As Madonna landed in Israel ahead of her performance at the Eurovision Song Contest final, Sylvan Adams, the Canadian-Israeli philanthropist who sponsored the $1.3 million tab to bring her, said the headlines and buzz by the megastar’s visit would be worth every penny for Israel’s PR. Every major media outlet had, has, and will cover her every move surrounding her appearance for the biggest song contest in the world.
She has been defying calls to boycott the contest from pro-Palestinian BDS leaders who continue to harass her endlessly to cancel her visit.
Last month, singer and BDS mega maniac Roger Waters appealed to Madonna’s relentless decision to perform at Israel’s Eurovision, saying it “normalizes the occupation, the apartheid, the ethnic cleansing, the incarceration of children, the slaughter of unarmed protesters.” Thankfully, she ignored his hate-consumed and blatant lies.
Each time she does anything pro-Israel, Madonna must endure fights against massive persuasions from high-profile Hollywood and music industry anti-Zionist, BDS, and PLO activists. I’m certain the pressure from behind the scenes was and is massive, especially since her presence anywhere is a viewing party worldwide.
The singer, who has an entourage of 135 people including rapper KoVu, a choir of 40 singers and 25 dancers, told Reuters that she would “never stop playing music to suit someone’s political agenda.”
So bold is Madonna, that she actually launched a new album and persona just in time for her performance in Tel Aviv. With releasing two new songs, she is slapping the faces of all the powerful opposition, taking her power to a new level and taking Israel with her.
Her Instagram tweets follow the enormous efforts that will be going into this highly anticipated Eurovision finale. Interestingly enough, it all focuses on her lips, hinting to the power of the mouth. Perhaps what you say - or do not say - says an awful lot!
Madonna has collaborated with Israeli jewelry artist Keren Wolf. Keren’s jewelry always has a message of great power, beauty, and an inner strength. Three years ago, I also collaborated with her during New York Fashion Week. Her runway pieces were visions of divine beauty that left the audience speechless. Face masks of golden roses were combined with dresses of nude-colored tulle and sequined details.
For Madonna, Keren Wolf focused on the mouth, designing messages to be worn on her lips and in between her teeth. Keren has become famous among the A-list celebrities as Lady Gaga, Kylie Jenner, and Chrissy Teigen in addition to endless editorials in Vogue and other top fashion publications.
So what does Madonna’s message on her lips have to do with Torah? This is a bold challenge taken in the House of Faith and Fashion…
“Death and life lay in the hand of the tongue” (Proverbs 18:21), warned King Solomon.
Hebrew has two words for “language”: lashon and safah. These two words, Rabbi Avraham Yitzchak Kook, z”l, explained, correspond to two aspects of speech: the inner meaning of our words (inside of the mouth) – the message we intend to communicate – and their external “attire” (the lips): how our words are interpreted by others.
“If we do not express ourselves clearly, our words will fail to convey our true intent.” said Rav Kook, z”l.
There are two major pitfalls in speech, and we pray to Hashem for guidance. The first concerns the inner content of our words. The other is the huge terrain of proper communication to others. If we do not express ourselves clearly, our words will fail to convey our true intent. Then of course there is an entire book written by the great Chofetz Chaim on the topic of lashon hara.
What Madonna is saying through her “lashon” of inner and outer speech has conveyed an unyielding respect, honor, and love for Israel. Once again, I will state that under the highly disturbing circumstances of grossly distorted views of Jews and Israel, Madonna could have canceled her trip and preserved her image amongst her millions of fans worldwide. This probably would have been easier and even logical. Why risk her relevance and tie it to the State of Israel? However, not only did she not cancel, she faced the tainted press with her strong statement of a “don’t tell me what to do!” attitude.
Unfortunately, Madonna caved to the political pressure at the end when she did perform her much-anticipated finale, which was watched by 220 million viewers. Her original supposed intent of being free of world politics, particularly as to the Israel-Palestinian issue, was distorted to include costumes reflecting such conflict. Perhaps her intentions for peace were misunderstood. This episode again reflects on the importance of communicating clearly.
Tobi Rubinstein is a retired fashion and marketing executive of 35 years who currently produces runway and lifestyle events for NYFW, specializing in Israel’s leading artists and designers. She is the founder of The House of Faith N Fashion, fusing culture and Torah. Tobi was a fashion collaboration and guest expert for ABC, Geraldo Rivera, Huffington Post, Lifetime, NBC, Bravo, and Arise. She hosted her own radio and reality TV series. Tobi is a mother, wife, dog owner, and shoe lover.