Levi McConaughey, born July 7, to actor Matthew McConaughey. Nahla Ariela Aubry, born March 18 to actress Halle Berry. Everyone knows Tom and Katie's Suri by now, and Brangelina have got both a Zahara and a Shiloh. What do all these kids have in common? Hebrew names and non-Jewish celebrity parents.
I'll admit it – I follow celebrity news. I don't do it because I think being famous automatically gives a person any inherent value, but rather because I'm curious as to whom our culture considers role models and what our society deems trendy.
From the unofficial research I've conducted over the last few years, it seems that there is a trend amongst the non-Jewish Hollywood crowd towards Jewishness. But not Jewishness in the lox and bagels sense, but rather in the traditional (Orthodox) sense.
Not only are many stars naming their kids Hebrew names (like we Jewy Jews do), some of them are even keeping kosher, attending Shabbat services, and having traditional Jewish weddings. Now although these aforementioned Jewish practices are done under the guise of "kabbalah" – call it what you will – if it walks like Judaism and it talks like Judaism, it's Judaism.
When Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher got married in their traditional "kabbalah" wedding a few years ago, People magazine read like some sort of an Orthodox Jewish wedding manual. Here's an exact quote from the magazine:
Per Jewish tradition (which may be echoed in many Kabbalah wedding rituals), the bride circles the groom seven times, which, among other things, symbolizes the breaking down of any walls that may remain between them. The bride and groom then take their places beneath the chuppah (wedding canopy). •The couple sign a Hebrew marriage contract known as a ketubah and read seven blessings. •After the ceremony, the bride and groom privately talk and eat, a period called yichud.
Now what blog post about non-Jewish celebrities practicing Judaism would be complete without a mention of the Queen of Kabbalah herself, Madonna, or as she likes to be called these days, Esther? Go online, pick up a celebrity magazine – this woman has been to more kosher restaurants, Shabbat services, and Purim parties than half the Jews in this country.
I'm not usually a proponent of following celebrity trends, folks, but for all the Jews out there that thought that Jewish tradition was old fashioned and outdated, I've got news for you – it's like the hippest, trendiest thing happening right now. So why not throw your cares away and hop on the Jewboat like the rest of us awesome people?