After dialing Avihay Asseraf’s cell phone number, a “funtone” version of
Madonna’s “Give Me All Your Love” greets the waiting caller.
don’t appreciate the meaning that someone like Madonna is doing her opening
night here. It’s the premiere of a tour,” he told The Jerusalem Post on Thursday
over the phone. “It’s a piece of history.”
Earlier that day, American pop
icon Madonna landed in Israel, where she is launching her 2012 world MDNA Tour
in Israel, kicking off at Ramat Aviv Stadium on Thursday, May 31 – rescheduled
from May 29. Her publicist had told the Post
the day before that Madonna is
“extremely excited to be opening her tour in Israel.”
what he labeled as Israel’s “official” Madonna Facebook fan page in July 2011,
called “Madonna Israel” in both Hebrew and English. As of noontime Thursday, his
page had 650 likes. Featuring all the latest Madonna news, the page is so
up-to-date that late Wednesday night, the night before Madonna’s arrival, it
featured a photo of Madonna boarding a plane in New York.
to the bottom of Asseraf’s fan page history, the first posts on the site include
pictures from the artist’s Tel Aviv stop in her 2009 Sticky & Sweet Tour, as
well as a poster from her Israel appearance in 1993.
Asseraf, who is a
teacher for children with disabilities in Hadera, has purchased a “golden
ticket” to the concert at NIS 1,500, the ticket that gets him closest to the
stage. Previously, he attended Madonna performances in Israel in 2009, in Greece
in 2008, in Paris in 2006 and in London in 2004.
His fondness of the
star, however, stems back to 1997, when he went to see the movie Evita in
theaters – in which Madonna played the title character.
From there, he
tried out her Ray of Light
album and watched her music videos on
“And I fell in love,” he said, noting that he has collected retro
Madonna items ever since. “I collect everything that comes from
On Asseraf’s own personal Facebook profile page, the “cover”
photo stretching over his timeline is an image promoting the MDNA Tour. In
addition to various pictorial tributes to Madonna and her albums all over his
timeline wall, Asseraf also displays his “Titanic collection” – pictures
featuring various Titanic DVDs and Celine Dion music.
“Titanic is my
second obsession,” he said. “[Madonna] reminded me a lot of Kate Winslett – how
she looks in Titanic.”
Asseraf said he has actually become friends with
many of his fellow fans from his page, and that they have gotten together in the
past for events like watching the Superbowl.
Many of them have “golden
tickets” for the concert and intend to gather beforehand.
“For a fan like
me to see a premiere of a tour, I can’t explain the feeling,” he said. “She’s
the best and no one even comes close to her, not even Lady Gaga.”
the most numerically popular Israeli Facebook page dedicated to Madonna, with
2,953 likes, is one created in May 2010, called, in Hebrew, “Madonna is the
sexiest singer in the world nude!!! Viewing is required!!!” The page, however,
lacks any public contact information.
Another simple page called
“Madonna” in Hebrew had 571 likes, but contains no public wall for user
One fan site that appears to be equally active to that of
Asseraf is called, in Hebrew, “Bibi no! To war with Iran only after the
performance of Madonna on 5.29” had 981 likes. Administrated by Kobi Zvili, a
28-year-old fine arts student at Bezalel, the page was launched in February and
features a picture of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Madonna as the
profile picture, in front of an image of Madonna bridging together the flags of
Israel and Iran as the cover art.
One of the latest wall posts on the
site reads, “10 days to go!!! still no war,” with a smiley face
Returning to the owner of the “official” fan page, Asseraf said
that he would love to meet Madonna at some point but is not getting his hopes up
anytime soon. Meanwhile, he assured the Post
that not only is his funtone on his
phone dedicated to Madonna, but his ringtone is as well. His ringtone is a song
from her new album, called Love Spent.
“It’s what we do – since we have
known Madonna, we have spent our money on her,” Asseraf said. “We spend our love
and we end up with no money.”
Jerusalem Post reporters will be tweeting live from the concert - follow our Twitter account for updates, photos and videos.