Madonna in Religous Controversy Again...Try Not to Yawn...

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Some rabbis criticize new Madonna song

Years after "Like a Prayer" got her in trouble with Roman Catholics, Madonna is finding herself in trouble with Kabbalist rabbis over her lastest album. A song on the album entitled Isaac is about a Jewish mystic who has been dead for 500 years. The anger comes from a violation of Jewish law which prohibits the use of the name of a holy rabbi for profit which she is clearly doing.

Personally I think it's just a PR stunt to boost album sales when the album is released. Don't get me wrong: I think the rabbis are genuinely upset, that isn't the "stunt" part. The stunt is from including the song in the first place. As a long-time student, she had to know the proscription against doing it and that it would earn her condemnation within the Kabbalah community. But when you've been out of the game for several years, how do you build buzz for yet another dance album? By generating buzz in the press the same way she always has: by making religious groups angry at her.

I don't think this one is going to work for her though. Kabbalah is too obscure with too few followers to generate enough momentum to make a huge difference in the sales numbers. And times have changed in the intervening years since "Like a Prayer," it's no longer unusual to have a musician take a potshot at a religion: in fact, some artists have made entire careers out of it.

Time for a new shtick, Madonna: this one's not going to work any more...


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