NEW YORK — Call her Esther: That’s the Hebrew name Madonna has chosen for herself as a follower of Kabbalah.
”I was named after my mother. My mother died when she was very young, of cancer, and … I wanted to attach myself to another name,” the singer says in an interview on ABC’s ”20/20,” airing at 9 tonight on WLS-Channel 7. ”This is in no way a negation of who my mother is … I wanted to attach myself to the energy of a different name.”
During the interview, Madonna wears the red string around her wrist that’s a symbol of Jewish mysticism, but says she’s sensitive when critics suggest her interest in Kabbalah is just a trend.
”I’m a little bit irritated that people think that it’s like some celebrity bandwagon that I’ve jumped on, or that, say, somebody like Demi [Moore] has jumped on,” the 45-year-old says. ”We don’t take it lightly. …
”Paris Hilton did come to the Kabbalah Centre once, because her parents brought her … and they wanted to help her and they were desperate and they brought her there and she had a meeting and she left and she never came back. And suddenly, Paris Hilton studies Kabbalah. I mean, that’s what happens and people … they don’t know the whole story.”
The name-change announcement comes in the middle of her “Re-Invention” world tour, which comes to the United Center on July 11, and just before her third children’s book, Yakov and the Seven Thieves (Callaway, $19.95), hits bookstores on Monday.