Leonard Cohen’s 5 Great Jewish Moments

Leonard Cohen – His 5 Jewish Moments

Leonard Cohen, The Jewish-Canadian poet-singer who died last week, was deeply influenced by his Jewish identity. Here are five beautiful Jewish moments in Cohen’s journey.


1. 1973: Leonard Cohen performed for Israeli troops during the Yom Kippur War. He said : “I’ve never disguised the fact that I’m Jewish and in any crisis in Israel I would be there. I am committed to the survival of the Jewish people.”


2. 1976: Leonard Cohen sings hassidic song at a Vienna concert


3. 1984: Hallelujah
Part of his Various Positions album, te song begins with “Now I’ve heard there was a secret chord That David played, and it pleased the Lord But you don’t really care for music, do you?”


4. 1974: Who by Fire
This song, part of his “New Skin for the Old Ceremony” album, uses part of “Unetaneh Tokef” Yom Kippur prayer: “And who by fire, who by water who in the sunshine, who in the night time who by high ordeal, who by common trial who in your merry, merry month of May who by very slow decay and who shall I say is calling?”


5. 2009: Priestly Blessing
Leonard Cohen giving the priestly (Cohen) blessing at the end of Tel Aviv concert

Beit Hatfutsot