Madonna toasted the Jewish new year with Israeli President Shimon Peres and declared herself an ‘ambassador for Judaism,’ local newspapers reported Sunday.
The singer, who is not Jewish, arrived in Israel Wednesday on the eve of Jewish new year to attend a conference on Kabbalah or Jewish mysticism.
Madonna met Peres at his official Jerusalem residence on Saturday evening and the two exchanged gifts, with Madonna receiving a lavishly bound copy of the Old Testament.
She gave Peres a volume of ‘The Book of Splendor,’ the guiding text of Kabbalah, inscribed ‘To Shimon Peres, the man I admire and love, Madonna,’ the Yediot Ahronot daily reported.
A Peres aide confirmed the meeting but had no details.
‘You don’t know how popular the Book of Splendor is among Hollywood actors,’ Yediot quoted Madonna as telling Peres. ‘Everyone I meet talks to me only about that. I am an ambassador for Judaism.’
Madonna, who was raised a Roman Catholic, has taken the Hebrew name Esther, and has been seen wearing a red thread on her wrist in a Jewish tradition to ward off the evil eye.
During her visit, Madonna plans to visit sites sacred to Kabbalists. It was not known how long she intends to stay.
Madonna paid her first visit to Israel three years ago on another Kabbalah-centered trip.
‘I can’t believe that I’m celebrating the new year with you in Israel,’ Maariv newspaper quoted her as telling Peres on Saturday. ‘It’s a dream come true.’
Sunday, September 16, 2007
Shimon Peres and Madonna
Really? Does Shimon Peres have nothing better to do than meet Madonna?