I asked Madonna about Kabbalah. She looked at me as if to gauge the nature of my interest, then spoke.
“A lot of people join the group, but don’t know why,” Madonna said. “I was raised a Catholic and was never encouraged to ask questions, or understand the deeper meanings or mystical implications of the New Testament or the history of Jesus, or the fact that he was Jewish, or anything, you know? So I rejected that, because who wants to go through life being told you do things because you do things? When I started going to classes and studying [Kabbalah], I did it out of curiosity. I was told it was the mystical interpretation of the Old Testament.”
She said Kabbalah is a philosophy, a way of understanding, lessons.
“Like what?” I asked.
She said, “One is that we are all responsible for our actions, our behavior, and our words, and we must take responsibility for everything we say and do. When you get your head wrapped around that, you can no longer think of life as a series of random events—you participate in life in a way you didn’t previously. I am the architect of my destiny. I am in charge. I bring that to me, or I push that away. You can no longer blame other people for things that happened to you.”