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The Kabbalist rabbi and Madonna

  • The Washington Examiner
  • |
  • August 24, 2005

by Karen Feld

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We hear that the material girl is still in extreme pain from her fall from a horse on her 47th birthday at her U.K. estate but has managed to make several trips a day to London’s Kabbalah Centre. Now Madonna, a devout practitioner, has flown her spiritual leader, Rabbi Michael Berg, co-director of the Kabbalah Centre in Los Angeles and author of “Becoming Like God: Kabbalah and Our Ultimate Destiny,” to London from his home in Los Angeles. The intention is that Berg will be at the songstress’ side in the U.K. to heal her. His interpretation of the Kabbalah has his followers hovering their fingertips over the Hebrew words in their sacred texts to absorb the mysticism the letters are said to carry. No reading or understanding of Hebrew required. This brings to Madonna new meaning to the expression “healing touch.”

Our jazziest president

Bill Clinton, who let the world know about his love for music when he played the saxophone on “The Arsenio Hall Show,” is launching a series of CDs featuring his favorite jazz and gospel songs. “Selections From the Clinton Music Room,” which will be available next month, includes “Chelsea Morning” by Judy Collins, “Harlem Nocturne” by David Sanborn, and “Summertime” by Zoot Sims. The William J. Clinton Foundation – which includes the Clinton Library and museum store – has licensed the rights to the songs. The release coincides with an exhibit on Clinton’s love of music at the Clinton Museum near Little Rock, Ark. It includes a replica of the White House music room built for him and will be on display until the end of the year.

Martha: ‘You’re cooked’

Two local businesswomen women are tagging along with Martha Stewart on her NBC-TV comeback trail and into her conference room when her version of “The Apprentice” airs Sept. 21. Leslie Sanchez, 36, founder and CEO of Impacto Group, a communications firm, a onetime aide to Rep. Henry Bonilla, R-Texas, and a former executive director for the White House Initiative on Hispanic Education, and Sarah Brennan, 25, an event planner at The Advisory Board Company, a health care consulting firm, have been selected to participate in the show, titled “The Apprentice: Martha Stewart.”

A real White House bid

Imagine buying your dream home on eBay. This prestigious listing has 132 rooms, 20 bedrooms, 35 bathrooms and 29 fireplaces. No word as to whether the ghosts are included! While researching his book “Night of the Realtors,” Canadian novelist David Jenneson discovered that the U.S. government hasn’t recorded the property ownership for 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington, D.C. Even the National Archives could not locate the signed deed. So the author has acquired a legal quitclaim deed/covenant for the White House, and has offered it to the highest bidder on eBay along with a signed copy of his book. Then, of course, the winning bidder is on his own in his legal battle for occupancy. As for the book, which was published last month: It’s available online in hardcover and paperback as well. The cover illustration of the White House has “sale,” “sold” and an “open house” sign. Wonder how the Secret Service feels about that idea.

Jenneson called the White House press office to ask if they were aware that a signed deed couldn’t be found. “They weren’t impressed,” said the author. “We’ll look into it and call you back,” the gal in the press office told him. As a member of the White House press corps, we know those all-too-familiar words. Bidding opened at $10, and at press time, it was up to $51 – probably a good deal for collections of presidential memorabilia.

Sexy D.C.: No oxymoron

Jessica Cutler, 26, the Capitol Hill aide who was fired when her very personal and X-rated blog came to light, has certainly capitalized on that 60 seconds of fame: first a nude Playboy magazine shoot, then a six-figure book deal, and now Home Box Office has acquired the rights to “The Washingtonienne,” her book based on the lewd blog she wrote while working for Sen. Mike DeWine, R-Ohio. Cutler, now persona non grata on Capitol Hill, lives in New York City. Sarah Jessica Parker will co-produce, so perhaps they can expect this to become a second-string “Sex in the City.” No word as to whether Cutler will play herself on TV.

The Alexandria diet

Some who have visited New York Times reporter Judith Miller at the Alexandria Detention Center say that she’s lost weight on vending machine food. It’s not exactly the South Beach Diet, nor quite the same as the vending machine staples in the White House press room. One visitor said she looked frail. Maybe so – Miller wanted to do laundry for prison work but was informed that she wasn’t strong enough.

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