Idol Chatter

Poor Madonna, she just can’t catch a break–unless she’s falling off a horse, that is. Once again, the Material Girl is catching flack, or should we say flap, for her choice of Purim party attire. According to MSNBC’s Scoop, Madge and hubby Guy Ritchie showed up as a 1920s flapper and a New York City cop.

“Purim is a religious holiday that celebrates the thwarting of an ancient plot to kill the Jews in Persia,” a source told “Scoop.” The same source points out that Madonna wore a very déclassé French maid costume to last year’s party at the Kabbalah Center. “I guess in some circles,” snipped the source, “it’s now a costume party.”

That source should check his facts–and maybe his notes from Judaism 101–before sniping to the press. It’s not just “in some circles” or “now” that Purim is a costume party. Certainly, wearing a french maid costume, with its connotations of canoodling could be seen as religiously risqué. But Purim–the holiday celebrating Queen Esther’s saving of the Persian Jews–is, and always has been, a festival of costumes and concealment. A time when Jews are encouraged to dress up, make a joyful noise and engage in merriment.

Purim is a time when one can give serious thought to reconciling our inner selves with the outer image we project, but at Purim services, when the Scroll of Esther is read, Jews are encouraged to engage in a Rocky Horror-esque usage of noisemakers whenever Haman, the scoundrel, is named.

Granted, Her Madgesty showing up at a 2005 Purim party dressed as a nun and Ritchie as the Pope was tacky. To do so while Pope John Paul II was on his deathbed, absolutely tasteless. But let’s end the flap about the flapper costume and find something actually controversial to kvetch about; Mrs. Ritchie is sure to do something truly outrageous any moment now, like adopt an orphan from Malawi or hang herself from a cross in concert.

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