Sunday, October 14, 2012

Leonard Cohen: Hallelujah

Synagogue Without Walls: The first event in Congregation B'nai Israel 's exciting new Synagogue Without Walls series - to be led by Rabbi Stephen Landau of Kavod NM - will take place on Monday October 22 @ 7:00 pm at a private home in Rio Rancho.

Synagogue Without Walls
Leonard Cohen: Hallelujah
Monday October 22 @ 7:00 pm
Rio Rancho (505) 771-0325

This first event will be devoted to Singer / Songwriter Leonard Cohen's Lyrics as Biblical Poetry. Mr Cohen is most famous (in recent years) for his song "Hallelujah" (which you can listen to and view here) - but he's been singing and songwriting for many years.

Click here for the lyrics to "Hallelujah."  Click here for some facts about the song.

This event is free (donation requested) and open to the entire community.
 Please call (505) 771-0325 for location, registration, and further information.

Wikipedia (who knows all) tells us:
Leonard Norman Cohen ... was born on 21 September 1934 in Westmount, an English-speaking area of Montreal, Quebec, into a middle-class Jewish family. His mother, Marsha (Masha) Klonitsky, was the daughter of a Talmudic writer, Rabbi Solomon Klonitsky-Kline of Lithuanian Jewish ancestry. His paternal grandfather, whose family had emigrated from Poland, was Lyon Cohen, founding president of the Canadian Jewish Congress. His father, Nathan Cohen, who owned a substantial clothing store, died when Cohen was nine years old. On the topic of being a Kohen, Cohen has said that, "I had a very Messianic childhood." He told Richard Goldstein in 1967, "I was told I was a descendant of Aaron, the high priest."
And about religious affairs, Wikipedia tells us:
Cohen is described as an observant Jew in an article in The New York Times:
Mr. Cohen keeps the Sabbath even while on tour and performed for Israeli troops during the 1973 Arab-Israeli war. So how does he square that faith with his continued practice of Zen? "Allen Ginsberg asked me the same question many years ago," he said. "Well, for one thing, in the tradition of Zen that I've practiced, there is no prayerful worship and there is no affirmation of a deity. So theologically there is no challenge to any Jewish belief."
Cohen has been involved with Buddhism since the 1970s and was ordained a Buddhist monk in 1996; however he is still religiously Jewish: "I'm not looking for a new religion. I'm quite happy with the old one, with Judaism."
In his concert in Ramat Gan, Israel, on 24 September 2009, Cohen spoke Jewish prayers and blessings to the audience in Hebrew. He opened the show with the first sentence of Ma Tovu. At the middle he used Baruch Hashem, and he ended the concert reciting the blessing of Birkat Cohanim.

The second event in the series - also to be led by Rabbi Landau - will take place on Thursday November 1 @ 7:00 pm at the Flying Star Cafe in Nob Hill.

This second event will also be devoted to Leonard Cohen, this time featuring his song "Who By Fire."  Please call Rabbi Landau (860) 690-7374 for registration and further information.

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