Published On: Fri, Oct 14th, 2016

Leonard Cohen — Lifetime Lover of Israel and The Jewish People — Drops New Album


Leonard Cohen is one of the world’s most poetic people who ever lived. While Cohen is known best as a singer, he was actually first a poet.

Now the 82 year old Leonard Cohen is releasing his 14th studio album. The new album is titled “You Want It Darker.”

Anyone who has ever heard Cohen’s songs knows that he has deep religious roots. His most famous song, “Hallelujah” is just one example. This spirituality is based in his Jewish upbringing. That song was released in 1984. One new song on the album has the lyric, “Hineni, hineni; I’m ready my lord.” “Hineni” is Hebrew for “here I am.” With this lyric Cohen proclaims that he has led a full and long life and no longer fears death.

Cohen spoke about his new album and his spirituality in an interview this week with the New Yorker.

About his sense of Judaism Cohen said, “I have a deep tribal sense. I grew up in a synagogue that my ancestors built. I sat in the third row. My family was decent. They were good people, they were handshake people. So I never had a sense of rebellion.”

The Montreal native has always had a strong connection to the Land of Israel. He toured the country in 1972 and returned to help during the Yom Kipur War in 1973. Leonard Cohen told the New Yorker that he wanted to take the place of an Israeli who had gone into reserve duty to fight in the war. He ended up performing instead.

He told a reporter at the time that “I am committed to the survival of the Jewish people.”

And Cohen scolded the Jerusalem audience who attended his concert during the war for applauding so loudly that they disrupted his concentration. So Leonard Cohen told them, “It says in the Kabbalah that if you can’t get off the ground you should stay on the ground! No, it says in the Kabbalah that, unless Adam and Eve face each other, God does not sit on his throne, and somehow the male and female parts of me refuse to encounter one another tonight—and God does not sit on his throne. And this is a terrible thing to have happen in Jerusalem. So, listen, we’re going to leave the stage now and try to profoundly meditate in the dressing room to get ourselves back into shape.”

About getting older Leonard Cohen said, “As I approach the end of my life, I have even less and less interest in examining what have got to be very superficial evaluations or opinions about the significance of one’s life or one’s work. I was never given to it when I was healthy, and I am less given to it now.”

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