Madonna writes of her spiritual awakening


June 18, 2010 Updated Jul 31, 2009 at 7:10 AM EDT

Pop diva Madonna recounted to Israelis the long spiritual search that led her to the Jewish mystic religion Kabbalah, in an article published on Friday by Israel's largest newspaper.

The Material Girl, who will be in Israel in September as part of her Sticky and Sweet tour, said she had travelled the world many times over, dined with state leaders and achieved a high level of success but still felt that something was missing from her life.

"I was raised a Catholic and my father was very religious, but none of my questions ever got answered," she wrote in the article that appeared in the Yediot Aharonot newspaper in English and Hebrew.

The Queen of Pop's spiritual search led her to practice yoga, study Buddhism, Taoism and the Art of War -- a 16th century military treaty -- and read about the early Christians.

"I learned a lot and I was very inspired but I still could not connect the dots and find a way to take this knowledge and apply it to my daily life.

"I was looking for an answer," the 50-year-old pop icon said.

She said her search was over after she turned to the Kabbalah, an ancient Jewish mystic tradition.

In 1997 Madonna came into contact with a Los Angeles-based centre that teaches an eclectic mix of Orthodox Jewish tradition and positive thinking aimed at spiritual well-being.

"I realised I had finally found a belief system of philosophy that incorporated science and spirituality," said Madonna, who has since donated millions of dollars to schools in Britain and the United States that teach Kaballah.

In 2004 Madonna took the Hebrew name Esther but has not converted to Judaism.

From the point of view of Orthodox Jews, her studying the Kaballah is sacrilege as they consider this must be reserved to married men over 40 who have poured over Talmudic texts for years.

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