Ooh Harry! The media is awash again with rumors that Harry Styles is seeking spiritual solace. The Sun reports that Harry may be exploring Judaism, possibly influenced by his pal Ben Winston, who is a practicing member of the Jewish faith.
Harry is thought to have become taken with the religion while staying with the director and his family over the years.
A source told that publication that Harry and Ben are very close and suggested that Styles’ recent decision to give up pork had been influenced by his director buddy.
Harry and Ben are very close – it’s likely that the singer has been influenced by his friend’s lifestyle and sworn off pork because of that.
Harry was spotted today having a pork-free meal with another Jewish buddy, Rande Gerber, and his family. After Cindy Crawford and Rande’s first child was born, People reported that “like Mom, [their son] will be raised Protestant but with exposure to his dad’s Jewish traditions.”
Harry is not the first celebrity to take an interest in Jewish mysticism — Madonna popularized a form called Kabbalah according to Glamour, which wrote back in 2014 that Harry might be interested in the sect after he was spotted wearing a red Kabbalah bracelet. Last year, The Mirror reported that Harry had turned to meditation “to relieve stress.”
“When Harry was in Bangkok he travelled for 40 minutes on his own to see one temple and embrace his spiritual side. ‘He’s been meditating and doing yoga in Thailand and also spent time wandering around markets to soak up the culture.'”
The mag added that Harry had gotten “in touch with his spiritual side to help distract him from [One Direction] woes” and went on to list the many stresses that were piling on Harry’s head at the time: Zayn Malik had just signed off the One The Road Again tour, Louis Tomlinson had broken up with Eleanor Calder, and the band were fretting over their future in the wake of the Zayn bombshell.
The Huffington Post put it this way: “In order to combat the stress that comes with being one-fifth of the most in-demand boy band, Harry has reportedly been taking extra care to make sure he rests between shows.”
Could Harry’s recent turn back to spirituality be a sign of another spate of stress? One Direction may be on hiatus, but Harry’s schedule is not likely to slow down any time soon — the hunk has been cast in Christopher Nolan’s remake of World War II classic Dunkirk, which will be his first feature film. The star made waves early in the year when he hooked up with supermodel Kendall Jenner and then scandalized their mutual LA friends by taking a casual and noncommittal approach to the relationship, according to The Sun.
We hear Kendall has been fabulously chilly to Harry but the pair have a ton of mutual friends in Los Angeles…He’s had a difficult week dealing with the fallout from last Sunday’s revelation that he hooked up with Pandora Lennard…[Harry] insists to friends he did nothing wrong because he and Kendall were not official.
News about Harry and Kendall is still everywhere — just today Hollywood Life reported that the supermodel “bolted” from Harry because she feared getting “burned” by the hunk.
Poor Harry! Hopefully the long-haired superstar will use at least some of the One Direction hiatus time to de-stress. The hiatus has only just officially begun, and we’re already hearing that Harry plans to write for Meghan Trainor and Ariana Grande, star in his first movie, write and record solo material, and keep fit through gruelling gym and Soul Cycle sessions.
Harry proved he is keeping up his punishing fitness regime during the hiatus when he was spotted working out with David Beckham and attending a Pilates session recently.
So what sort of spiritual seeking will Harry be doing?
Back in 2013, it was reported yet again that “Harry loves the Jewish community.” If Harry is indeed absorbing the teachings of the Mitzvot through his contact with the community, it may serve the curly-haired star well as he deals with myriad rumored feuds. The writings warn against seeking revenge or dwelling on the actions of enemies, reassuring followers that God will punish the wicked.
Judaism lacks a strict cosmology, leaving room for followers to hold a scientific worldview and to interpret the stories of the Old Testament in ways that are meaningful to them. Scholar Camille Paglia described Judaism as “the most powerful of protests against nature” and declared that the rise of Judaeo-Christianity reflected “an advanced stage in the history of religion.” Paglia described Jewish culture as one that venerates the word, literature, and language, rather than the eye, the image, and the visual. Because it is so word-oriented, Paglia suggested, Judaism can provide a good counterbalance to the image-saturated culture of the modern West.
(Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)