A stinging article in New York covers Madonna's devotion to Kabbalah at biblical length. One key take-away (with thanks to Joe):
"Women, as it turns out, don’t need to be on Earth—their reincarnation is assured, and they’re here only to help men achieve their purpose. 'Satan, which we also call the opponent within, knows that women are the key to a man’s success, and the reason the world suffers is because women aren’t doing their job,' says Phillips. 'Women need to kick men’s asses! I’m serious. Kicking ass is more sexy and a turn-on than anything else, because now the woman is talking to my soul.
"'You can see why such a philosophy might appeal to Madonna, with her bondage outfits and bayonetlike brassieres. Madonna became close with the Bergs, and they with her; Karen has even noted that Madonna 'keeps a kosher home, she observes Shabbat, she circumcised her son and had her [ex-] husband circumcised.' (Yes, you read the last part correctly.)"
So Madonna may not be castrating bitch so many of her detractors say she is...but you're getting warmer!
The article is quite cynical about Kabbalah, but then again so am I. I think it's made Madonna feel better about herself and I cast no aspersions on her desire to better the world. But the rest of it I find as silly as most other spiritual belief systems. Meanwhile, the author has her own detractors.
Overall, I think it's not a bad thing to scrutinize what a big star with a big ego is doing with tons of donations meant to help kids, and while some of the details raise an expensively arched eyebrow, I still think Madonna's intentions are pure and that she will follow through on her goals. (Jeez, that sounds flowery and delusional, but I call it like I see it!)