The Bergs rake it in because Hollywoodites have guilty consciences. They feel guilty about their prosperity, since many are closet Marxists. They feel uneasy about their spiritual prospects. But they certainly don't feel guilty enough to change their behavior. They prefer instead to use their money to buy a cloak of fake piety. Then they don it, bragging about their spiritual depth.
That's why Madonna, the Pied Piper of Raunch, ponies up millions to wear a red thread bracelet she could buy for 50 cents at the nearest CVS. That's why Scientologist Tom Cruise spends bundles to cleanse himself of "thetans." That's why Hollywoodites embrace cultish environmentalism, pledging to drink their own purified wastewater (Cate Blanchett this week) or use one square of toilet paper per restroom visit (Sheryl Crow).
The glitterati are quite willing to take on obligations, as long as those obligations aren't moral. The Kabbalah Centre doesn't force Madonna to stop encouraging promiscuity or cease simulated sex acts on stage. She gets the benefits of egoistic religious observance -- she gets to feel "deep" -- without actually having to be deep. As Andrew Breitbart, who co-authored "Hollywood, Interrupted" with Mark Ebner, told me, "The only piety Madonna has adhered to throughout her entire career has been at the altar of the Church of Narcissus."
Madonna is no ambassador for Judaism -- she's an ambassador for Hollywood arrogance, egocentrism and hypocrisy.