MADONNEWS CENTER UPDATE 2
Guess Who's Coming to (Rosh Hashanah) Dinner?
Ha'aretz reporter Sarah Bronson reports that the L.A.-based Kabbalah Center has booked 950 rooms and a huge ballroom to serve as a synagogue at the Tel Aviv Intercontinental Hotel and the Dan Panorama Hotel from September 15-26.
Dude, Where's My Blonde Ambition and Boy Toy-Loving Actress?
While there was no confirmation that Madonna, Demi and Ashton would be among the 2,000 tourists expected on the tour, it was confirmed that the group would include fashion designer Donna Karan and whatever-she-is-now Marla Maples.
Like an Orthodox Prayer
Yes, Madonna--there is a mechitzah (partition between the men and women during a prayer service). Prayer services for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur will "be conducted with all the trappings of Orthodox Jewish practice" but with added opportunities for reflection and meditation, as well as ongoing explanations of each ritual, like the blowing of the chauffeur. (Oops, I meant "shofar"...)
Of course, if this were a real Orthodox-sponsored program, women wouldn't be allowed anywhere near the Kabbalah and men under a certain age without children would be similarly dissuaded from mystical study.
Forgives Like Chicken
The article further notes that the group does plan to do "kaparos" while it is there. For those of you who have never witnessed the ritual, it "symbolize(s) the removal of sin from oneself and inspire(s) inner reflection and repentance." The traditional kaparos ritual involves the swinging of a live chicken in a circle over your head as you recite the words. I only witnessed this once, and it was enough for me, as it ends in the beheading of the chicken, which (it's true), does continue to move after it has been decapitated, and giving it to the poor for food. An alternate form of the ritual calls for you to swing money over your head in place of the avian, and give the money to charity. In either case, the important thing is the reflection, the repentance, and the giving to charitable causes.
To the staff* at My Urban Kvetch, kaparos for 2,000 Kabbalah followers in Tel Aviv seems an overwhelmingly appropriate metaphor for what we know about the Kabbalah Center movement and their ability to influence otherwise intelligent people** to run around like chickens right after their heads have been removed from their bodies.
Plus, it means 2,000 less chickens at Tel Aviv branches of KFC.
* My Urban Kvetch staff consists of Me, Myself, and I.
**Argue all you want about Britney's capacity for intelligent discourse. But Ashton studied electrical engineering before he became a model/actor. And say what you want about the former Material Girl, but Madge is one smart businesswoman--she's a strategist, above all else, and that she's been with Kabbalah so long is either the smartest reinvention yet, or a truly lobotomizing experience.