Britney Spears has had a whirlwind year.
Following a surge in support for the #FreeBritney movement, the mega pop star was finally released from her 12-year conservatorship in November 2021; during that period, her father Jamie Spears held all legal responsibility over her and had the final say on her personal and financial affairs.
Since the end of the conservatorship, Britney has repeatedly taken to social media to speak out about her experience, criticize the family members who advocated for her conservatorship and thank her fans for their support.
So yesterday’s Instagram post from the star, in which Britney used the caption to detail abuse she experienced as a child, normally would seem run-of-the-mill. Except, of course, for the fact the photos she included are raising a lot of questions. In the now-deleted post, Britney included three photos: the interior of the Sistine Chapel, a Jewish star and a map of Australia with the flag overlaid in the country’s borders.
Initially, some conspiracy-theorist commenters speculated that the initials of the images — a cathedral, Israel (as represented by the Star of David) and Australia — spell out C.I.A., as in the Central Intelligence Agency, meaning that Britney is signaling that she is under surveillance or cannot speak freely. A stretch, but OK.
Later, however, Britney took to Instagram to explain the images in a new post, writing, “Just so people know … my last post of the church symbolizes togetherness, equality and a place to live freely and worship as one chooses !!! The star 🌟 is representing righteousness and your highest self to have the rights to live as one pleases … I honestly didn’t know that was a pic of Australia … I thought it was London 🤦🏼♀️😂 and it was posted because it is my dream to live there.”
So that explains it, sorta?
But this isn’t actually the first time Britney has associated herself with Judaism, whether she meant to or not.
To put her most recent use of the Star of David in context, here is a brief history of Britney Spears and Judaism.
Like many other celebrities in the early aughts, Britney was introduced to the Jewish mythical tradition of Kabbalah by Madonna.
“Madonna first introduced Kabbalah to me at a time in my life when it was much needed. It has helped me get rid of a lot of negative influences that were guiding me down the wrong path,” Britney wrote on her website. She added, “There came a point where not even my family or my advisors had the answers I needed. The answers I was looking for were all in my heart. Through Kabbalah, I was able to look within myself, clear all the negative energy and turn my life around.”
In a post on her website, Britney indicated that she had halted her practice of Jewish mysticism.
“I no longer study Kaballah,” she wrote. “My baby is my religion.”
Britney began dating Jewish model Isaac Cohen and reportedly considered converting to Judaism for him. However, their relationship was short-lived and the couple broke up after about a month.
Reports circulated that Britney was in talks to star in a Holocaust movie called “The Yellow Star of Sophia and Eton.” Though it appears the film was never made, the plot would have centered around a woman named Sophia LaMont who travels back in time and falls in love with a concentration camp prisoner named Eton.
“In films that deal with the Holocaust, the script should be carefully chosen and the cast picked with care,” Charlotte Knobloch, the then-president of the Central Council of Jews in Germany said at the time. “It is reprehensible to combine the issue of the Holocaust with Britney Spears in an attempt to secure financing for the film ‘The Yellow Star of Sophia and Eton.’ Ethical considerations should have priority.”
In the same year, Britney was pictured wearing a Star of David necklace, once again fueling rumors that she was in the process of converting, but this time in order to marry a different Jewish boyfriend, Jason Trawick.
Spears was once again photographed wearing a Star of David necklace, this time while visiting the Eiffel Tower with her sons.
In an Instagram post from June 11, Britney called attention to a Hebrew tattoo on her neck. “It says Mem Hey Shin and means healing,” Spears said in the caption.
However, those Hebrew letters together do not verbatim mean the word “healing.” Rather, they constitute an obscure name for God that insinuates God is a healer and is mostly found in Kabbalistic texts.
So, there you have it. Britney’s relationship with Jewishness is long and varied, and if the star ever wanted to go through the conversion process, we would be the first to shout, “It’s Britney, mensch!”