Saturday, September 26, 2009

From Leonard Cohen in Israel to Yom Kippur

I always loved this song. I didn't get to go to the concert this time, but some of my siblings and Kevin did go. I also missed the concert in Budapest last time, alas. But I do hope to see Mr Cohen at least one more time in concert.

It goes like this
The fourth, the fifth
The minor fall, the major lift
The baffled king composing Hallelujah

A song about... well, not about religion. It is a lot more about human life, about love, intimacy, disappointment, heartbreak, and... for me, at least, man's struggle with the divine.

And even though It all went wrong I'll stand before the Lord of Song With nothing on my tongue but Hallelujah

Cohen.... He is more than "just" a singer song writer. He is a poet, a novelist. He is thought inspiring and yes, he is the genius behing Hallelujah. Jeff Buckley and Rufus Wrainwright and Alexandra Burke all did their magic with the song, but it was, it is Leonard Cohen, who created it.

As I listen to this song I remember the fraility of man. There was Samson, a mighty and powerful man, who fell when he revealed his secret to the woman he loved. And there was David, a king of Israel, anointed by G-d's prophet, and yet, he failed miserably when he let his desires lead him. When G-d's chosen men fail and sin, what can I, the ever doubting simple man expect? I fall short every day, and as hard as I try, there will be always something.

Yom Kippur is a day when we have a chance to ammend our ways. Not only with G-d, but with our fellow men as well.

Erev Yom Kippur just began as the sun set. Tonight and tomorrow we celebrate the upcoming Day of Atonement with two festive meals. We give to charity and ask for foregiveness and forgive others, going into Yom Kippur when we fast and pray, pray and pray.

I love Yom Kippur. It makes me clean again and again as I am forgiven as I forgive. As I sit here, listening to Leonard Cohen, I am examining my own soul and asking the forgiveness of all I offended this year.

I watch my sons sleeping, exhausted after a busy Shabbat and I reflect upon the wonders of Yom Kippur. I make plans for their meals and dig out the black canvas shoes, praying they still fit, and make sure the radio will remain turned on - just in case - and I remembre to say a prayer for all those who were fighting thirty-six years ago on Yom Kippur.


  1. This is beautifully poignant. And if G-d forgave the Moshes and Davids, think of the chance you stand

  2. I love that song too! Have you heard the awesome compilation I'm Your Fan? It is a tribute album but I really love it whereas I usually hate tribute albums.



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