Madonna, the Yenta Ouijazilla

maddonaThe title of Mack Hall’s essay in the Orange County News was the best thing in my inbox this morning (after the email from my mother telling me what a great kid I am). For the most part, I find the whole “isn’t celebrity kabbalah whack?” theme to be very 2004, but Madonnaesther’s recent declaration that she is an ambassador for Judaism has stirred up the pundit pot once again.

Hall starts out with the usual red string bashing (yawn), but saves himself by asking the important question:

Why is it that the rich and famous seem genetically unable to sit modestly and humbly in a pew, donate to the soup kitchen, help serve coffee after divine services, and just shut up?

The rest of the essay, particularly the last paragraph, is worth five minutes of your time – read it here.

“Lazy” Is a Virtue As A Triple Word Score

scrabbleWhat else to do on a rainy but break out the board games? I like to think of myself as a something of a spelling savant, not just because it makes me feel better that I almost failed organic chemistry my sophomore year of college but it always gives me an unfailing point of superiority over my husband. He once asked me if “really” had one “l” or two and I’ve never let him forget it.

However, because he is a cunning and merciless strategist, he has no problem beating the pants off me at Scrabble (and usually, getting my pants off is his winning agenda, hehheheheh.) The game has become a metaphor for our marriage; the struggle of the literary with the scientific, the fight over whose turn it is to do the dishes, the war-like single-mindedness of the masculine pitted against the expansive wonderment of the feminine, who revels in being able to lay “amalgam” on the board even if it’s less than 15 points.
Of course I’m not the first Jew to find deeper meaning in the game: Rabbi Naftali Silberberg espouses the kabbalistic underpinnings of those wooden letters on Chabad.org this week:

Every soul is dispatched to this world and is armed with a unique combination of letters/tiles. These “letters” are the person’s talents and abilities, strengths and weaknesses, the locale where the soul will operate, the soulmate it will marry, its health, physical appearances, and much more…It would be nice to be able to choose our tiles, but that is not an option. We must make do with what we are allocated.

Dig it. Silberberg goes on to say that we serve God best when we’re not so worried about the other players’ scores, but no one’s taunting him with a triple word score made with “zoo,” are they?

True Scrabble sycophants must watch Liz Dubelman’s “Craziest,” a brilliant VidLit describing her 321-point coup using the word and her personal connections to the deeper truths of the universe.

All I have to add is that the old school wood tiles rule so hard over the plastic jobbies they’re putting out now. And seriously, how cool are these? Is there anyone out there good enough with their aleph-bet to play the sacred game in Hebrew?

Dog of the Dead

dogFrom Ynetnews: A righteous man dies in Israel, a dog shows up on the stoop and won’t go away. Believing the pooch is seeking forgiveness for sins committed in a previous life, frum neighbors put aside the Talmud’s forbiddance of harboring barky pets and invite it to Shabbos dinner. The dog eats his meal and leaves after Kaddish. Full story.

Photo of the actual dog c/o Ynet.

Madonna Destroys Last Shred of Pop Kabbalah’s Respectability

madge and guyIt wasn’t such a big shred, neither. The Wannabe-Jew-No-One-Ever-Calls-Esther-Anymore and her husband, Guy Ritchie, have strongly urged the British government to begin neutralizing nuclear waste with Kabbalah water.

Now I’m not saying the specially blessed H2O doesn’t have the possibility of some kind of healing or cleansing properties. After all, the work of Dr. Masura Emoto has proved that the molecular structure water is much influenced by human consciousness (have you seen “What the Bleep Do We Know?” yet? It’s mind-blowing, yo.) Perhaps an especially pure water could make nuclear waste palatable enough that celebrities would agree to have it dumped in their backyards.

But for Madge and Guy to go storming into the Department of Trade and Nuclear Industries announcing that they know how to save the world — well, no one’s ever going to look into this option, are they? It their motivation is truly to help the planet, why associate their cartoon sensationalism to an alternative idea that will already be met with eye-rolling and dismissal? If Kabbalah’s intent is to rise above the ego, it’s obvious Madonna hasn’t bought the right book yet. The Belfast Telegraph quotes the usual massive egotism:

“I can write the greatest songs, make the most fabulous films, be a fashion icon and conquer the world. But if there isn’t a world to conquer, what’s the point?”

My Lord, she’s a lunatic. She’s sounding less Mother Teresa and more Michael Jackson everyday.

Chozzerai of the Week: Slatkin’s Kabbalah Candles

kabbalah candleWhen is a hunk of wax with a string down the middle worth 28 dollars? When it’s got kabbalah juju all shmushed in there, of course!

Slatkin’s Kabbalah candles are inspired by the same holy wisdom made famous by our favorite stars and each comes with its own red string. Available through the Neiman Marcus boutique, these wicked wicks…

Sigh. I know you really want me to write something terrible and sarcastic about bored, spiritually unfulfilled housewives with nothing better to spend their money on. But honestly, with scent combinations like “red frangiapani, heliotrope, musk, vanilla and creamy sandalwood” (that’s the “Spiritual Cleansing”) these just seem like incredibly lovely candles that would add nothing but good vibes to one’s atmosphere — y’know, aside from the pop religious associations.

If I didn’t have to buy diapers and the third pair of sneakers of the school year, I’d stock up, I would.

Mr. or Ms. Slatkin, if you’re out there? Listen, I’m not above shilling for free stuff. Maybe you could kick down one of those Power of Prosperity jobbies in exchange for a permanent link?

Olympic Kabbalah

sasha cohenIs that a red kabblah string on Sasha Cohen‘s wrist or is it just some fringe from the bottom of her gypsy costume?

If it was supposed to protect her from the Evil Eye, it sure worked: The petite Russian-born skater rocked the ladies’ short program last night and won a gold for the U.S. — watch the video at nbcolympics.com.

Thanks to the hawk-eyed Carol for the tip!

Madonna, Sadomasochistic Crazy Freak or Just Another Jewish Mother?

madge and lolaYes, the Yenta has slacked lately on the ridiculousity of celebrity kabbalah for the obvious reason that it’s sooo done, but I have always regarded Madonna (and yes, sometimes she is known as Esther) with a healthy respect concerning her self-proclaimed Jewishyness. I mean, she may not be playing by the traditional rules, but she’s just so darned committed when so many Jewish-born celebrities could give a sh*t, so if she wants to be one of ours, it’s ai’ight by me. And we all know how much weight that holds.

According to this article about her psycho exercise regimen, she’s already got a seriously neurotic streak:

“The truth is that she takes only Christmas Day off from the workouts,” says an associate. “If she has a bad day, she will start exercising furiously. It’s like an emotional crutch — she might have a row with Guy, for example, and her response is to start exercising like a fanatic.”

“Forget Kabbalah … exercise has always been her No.1 religion … Madonna loves to punish herself.”

What’s more, she thinks between kabblah and eating macrobiotic vegetable soup for breakfast, she can stave off menopause.

Poor Madge. All the money and fame and she’s just as scared as the rest of us to get dried up and old with chicken flap arms.

Photo of the Maddonaesther and Lourdes (or Lola) c/o Herald Sun.

Hindu Britney

britneyI happened upon an US magazine the other day at the library (okay fine, I’ll admit, I was getting my toenails done) and was just thinking how since giving birth, Britney Spears seems to have discovered a deeper skank hole than ever and fallen straight down. Quel embarrassment for the quasi-Jews!

The good news is that we no longer have to (dis)claim her as (not) one of us: MSNBC reports she’s shed the Kabbalah mantle and is now going Hindu.

Nobody’s Perfect and That’s The Way God Likes It

ugaHaving endured watching UGA’s tragic loss against West Virginia in last night’s Sugar Bowl (not to mention the steamed cat pee smell of the only sports bar in town), this Algemeiner (Yiddish for “everybody”) column called “Kabbalah and Football” seems appropriate:

A rebbetzin (rabbi’s wife) is scheduled to speak to a group of blue collar students in Southwick, MA as part of “Religious Diversity Day.” The kids know practically nothing about Judaism, and she wondered: “How could I leave them with any meaningful information beyond terms such as synagogue, rabbi, gefilte fish and matza?”

“Imagine if you will, that you are a football coach…” Read more to find out what angels and Terry Bradshaw and Earl Campbell have in common.