Sunday, October 9, 2005

Ka-Blah-Blah, Madonna, Yada Yada Yada

KabbalahMadonna.gifThe true Kabbalists are mad at Madonna. Inevitably they are in the age-old catch 22, that, by condemning her song, they bring more attention to it and make it more successful. When I was about 13, visiting my grandmother, she told me that she had opened a copy of "Catcher in the Rye" and found 13 "goddamn's" on one page, so she closed up the book and perused it no more. I bought that book in the airport on the way home from my visit. Maybe these mystics hope that their criticism will cause more people to try and find out what Kabbalah is truly about and whether you need an "h" on the end of it or not (I don't know much about Kabbala and can't say if this is a good explanation or not) .
But I doubt that. Jews are not about PR so much - not like Christianity. Christianity has Mormon missionaries, Jehovah's Witness travelling salespeople, TV evangelists, and the retail industry from October through December. Christians believe it is important to convert people in order to save them (a very well-meaning motive). Jews go the other way, supposedly, based on the story of Ruth, trying three times to discourage converts. A rabbi must tell such a person that 1) we don't really control the world money supply, we spent it all on bar mitzvah parties (though we don't really encourage such lavishness). 2) you really don't want to give up bacon. 3) you will not exactly be admired for your choice (see the link under number 1)
Originally, Jews were big into conversion. Abraham, after all, had to build a nation. But instead of offering things like Christmas presents and Easter baskets, he had a travelling circumcision show. Not such a big draw.
Anyway, I seem to have digressed from focusing on Madonna. Ah, not focusing on Madonna - that should be in vogue.