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Madonna’s Kabbalah conundrum

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Madonna seems to be facing a bit of a quandry, a contradiction, a conundrum of sorts. Boy George is calling her out for her commitment to the Kabbalah sect of Judaism. NEWS STORY

George O’Dowd, “I have a problem with Madonna’s devotion to Kabbalah, because I watched a documentary that said that Kabbalah believes that gay people are diseased and can be cured.

“She’s such a hypocrite. This is the woman who has embraced homosexuality and used it to her advantage.”

Hmm. What to think? Mr O’Dowd certainly does seem to have a reasonable sounding point. I claim no expertise on the beliefs of the Kabbalah sect specifically, but just under basic Judaic law, homosexuality is, literally, a capital crime (Leviticus 20:13).

It’s one thing if you’re a non-religious Jew, or if you are some social club liberal sect that doesn’t really, really believe. But it seems to my poor, easily confused cracker mind that it would be pretty hard to honestly square an aggressively pro-gay outlook such as Madonna certainly has with sincere belief in a religious tradition where it has been not just sinful and unacceptable, but actually punishable by death. This would apply, by extension, certainly to every liberal-minded entertainment type who has taken an interest in the Kabbalah or many other religions.

I’m not saying that she would have to become a queer bashing Fred Phelps character. However, it would seem to be incumbent that you acknowledge that according to the word of your chosen God, homosexual behavior is a grave sin. At a very BARE minimum, sincerity would seem to require that you not engage in homosexual make-out sessions with Britney Spears on live television.

Their choice would seem to come down to whether they look cooler by engaging in this deep spiritualism, or whether they fear loss of coolness by becoming anti-gay. Which is cooler, being pro-gay (seemingly an imperative in polite Western society), or being a Profound Mystic Adept?

Or, they could have their cake and eat it, too; they could just choose open hypocrisy by embracing gays AND anti-gay religions at the same time.

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  • Looks like a Madonna-fest to me. The less publicity we give this no-talent woman…the better.

  • Spiritualism is a matter of the heart, and mind – these pseudo-formalistic religions/codes/ethos are not truly spiritualistic.

    Be that as it may, asking Madonna to be personally accountable for a single element of Kaballah, is like asking the local whiskey priest to be accountable for all the killings and dicta of Christianity, or the local imam or his humble followers be no longer true to Islam because of the Taliban’s excesses

  • No Aaman, I said nothing like that Madonna should be held responsible for bad things done by followers of Yahweh. I’m saying that she SHOULD be expected to be consistent in her belief system. If she believes that Yahweh exists and sent down these holy texts, then she is bound to act accordingly.

    It’s no good to SAY that you believe in this religion and its holy books, and then conveniently hold other beliefs in clear and direct conflict with those clearly stated beliefs. Otherwise, the implication would be that you don’t REALLY believe in this stuff, but that you’re a fraudulent dilettante who just wants to look cool, or convince yourself that you’re deep.

  • Mahayana Buddhism is kinda easy that way:)

    I absolutely agree with you Al on the belief aspect – all followers of religion should be held to the same standards.

  • niclaes

    Kaballah is not a religion but a process of reflection. You cannot confuse it with Judaism.

    I any case, your debate is purely academic. I think that you thought process is wrong because all old texts in every religion say that homosexuality is wrong. It should mean that you cannot be at the same time homosexual and religious. This is ridiculous.Madonna is honest (and the greatest US Artist ever) and Boy George a jealous and unintersting loser.

  • There is an emphasis in Kabbalah on testing precepts for yourself to discover if they are true and meaningful for *your* life, similar to the Buddha’s story of the goldsmith. (And I was reading one of Berg’s other Kabbalah books last night, so this is fresh in my mind) Maybe Madonna found that being “aggressively pro-gay” is right for her. 😉

    Perhaps if you had bothered to read more about Kabbalah (or, for that matter, if Boy George had), you’d know that this is a non-issue. I suspect Boy George heard about one particular Phelps-style Kabbalah leader and painted its entire philosophy with the same misleading brush.

    Kabbalah is about doing good and right things in your life…emphasis on YOUR life…and not worrying about what other people get up to in the bedroom, or anywhere else. In fact, you’d be holding yourself back if you did. Read Berg’s “Power of Kabbalah” for more info…especially as regards the distinctions between Kabbalah and organized religion.

  • Although the punishment is prescribed in Leviticus, the Talmud expresses strong reservations about the use of capital punishment:

    In the most famous Talmudic passage related to the death penalty, Mishnah Makkot 1:10, one rabbi posited that any court which sentenced to death one man in seven years would be considered a bloodthirsty court. Rabbi Eleazar ben Azariah replied that the same would apply if even one man in seventy years were put to death.

    Whatever Madonna practices, I’d really doubt she could walk into any synagogue in the world and pray along with the congregation, as almost any adult with some elementary Jewish education can do.

    The predominant Orthodox Jewish response to homosexuality would be “It’s a sin. We don’t approve of such things” and that would be the end of the matter. Fistfights between Hasidic sects over theology you’ll see. Worrying about microscopic crustaceans in NYC water you’ll see. Worrying about “idolator” hair in wigs for married women you’ll see. It’s not an issue the Orthodox would get worked up over.

  • Sandra Smallson

    First point,Al barger, you have far too much time for a woman you have claimed many times not to appreciate or even admire in any shape or form. It is troubling as well as mind boggling. How you have managed to single her out of EVERY KABBALIST as the person who must state where she stands regarding homosexuality and what faith she chooses to practise is a mystery.

    Second point: Boy George has been sour on Madonna for so many years now, it’s old news and boring when he says anything about her. He was granted a column in the London Daily Express for some inexplicable reason and spent 60-70% of his time, making one comment or the other about Madonna. All derogatory. Mind you, he still has a huge autographed picture of her above his fireplace in his living room. The mind boggles doesn’t it?! Yah, even the anti-Madonnas are fans. I can ssure you that no boy George pics are gracing M’s toilets, let alone her living room.

    Regarding the actual matter, you can level this accusation on any and everybody. Many in the entertainment industry have huge gay following(s). Many claim to practice one form of religion. Many religions denounce homosexuality. What do you want them to do?! Diddly-squot.

    I think the reason you will find Madonna is following this Kaballah business is because it allows them to think they are in control of everything that happens to them. She refuses to call it a religion. There are no set rules which is what she hated about Catholicism. Yup..you might find she totally disagrees with the “hate gays” part of it and has somehow come to peace with that and Kaballah and feels she can still practise it. Who cares? Clearly, YOU, Al Barger..and yet you will be the first to say how irrelevant she is. It’s amazing how you don’t see the irony in such statements when you are here discussing what faith she is following. It would be hilarious if it wasn’t so predicatble of all Anti Madonna individuals.

    Madonna is very pro-gay. She signed that petition they had going last year. The message which the narrow minded refused to see in the Madge/Brit/Xtina kissing fest was approval of gay marriage. If you remmeber, she was the groom and the young lasses were the brides.

    How Madonna chooses to reconcile her pro-gay belief with her faith is quite frankly no business of yours or mine or whoever. I can’t imagine how it affects anything. If you think her a hypocrite, I know for a fact you have always thought that of her and even worse. What’s new!

    We’ve heard y’all. She is a “no talent, publicity seeking hypocritical whore”..you guys have put it in so many words for the last 20 plus years, it’s amazing you are not tired of saying the same thing. Nevermind that her very existense proves the falseness of such attacks as do all her successes especially musically. Music history is clearly judging her fairly but you and your ilk can keep throwing the same attacks..it is clear you need that. Whatever gets you and your ilk through the night is fine with Madonna fans such as myself:)

    Seriously, the woman can’t shit before Anti-Madonna individuals put pen to paper or fingers to keyboard analysing her every move.

  • Shannon, I’m just a dumb whiteboy Kentuckian, so I re-emphasize that I do not claim expertise on the Kabbalah. However, it sounds like you’re saying that the Kabbalah is not really part of Judaism, that it’s followers don’t believe in Jewish law, and that the Kabbalah philosophy pretty much comes down to ‘whatever works for you.’ This could all be true, but I’m finding it rather hard to believe.

    The Proprietor says, “The predominant Orthodox Jewish response to homosexuality would be ‘It’s a sin. We don’t approve of such things'” That would seem likely to be a reasonable response. If Madonna went just that far, I’d say she’d probably be in fair territory.

  • Al – the nonsense that Philip Berg peddles to celebrities that he calls “Kabbalah” has precious little to do with the genuine article. There is somewhat of a Jewish tradition of mysticism that does include kabbalah, which is an esoteric interpretation of the Torah based on a couple of books “Sefer Yezirah” and “Zohar”, however, this tradition dates from medieval times by most scholarly opinions (the Zohar, although written in Aramaic, shows many grammatical errors and has words from medieval Hebrew and Spanish in the text). There are other such texts such as “Tanya” (the popular name for “Likkutei Amarim”, a Hasidic text) which are similar in spirit and approach, just not as trendy. Traditionally, Jewish scholars don’t delve into these areas until they’ve become quite learned in the foundation texts.

  • Personally, I prefer the Silmarilion

  • Cynthia

    MADONNA IS definitely OVER !
    she is a miserable unofficlal spokeswomen, a dark guru for an ugly sect !
    each material bought about madge is a money for the sect !

  • Trixxy

    But what do you mean?

    Madonna is like the cammillion of the pop industry. She has so much talent and used it to hire great songwriters and to pick new personas year in and year out. She’s like amazing and I can’t even think of anyone more talented (althugh madonna passed the torch on to britney for the next generation to cherish.. did you hear about that?).

    She is so creative and smart. Even Oprah had her on her show…

    well, I’ve got to go wash the bleach out of my hair. (gawd…it’s burning. hehe.. like it soaked into my skull and brain or somthing.. hehe)

    bye.. go madonna


    I have had the pleasure of knowing both Boy George and Madonna through my work in the industry. I have worshipped both of these icons throughout my entire life and it was absolutely a joyous dream come true to finally connect with each of them personally.

    I have worked with Madonna many times now. And yes, I criticized her when she publicly supported Eminem in his use of the word FAGGOT as freedom of speech in an aggressively gay indie doco self-portrait I made called PUMPING VELVET in 2004, part of which was commissioned by Madonna herself!!!

    I am a bit surprised this is even a topic people- COME ON!!! Us kids of the 80’s have been here w/ Madge so much I’M SO BORED ALREADY. LEAVE IT ALONE ALREADY! People are ALWAYS so quick to criticize M for EVERYTHING… I’m sorry but doesn’t Catholicism also not feel so positive and welcoming about homosexuality? And she never said she wasn’t a Catholic when she was a Catholic… touring the globe with the queeniest gay boys you ever did see and causing a commotion EVERYWHERE- THAT’S MADONNA’S JOB!!! Why didn’t people ride her ass THEN about this gay thing. PLEASE TRY TO KEEP UP WITH THE TRUTHS OF THESE SAGAS… NO WONDER THE BIBLE PROBABLY GOT SO TWISTED UP IN THE RE-TELLING OVER THE YEARS… YOU GUYS CAN’T SEEM TO REMEMBER A DAMN THING PAST YESTRDAY’S BLOG COMMENT!!! JESUS LORD!

    M stated in a public press conference in Rome when the Pope banned her shows due to religious and sexual content that she was an artist expressing herself. A free thinker not afraid to trust her own intelligence enough to believe anything she needs to succeed in life and, fyi, Madonna has SUCCEEDED in ways most of us will die wishing we would!!! News FLASH haters!

    Now, being an artist working in the entertainment industry myself, at a VERY established level, I know I can always use a bit of GOD… or whatever you wanna call it… to get me through all the muck and mire that is day to day HOLLYWOOD.

    Kabbalah helps to center M in a crazy world so that she can ROCK THE HOUSE night after night in stadiums around the world on tour! If Kabbalah makes her happy and brings her and her family peace inside a probably not so peaceful life of fame and intense riches and glamour- no matter how far she’s taking it or how seriously she’s living the perfect, pious, ideal Jewish existence is REALLY AND TRULY none of any of our businesses first, and, second, I can find quite a lot of religious sinners all around me every day! That’s what confession, or personal reflection, is there for… GET IT WHILE IT’S HOT!!! IT’S ALL GOOD.



    HA HA HA… that shut you all up in a hurry- boring bloggers.

  • ihateoreilly

    Madonna is the greatest artist (not singer..ok..but performer) in the History of Pop Music. The reason people such as Boy George and Elton John criticize her is to get attention because talking about Madonna gets you front page headlines. It’s so sad, cause Boy George and Elton John have so much talent…why do they have to go so low to get publicity?

  • eron

    Madonna is sooo OVER WITH! I guess that’s why I went to her 9th Show in the NYC Area and every seat, except for maybe three in the far back behind the stage..was filled. You Madonna bashers..you need to look at yourselves more to find out WHY you are so threatened by her.

  • God

    Hee hee. I see once again that the longest posts are from the Madonna apologists who, ironically, are always claiming that she’s so strong and intelligent, blah blah blahcakes, that she doesn’t need to be defended! Keep the amusement coming, guys!

  • I’m tired of people like avidiva criticing freedom of speech. i support madonna’s support of the word faggot 100%! Video faggots like avidiva are a danger to us all.

  • Denny

    Madonna has jumped the Gay Shark – off to the old age home for saggy tits!

  • Todd

    It seems to me that most of the replies to this blog miss Barger’s homophobia. The question of Madonna’s support of homosexuality is clear – I would have thought: she pashed Britney nad Christina on MTV & her Sex book – if any of you possibly die hard christains even entertained the book and its oh so naughty shots of naked men and women OUT OF WEDLOCK – OMG!!! – would’ve noticed a number of pages dedicated to gay “gogo” dancers and gaysex!

    Madonna loves gay men and women, and rightly so, without them she probably would never have been the big mega unbelieveable SUPERSTAR she is – worthy of AVIDDIVA’s devotion.

    The reality is Madonna couldn’t care less what you think, just buy her album and shut the f#@$ up.

  • madonnahater

    madonna is full of contradictions.

    i wear my ‘I Hate Madonna’ tshirt with pride.

    I don’t own 1 Madonna cd or record and I never will.

    She is mega-tacky.

    She needs to hang up those bra straps and look after her children. You can only be a tramp for so long.

    Its a pity she didnt do more damage from that fall she had. Would have stopped us from hearing more of her pathetic rip offs like we are now.

  • Trish

    Kabbalah doesn’t oppose homosexuality. Some traditional Jewish faiths, like Christianity oppose homosexuals. I recommend that you read the chapter on homosexuality in the Kabbalah Sex book by Yehuda Berg. Unfortunately there are people who would like to misinform others about the Kabbalistic view on homosexuality. Really it’s accepted.


    i love boy george-he is real

    i love Madonna In my opinion she is kaballah butopen minded bisexual



  • Alessandro

    Nah. Don’t want to ever forget his moment on The A-Team.

  • Daren

    I am a German, and as a German whose country’s history was condemned for Nazism, I can’t agree with Madonna for going into a sect that is taken from the Torah which condemns homosexuals and mixing with Black people. Yet she goes around having lesbian affairs and openly kisses women on stage! She should not profess any faith.
    She went into a sect to make headlines with fake illuminatism. But her mystery days are over because the Jewish Torah and Kabbalah are the foundation of the katholic Bible. Therefore the religious Jews and the Nazis are two dangerous groups that live in mental illness and caused the second World War. Catholic Nazis did not read their Bible. People who do not read their religious books and profess a faith in either religion or sect are not intelligent. Madonna isn’t intelligent and she hoggs people up when you tell her she is wrong. Thats why Guy Richie left her!
    Original liberal Kha’Bha’Allah is from ancient Egypt and is older than the Jews, Moslems and Copts and doesn’t use any book excepting esotherics,so Madonna is embarrassed by Stunny Pharouk for exposing that all races existed in Egypt and that homosexuality is normal and the most principal part of 5 sexualities.


    Kabbalah is not Jewish.
    Jewish rabbis, studied Kabbalah.

    People fail to understand that Kabbalah is ancient wisdom (not a Jewish sect, Hollywood publicity stunt, or a hoax) REAL people studied Kabbalah- Einstein, Davinci, Michelangelo…

  • STM

    I’d love to spend $100 on a piece of red, woollen string.

    Actually, I’d like to be the person SELLING the string.

  • tomtruly

    Madonna IS GOING TO BE kidnapped and injected with heroin till dead! She doesn’t believe it will happen, but it just might.

  • MommyTommy

    Madonna is already being injected with a nuclear substance called botox and it really has made her ill so if this Stunny Pharouk is a real person then I believe he more helped her than harm her. She isn’t smart these days but i also don’t think she is stupid, its all confusing I’m sure.