Israel Welcomes Madonna for Tour Finale

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Madonna's interest in Israel is growing and seems to be mutual, as the pop singer wrapped up her world tour in the country Tuesday night.

Earlier this week, she dined with opposition leader Tzipi Livni and has plans to meet Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at his home in Jerusalem, Friday.
    
Madonna has immersed herself in Israel's religion, culture and politics, and has been well-received at most levels of Israeli society.

The 51-year-old singer chose Tel Aviv as the place to end her worldwide "Sticky & Sweet" concert tour.

Madonna has a passion for Israel, throwing herself into a strain of Judaism called Kabbalah, which is a system of interpreting the Scriptures based upon a tradition claimed to have been handed down orally from Abraham. 

That may explain why 50,000 fans waited all afternoon for her show, Tuesday.

"I think it's the Kabbalah that we're feeling closer to her," one fan said. "(It's) the way she's getting closer to the Jewish community."

However, many Christians consider Kabbalah to be a cult, and even among the devout Jewish followers of Kabbalah, many resent the way Madonna has helped turn their ancient tradition into a celebrity fad.

Madonna even goes by the name of Esther when she is in Israel.

In between songs she told the audience she believes Israel is the energy center of the world.

The star is attending many Kabbalah-related events and prayed at the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem.  

During a 2004 trip to Israel, Madonna visited the gravesite of a famous rabbi. On this week's trip, she spoke with at least one living rabbi who reportedly advised her to dress modestly.

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