Thursday, September 30, 2004

Entertainers are often more entertaining when they do not intend to be than when they do. For example, I do not have any interest in the music of Madonna. I am interested in her as a cultural phenomenon. That is, I am interested in why other people like her and how she reacts to that and what that means about the heart of men and women.

You may know that Madonna's lastest fad is a religion of sorts. She embraced Kabbala, the mystical branch of Judaism. It is perfect for show business folks, for it is mysterious and you have to go someplace special to learn about it, and if you get special knowledge it makes you better than everyone else, which makes it perfect for show business people.

Most show business people, and many Americans of all stripes, embrace things by incorporating some small part of it into their lives. They may never read the book or learn the rules, but will calls themselves followers based on an article in a magazine saying some actor embraced it.

Madonna actually went to Israel and spent some time with a mystic rabbi. Now, she has adopted a new name to reflect her new identity. Her new name is Esther. That is very funny.

Why is it funny? Because Esther is not a Jewish name. It is a Persian name. Remember how the Jews were conquered by the Babylonians, then the Babylonians were conquered by the Persians? Well, you, as the "conqueree", often had to adopt a name in the culture in which you lived, even if your family called you by your Jewish name.

That is the case with the young woman in the Bible. Esther 1:7 says about Mordecai, "he was bringing up Hadassah, that is Esther, his uncle's daughter, for she had neither father nor mother." The beautiful Jewish girl that won the heart of the Persian king was named Hadassah among the Jews. Her Persian name was Esther.

Maybe Madonna could record a song "Walk Like A Persian" or something, in honor of her new name and identity.
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