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Rabbi responds to PR

by: Rabbi Shmuley Boteach - Last updated: 2004-06-02

Rabbi Shmuley Boteach

Rabbi Shmuley Boteach

Following Rabbi Shmuley Boteach’s recent article arguing that Madonna should be removed from her role as the spokesperson for the Kabbalah movement, Madonna's PR agent Liz Rosenberg said:

“I find Rabbi Boteach’s comments regarding Madonna frightening. His vile attacks on her character and as an artist are staggering for someone who professes to be a religious person.”

Click here to read Liz Rosenberg's full comments

Click here to read Rabbi Boteach's original article

In response to Liz Rosenberg's comments Rabbi Boteach has issued the following statement:

“For two decades Madonna has been allowed to destroy the female recording industry by erasing the line that separates music from pornography. Before Madonna it was possible for women more famous for their voices than their cleavage, like the beautiful Ella Fitzgerald, to emerge as music superstars. But in the post-Madonna universe, even highly original performers like Janet Jackson now feel the pressure to expose their bodies on national TV in order sell albums. This in turn has spawned the lascivious careers of Madonna copycats like Brittney Spears and Christina Aguilera.

“How tragic that sixty years after feminism rightly demanded that women cease being treated as the lecherous man’s plaything and instead be accorded the dignity of an equally intelligent and dignified member of society, Madonna has been allowed to undo so much of that progress with barely a whimper of protest.
“But while it is unbecoming of responsible feminist leaders not to speak out at Madonna’s wholesale vulgarization of the female image, it would be downright scandalous for Jewish religious leaders not to object to Madonna being promoted as the foremost practitioner of Judaism in the world. Judaism and Kabbalah are, above all else, moral disciplines that demand a striving for moral excellence. Stripping on stage and calling oneself a Kabbalist are mutually exclusive.

“For Madonna to put herself forward as a spiritual spokesperson while continuing to degrade women by simulating sex acts at music concerts, portray full nudity in her movies, and to ridicule lesbians by performing same-sex kisses merely for TV ratings, is a mockery of her claims to a life of spiritual renewal based on the teachings of the Kabbalah.

“Women like Liz Rosenberg especially, who heave greatly distinguished themselves professionally through their brains rather than their busts, should be at the forefront of criticizing Madonna’s assault on feminine dignity.