Pop music star Madonna treated tens of thousands of ecstatic fans in Israel to the inaugural show of her "MDNA" world tour yesterday, performing in a country where she has long claimed a special bond.
The "Material Girl," a devotee of a form of Jewish mysticism known as Kabbalah, danced and vogued in flashy costumes to a raucous crowd near Tel Aviv.
While some artists have opted to boycott Israel because of its policies toward Palestinians, the 53-year-old Madonna's ties to the Jewish state have only strengthened in the last few years.
During that show, she wrapped herself in an Israeli flag and called Israel the "energy centre of the world."
Madonna, who is not Jewish, has been dabbling in Kabbalah for more than a decade and has taken on a Hebrew name, Esther.