Spiritual girl

Madonna said set to visit Israel for Shavuot

Singer, who also uses the unofficial name ‘Esther,’ won’t perform but will reportedly visit the graves of rabbis affiliated with the mystical Kabbalah movement

Illustrative: US pop singer Madonna performs during a concert in Tel Aviv, September 1, 2009. (Amir Meiri/Flash90)
Illustrative: US pop singer Madonna performs during a concert in Tel Aviv, September 1, 2009. (Amir Meiri/Flash90)

Pop superstar Madonna is set to visit Israel this weekend for the Jewish festival of Shavuot, though she will not perform during the private trip, according to Hebrew media reports

The singer, who unofficially added “Esther” to her name in 2005 and marks some Jewish festivals though she isn’t Jewish, will reportedly visit the grave of her spiritual leader, Rabbi Philip S. Berg, as well as that of the 16th century mystic rabbi Isaac ben Solomon Luria Ashkenazi (known in Hebrew as Ha’Ari Hakadosh).

Shavuot begins on Thursday at nightfall and continues until Friday evening.

The singer, 64, does not perform on Friday nights and Saturdays because of Shabbat and has declared Israel “the energy center of the world.”

Madonna owns a home in Tel Aviv. She has performed three concerts in the country.

In 2019, when Israel hosted the Eurovision Song Contest, Madonna arrived to participate and performed two of her songs, drawing criticism for her singing and for injecting politics by displaying the Israeli and Palestinian flags on the backs of two of her dancers.

The European Broadcasting Union quickly released a statement saying that the Israeli and Palestinian flags in Madonna’s performance were not approved.

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