Madonna's Taboo Tune
Madonna's upcoming album, "Confessions on a Dance Floor," is drumming up controversy with Kabbalist rabbis. The point of contention is "Isaac," a song intended by Madonna as a tribute to Yitzhak Luria, a 16th-century mystic and Kabbalah scholar, but some Israeli religious authorities are unimpressed. Madonna is among the most vocal of non-Jewish celebrities who have become interested in Kabbalah, a mystical movement based on symbolic interpretation of the Scriptures.
Rabbi Rafael Cohen, head of a seminary named after Luria, suggested that the Material Girl's actions could lead to divine retribution. "Jewish law forbids the use of the name of the holy rabbi for profit. Her act is just simply unacceptable, and I can only sympathize for her because of the punishment that she is going to receive from the heavens," he told the Israeli newspaper Maariv.
No word on whether there'll be a video.
Come and Go, Come and Go . . .
Boy George flew back to England yesterday after being charged with cocaine possession in New York, and his lawyer says that drugs found in the British singer's Manhattan apartment didn't belong to him.
The 44-year-old former Culture Club frontman, whose real name is George O'Dowd, was arraigned on drug charges early Saturday.
He had called 911 to report that his home had been burglarized around 3 a.m. Friday, said police spokesman Kevin Czartoryski. Officers arrived at the singer's apartment and discovered a small amount of cocaine next to a computer, police said. They were continuing to investigate.
"It was a small amount of drugs," lawyer Lou Freeman told the New York Post for Saturday's editions. "He does not know where it came from. He's had a lot of people in his house."
The singer was released Saturday without bail after being charged with fourth-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, allegedly more than an eighth of an ounce of cocaine, said a spokeswoman for the Manhattan district attorney's office. He is scheduled to return to court Dec. 19.
"Don't ask me any questions because you are not going to get any answers at all," the singer told reporters at London's Heathrow Airport.
"It's nice to see you, though."
Noted . . .
* Benjamin Bratt and wife Talisa Soto Bratt have expanded their Bratt Pack. Born last Monday in Los Angeles, Mateo Bravery Bratt joins the couple's daughter, Sophia Rosalinda Bratt, born in 2002.
* Ashlee Simpson returned to "Saturday Night Live" to prove herself as a singer who can sing live. This time there was no lip-sync fiasco. Simpson even drew inspiration from last year's traumatic incident, telling the audience, "I wrote this song after my last 'Saturday Night Live' appearance," as she introduced "Catch Me When I Fall." Her second number, "Boyfriend," was more upbeat. Throughout the performance her voice was augmented only by brief echo effects and backup singers -- unrecorded -- just as SNL executive producer Lorne Michaels had promised.
. . . And Quoted
"The good Lord says, 'Thou shall not bear false witness against thy neighbor.' These are the tenets I live by."
-- Actor Wesley Snipes, outside the New York courtroom where a judge dismissed a paternity suit against him.
-- Compiled by Ashby Strassburger
from wire reports