Madonna returns to the Holy Land with Jesus Luz by her side

by She celebrated her 51st birthday en famille with him in Sardinia. Then came this week's trip to the Holy Land together, visiting religious sites.

It might have started as a casual liaison, but Madonna's relationship with Jesus Luz is clearly taking on a growing importance in her life.

Significantly, their visit to the Middle East echoes a 2007 break she took with then husband Guy Ritchie when everything appeared to be well between them.

On that occasion she and the British filmmaker were warmly entertained by Israeli president Shimon Peres.

In a sign that her new companion also shares her interests he was very much in evidence this weekend when the Material Girl enjoyed a dinner date with one of the country's top politicians.

A tender arm around her waist, Brazilian model Jesus gallantly ushered the singer out of a Tel Aviv restaurant where they'd been dining with Tzipi Livni, the leader of the opposition party, Kadima.

Earlier in the day their agenda ahead of Madonna's two concerts in the city included a tour of the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem.

The Material Girl, a follower of the Jewish mystic discipline of Kabbalah, created a frenzy, with photographers jockeying to get a snap as she arrived with her boyfriend.

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