>>> The News: JAY KAY!
By staff writer Amir Blumenfeld
September 15, 2004

The real news (for boring people)
The breakdown (for college people)

Madonna to Visit Israel on Spiritual Quest
By JOSEF FEDERMAN, Associated Press Writer

JERUSALEM – Madonna is coming to the Holy Land. The pop diva, a student of Jewish mysticism, was headed to Israel on a spiritual quest for the Jewish New Year, which begins at sundown Wednesday.

Jesus, I'm Israeli AND Jewish and all I'm doing for Jewish New Year (Rosh Ha'shana) is eating beef jerky and listening to Madonna's “Immaculate” album. I guess it evens out.

Her five-day visit, which includes trips to graves of rabbinical sages, brought a diversion to a country normally focused on the conflict with the Palestinians. Israelis reacted with a mix of excitement, bewilderment and anger.

That wasn't bewilderment. When they were shouting “Who's that girl?” they were just singing one of her songs.

Madonna isn't Jewish but has taken an interest in Kabbalah, or Jewish mysticism, in recent years. She has adopted the Hebrew name Esther, wears a red thread on her wrist to ward off the evil eye, and reportedly refuses to perform on the Jewish Sabbath.

Esther? Esther?!?! I know Esther, I was good friends with an Esther. And YOU ma'am, are no Esther. Can I recommend “Bat-Sheva”? It's catchier, more Israeli, and besides, it's got the word BAT in it!

She also has incorporated Jewish symbols into some of her music videos, much to the consternation of many religious leaders. The organization hosting her in Israel ordered news reporters to wear white clothes and not to take notes when covering her appearances during the New Year's holiday, or Rosh Hashanah.

Yeah, the menorah in the back of “Justify My Love” which was obscured most of the time by Madonna giving a blowjob really doesn't “count.”

“This is entertainment, not Judaism,” quipped Uri Orbach, a popular talk-radio host.

As he was pointing to his dick.

Madonna was joining a group of 2,000 other students of Jewish mysticism from 22 countries, according to the Kabbalah Center, sponsor of the trip. Designer Donna Karan and Marla Maples, an ex-wife of Donald Trump, were among the other celebrities expected to attend, the center said.

22 countries? Are there even 22 countries in the world?!?! Let's count…ummm…USA, Canada, Israel…Guam…Abu Dhabi, Iraq, Iran…Greenland…ummm…Spain, Portugal…how many is that? No way it's 22. This report is a lie.

The daily Yediot Ahronot reported Madonna's visit on its front page.

Yediot Ahronot translates to “latest news.” What? Can't I be informative AND funny? Okay fine, it translates to “poop.”

Inside, it devoted a half page to the singer under the headline “Esther is coming for the holiday.” The story included a photo of the luxury suite in Tel Aviv where Madonna will be staying, as well as the special meal prepared for her, including salmon mousse, steak and chicken in mustard sauce, and honey cake.

Yeah, that sounds like Israel all right…trying to please EVERYBODY that enters…*shot of dead terrorists on sidewalk* Yup…annnyyybody that enters.

Israeli officials were giddy over the presence of a big-time star. Tourism, a key sector of the economy, has been battered by four years of fighting between Israel and the Palestinians.

Mmm…battered Israel…*licks hot dog on a stick*

On Sunday, Tourism Minister Gideon Ezra is expected to give Madonna an ancient oil lamp and a coin from the Byzantine period.

Gideon Ezra is Israel's answer to Gideon Yago. Also, that coin is nothing but a penny that's been squashed down at Universal Studios Hollywood. I mean, why would a coin from the Byzantine have a picture of Frankenstein on it?

“There's no question having stars in the country is a wonderful way to show the world the wonders of our nation,” said Rami Levi of Israel's Tourism Ministry.

“Which is why next month we're thinking about bringing in Penn but not Teller.”

Levi said the ministry was hoping Madonna would agree to shoot a video to promote tourism.

How about making PEACE instead of a MUSIC VIDEO, LEVI?!?! EVER THOUGHT ABOUT…ooo…that desert WOULD make a great backdrop for the remix to “Like a Virgin.”

Police spokesman Gil Kleiman said some 1,000 officers were being deployed for the Kabbalah delegation. He said no special precautions were being taken for Madonna, who has private security guards.

“Yes, pull all 1,000 soldiers out of Gaza, we have a SPECIAL occasion!”

The itinerary includes stops at the Western Wall in Jerusalem; the northern city of Safed, a center of Kabbalah; and Rachel's Tomb, the traditional burial place of the biblical matriarch in the West Bank town of Bethlehem.

And Amir's birthplace: the small little town of Afula! Wow! I can't wait till she tries the pizza!

It also includes discussions on the first-century sage Akiva and Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai, author of the Zohar, the core text of Kabbalah.

Parsley, first century sage, rosemary and thyme.

Rabbi David Rosen, director of Inter-Religious Affairs at the American Jewish Committee's office in Jerusalem, said the visit did little for interfaith efforts but that he nonetheless saw an upside.

Why do ALL rabbi's have these Jew sounding names?! AM I RIGHT?!

“I know that some of my colleagues find it very offensive. I can't say I'm enchanted by it,” Rosen said. “Nevertheless, our tradition teaches that intention is a key factor in people's behavior. I feel pretty confident that her intentions are only positive.”

“Also, when she does yoga, you can see her cooch,” Rosen said, blinking wryly, “so that's good.”

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