The pop star arrived in the Holy Land on Wednesday on a spiritual quest, including visits to the graves of revered rabbinical sages, and Israel was abuzz with excitement over the presence of a major star.
However, some were perplexed by the raunchy diva's interest in a particularly esoteric side of Judaism, and rabbis said she had no business studying holy texts.
&to=http:// english.pravda.ru/society/2003/03/20/44716.html' target=_blank>Madonna was raised a Roman Catholic, but she has taken an interest in Jewish mysticism, or Kabbalah, in recent years, CBS News reported.
According to the Independent News, a prominent Hebrew newspaper, Yediot Ahronot , anticipated the arrival of Madonna and her entourage with the headline: "Esther is coming for the holiday," a coy reference to the singer's recent decision to ditch her very Catholic-sounding name for one with obvious Jewish associations.
The &to=http:// english.pravda.ru/accidents/2001/10/19/18660.html' target=_blank>Israeli tourism industry is also upbeat about the visit by Ms Ciccone and a crew of fellow celebrities united by a fascination with the study of the kabbala. The group is expected to include the fashion designer, Donna Karan, and the ex-wife of Donald Trump, Marla Maples.
"There's no question having stars in the country is a wonderful way to show the world the wonders of our nation," Rami Levi of Israel's Tourism Ministry told reporters this week.
The head of the Voronezh region, Alexander Gusev, confirmed the death of Major General Vladimir Zavadsky.