaism is not my Judaism. In fact, your Judaism isn't even my Judaism's Kabbalah. You've been swallowed by the L.A. incarnation of the Kabbalah Center, and they're not any kind of Jewish that I recognize. You pray every day, but to what? In what language and using whose words?

Madge, this is my last letter. I beg of you: take some time off from the Kabbalah Center. Study with a real rabbi; although I know you'd never describe yourself as conservative, in terms of rabbis, Conservative's probably your best bet. I can recommend a few people, if you're really interested in learning about Judaism, and what Kabbalah really is.

But in all likelihood, you're not really interested. What you needed was a big strong hand to lift you to a higher ground; The Kabbalah Center came along at a time when you were looking for a values structure for your family, and you grasped at it, maybe without even thinking about what it was.

As you prepare to release your next children's book, I am preparing to release you from my life. I can't be party to your superficial minings of the more elusive elements of my religious tradition. Find yourself a new Jew guru. I'm done.

I wish you happiness, that you may truly find it somewhere beyond the cash value of it all, and the spirituality you've been craving ever since childhood. But remember the keys to spirituality: Life is a mystery. Everyone must stand alone. But then, you hear someone call your name and it feels like home.

Esther


Thanks, Karol, for bringing this latest development to my attention.

4 Comments:

At 5:53 PM, June 16, 2004, Blogger Hilary said...

That was VERY well said.

 
At 5:42 PM, June 17, 2004, Blogger Dawn Summers said...

I can't believe Madge is all coopting your faith! That sucks,
I don't know what I'd do if Madonna ever goes Roman Catholic...oh, wait...nevermind.

 
At 6:27 PM, June 17, 2004, Blogger Ken Wheaton said...

Hmmm. What's worse? Fake Kabbalah or Scientology?

 
At 11:16 AM, March 23, 2005, Anonymous Ana said...

Yes, yes, yes...
So many words that I had inside of me and could not get out because it was too painful.
So much strength and comfort with oneself that I have absorbed for years from you.
It is like I sucked your energy. I put so much attention in your moves, your words, your gestures that it's all gone.
Maybe it is just that I needed you and now I have grown and I don't need you anymore.
Maybe it is just that fame always sends you the invoice.
Esther the blogger just said loud the words I did not dare to say aloud!
I still love you, but can I get more from you?
After 18 years of inspiration I have to say bye?

 

Post a Comment

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