Friday, November 11, 2016
The world of popular music lost a giant yesterday when Leonard Cohen, the Canadian singer, songwriter, poet and novelist died at the age of 82.
His work has explored religion, politics, isolation, sexuality, and personal relationships. Cohen has been inducted into both the Canadian Music Hall of Fame and the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame as well as the American Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He was also a Companion of the Order of Canada, the nation's highest civilian honor.
Cohen has been described as a Sabbath observing Jew. He has been involved with Buddhism since the 1970s and was ordained a Buddhist monk in 1996; however, he still considers himself Jewish: "I'm not looking for a new religion. I'm quite happy with the old one, with Judaism." he said.
Last month, at a press conference related to his latest album You Want it Darker, Cohen was asked about his spirituality and faith. In this video clip, he said that he didn't see himself as religious, but that the Biblical landscape that he grew up with inspired the Judaic references in his songs, such as the story of David and Bathsheba in his Hallelujah.
In 2009, when Cohen appeared before a large audience in the Ramat Gan stadium near Tel Aviv, he performed Hallelujah and ended with the priestly blessing said by the Kohanim in the synagogue.
Enjoy and Shabbat shalom!
(A SPECIAL NOTE FOR NEW EMAIL SUBSCRIBERS: THE VIDEO MAY NOT BE VIEWABLE DIRECTLY FROM THE EMAIL THAT YOU GET EACH DAY ON SOME COMPUTERS AND TABLETS. YOU MUST CLICK ON THE TITLE AT THE TOP OF THE EMAIL TO REACH THE JEWISH HUMOR CENTRAL WEBSITE, FROM WHICH YOU CLICK ON THE PLAY BUTTON IN THE VIDEO IMAGE TO START THE VIDEO.)
Leonard Cohen performs Hallelujah in Ramat Gan concert
Priestly blessing in Israel to the crowd at his concert at the Ramat Gan stadium