Pop singer Madonna's plans to visit Tzfat for the Jewish New Year of Rosh HaShanah has split the city, a center of mysticism, between those anticipating an economic boom and others worried about the cheapening of the concept of Kaballa.
Serious Kabbala students disapprove of the mystical concept being adopted by people who adopt only its exterior ideas. "Kabbala is too holy to put into the hands of everybody," said Jewish artist Ya'akov Kaszemacher of Tzfat, one Israel's four holy cities along with Jerusalem, Tiberias and Hevron.
However, tourism and business are expected to boom with her visit, and the Florida Jewish federation has pledged $8 million in contributions for projects in the region, including $100,000 to start an international Kabbala center.
Realtors also will benefit. Madonna is planning to buy a house in the Rosh Pina-Tzfat area.