Tuesday, February 04, 2003

Avril and Madonna

Avril Lavigne is Jewish.

I’ve decided, all by myself, and despite all evidence to the contrary. She just has to be. How else can good Jewish boys and girls keep fantasizing about her?

You know Avril. She’s that cute skateboarding chick from Canada with the punky attitude who has that incredibly catchy, can’t-get-it-out-of-your-head in the shower pop song “Complicated” that’s been #1 all over the world since the summer.

OK, sure her bio on the web says she grew up singing in church. But that’s just a ruse. To throw us off the scent. Or maybe it’s true, but on her mother’s side.

But her father, he must be Jewish: Lavigne, give me a break. It’s got to be Levine. She only spells it differently to make her seem more universally accepted. Or cool. Same thing anyway.

More than that, her father’s probably Israeli and Avril is short for Gavriel. Or Gavriella. Every Jew’s got a nickname…Shmulik, Shuki, Shooey, Snotty (that's short for Osnat)… Yes, our girl Gavriella (that is, Avril) is planning a solidarity mission any day now to sing in Tel Aviv to her awaiting fans.

And just listen to the lyrics of "Complicated"

“Why’d you have to go and make things so complicated?
I see the way you're acting like you're somebody else gets me frustrated…”

Sure, it sounds like an angry ode about some skater boy, but we know better: the love of her life became hozer b’tshuva, he’s returned to religion and that’s why everything now is just so complicated.

Keep that in mind next time you hear the song.

Or, if you just can’t wait, click here to listen right now.

On the other end of the spectrum, here’s someone else who acts like she’s Jewish but really isn’t: Madonna.

In an interview with Larry King, Madonna was asked why she now wears a large Star of David. She explained to Larry that she’s a Kabbalist. “I'm not Jewish in the conventional sense,” Madonna said, “Because the Kaballah is a belief system that predates religion in general, and predates Judaism as an organized religion.”

Madonna went on to explain that Judaism appropriated the kabbala and made it its own. Whoa, I think I missed that one in Kabbalah 101 class. See how much you can learn from pop stars?

Then again, what did you expect from Madonna. Have you seen her latest video, the one from the movie Die Another Day? In it, she is being taken to the electric chair. Before they can do the deed, she wraps tefillin around her arm! Makes the loop-back on the fingers and everything. And then when she gets up from the chair, there are these cryptic Hebrew letters. Positively kaballiptic!

Larry also asked her why she only uses one name. It just happened that way, said Madonna. "Maybe you should call yourself Madonna Leibowitz," joked Larry. I’m on the floor in shock. Can he say that on television? Isn't that, like, totally politically incorrect?

Howard Stern played the clip on his show and I happened to record it. I rewound my tape and listened to it twice. Then I ran to check out the transcript on CNN, but it’s not there…edited out? I couldn’t make this stuff up if I tried.

Click here to read the “official” transcript.

Now that I think about it, on her breakthrough video, our other “Jewish” pop princess, Ms. Complicated, Gavriella Levine herself, is wearing this strange half-length black and white striped sleeve that looks vaguely like tefillin straps… See, I was right!

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