Madonna flew into Israel with her entourage on Friday afternoon, spending the holiday in prayer and Kabbalah study before starting rehearsals for her Thursday concert in Ramat Gan Stadium.
Along with her 70-member crew, she is accompanied by her partner Brahim Zaibat and her four children, including the eldest, Lourdes, 15, who will appear on stage as a dancer.
To avoid the press, Madonna and her children traveled in three separate taxis from Ben-Gurion International Airport to Tel Aviv's Dan Hotel. Teachers from Tel Aviv's Kabbalah Center secretly arrived at the hotel, while Madonna's children spent most of Sunday on the beach, close to the hotel.
On Sunday, Madonna held her first rehearsal on the special stage set up for her scheduled Thursday concert at Ramat Gan Stadium. A special play compound has been built for her children in the stadium area, complete with a private pool and playroom.
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A number of special visitors are expected to attend the concert. American television personality Conan O'Brien, who has exclusive rights to cover the opening of Madonna's world tour, should be on hand, along with actors George Clooney, Natalie Portman and Sacha Baron Cohen.
The concert coincides with the recent release of Madonna's 12th album, "MDNA." Immediately after its release, it topped the sales charts, selling 359,000 copies during its first week in the stores. The disc's sales, however, dropped dramatically thereafter - by 88% in its second week.