The Jewish blogosphere is abuzz with reports that Madonna has plans to take her children, Lourdes (12) and Rocco (9) to Auschwitz, when the singer visits Poland as part of an upcoming tour. According to a report initially published in the British Daily Mirror, but circulated widely in the Jewish community by Ynetnews, a source close to the signer says that “It won’t be an easy trip but it is an ultimate life affirming experience, and one Madonna — because of her strong Kaballah [sic] beliefs [sic] – does not want to ignore.”
It’s easy to criticize Madonna’s choice. Is nine too young to understand the gravity of the holocaust? (Not according to my grade school teachers.) Is anything connected with Madonna and/or Judaism and/or Kabbalah to be treated with derision? Personally, though, having just returned from a trip to Auschwitz myself (see related ‘Polymath’ column), I think the decision is a sound one. It’s all well and good to study Kabbalah and mysticism on sunny summer days – but can your theology and spirituality withstand the truth of the holocaust? And while the subtleties of Nazi genocide may well be lost on pre-teen kids, the general narrative will not be.
I just hope Madonna also gets to enjoy the sights of Krakow – there’s a great nightclub called “Kitsch” that I think she’d enjoy, plus the grave of the RaMaH, a great Torah sage. I guess there aren’t that many people who would appreciate both – but I bet Madonna would.