9 thoughts on “Leonard Cohen Dies, But Lives – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم
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    1. @Amico: This is like saying Martin Luther King was a Zionist because he supported Israel during the 1967 War. This of course omits all the Israeli history in the intervening 50 yrs till now. This presumes that a statement one made then would not change despite the circumstances of the subsequent yrs, which is preposterous. You can’t freeze reality in time. It constantly evolves as do human responses to it.

      All we can say is that Cohen was a liberal Zionist & his understanding of the conflict was limited likely due to his upbringing in the Montreal Jewish community.

      To be great, you don’t have to be a perfect human being. You just have to be great in your chosen field of endeavor which, for Cohen, was definitely not the I-P conflict.

      1. I totally agree with everything you wrote in your response
        . All I say is that Cohen was more connected to Israel than could be understood from your original post, and his work was influanced by it.
        On a personal note, Leonard Cohen was one of my favorite singers and song writers since I was 15. Not only the words in his songs but also his voice. What a voice!
        When I was living in California I was surprised that most of the young Americans I was friend with never heard of him. I did my best to introduce him.
        May he rest in peace

  1. From Wikipedia –
    “Deeply moved by encounters with Israeli and Arab soldiers, he left the country to write “Lover Lover Lover”. This song has been interpreted as a personal renunciation of armed conflict, and ends with the hope his song will serve a listener as “a shield against the enemy”. He would later remark, “‘Lover, Lover, Lover’ was born over there; the whole world has its eyes riveted on this tragic and complex conflict. Then again, I am faithful to certain ideas, inevitably. I hope that those of which I am in favour will gain.”[100] Asked which side he supported in the Arab-Israeli conflict, Cohen responded, “I don’t want to speak of wars or sides … Personal process is one thing, it’s blood, it’s the identification one feels with their roots and their origins. The militarism I practice as a person and a writer is another thing…. I don’t wish to speak about war.”[101]”

    while he finishes with quite a liberal message, the soldier he visited were Israelis. He could have tried to visit both and once (likely) fail, visit none. HE chose neither of these options.

    1. I might be deleted, but would like to add that according to the link I gave in my comment above Cohen initially came to Israel during the war in order to volenteer in a kibutz. Performers he met there convinced him to preform to soldiers instead. His goal was to help Israel at its dark hours. I think his later explainations are an attempt to demonstrate a universal human approach.

  2. “, but includes references to David’s first glance at Bathsheba bathing on the roof, which leads him to send her husband, Uriah to the frontlines of battle where he is conveniently killed. Whereupon David takes her as one of his wives. This is a mortal sin which the Bible tells us prevented God from offering David the honor of building the First Temple in Jerusalem”

    you are mistaken in this statement. the reason he was not allowed to build the temple is because he was a warrior and had blood on his hands.
    it has nothing to do with the Bat Sheva affair and in the talmud there is plenty of discussion concerning Uriah et al.

  3. Thank you for this wonderful tribute and the links you explained to Jewish texts. I looked up this post after seeing Leonard Cohen being thrashed on Mondoweiss recently.

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