Sunday, March 12, 2006

Rebbetzin Esther Ritchie

In her younger days she rose to fame by wearing her underwear prominently on stage; nowadays she stays modestly covered in an ankle length slit skirt and low cut but long sleeved blouse. Rebbetzin Esther Ritchie used to be known as Madonna.
In the 80's she was an extremely popular singer breaking taboos right and left. Now she works, supporting her husband Rabbi Akiva Ritchie as he learns in a Kollel in Bnei Brak.
It might be difficult but as Rebbetzin Ritchie puts it, "Boruch Hashem with the royalties from the sale of my book 'Sex' and my somewhat scaled back touring schedule we're able to make ends meet."
Yes, the Rebbetzin still tours. Now she only performs in front of women; usually teenagers. Her new repertoire includes songs like "Stay a virgin," "Justify my emunah(faith)" and "Tatee please schmooze" instilling Torah values in the next generation of young Jewish women.
The change came about after a few years of her Kabbalah period. According to the Rebbetzin, "After dabbling in Kabbalah for a few years, I realized that it was probably just the tip of a rich and fulfilling religion. So I started asking questions and it brought me and my Akiva closer to God and to Judaism."
Her husband, who used to be known as Guy Ritchie took the name Akiva alluding to the fact that he came to Judaism late in life. And though he spends most of his time studying the Talmud these days, Rabbi Akiva Ritchie is now at work, plying his old skills, as the director of "Ushpizin Beis: Shemini Atzeres"
The couple two children also have adopted the new Orthodox lifestyle. Daughter Lourdes has taken the Jewish name "Mikveh" and son, Rocco, is now Rachamim learning in Cheder.
"People are surprised that a Catholic girl from a blue collar home in Detroit is now a Kollel wife. But is it really any stranger than someone with my background becoming a star by performing half naked?"
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