From ancient byways to modern highways, glimpses of faith are everywhere...

Saturday, November 12, 2016

'Zen' Len was Jewish at Heart

Cohen in 1988  (Photo by Gorupdebesanez)
There’s a reason why Leonard Cohen’s lyrics have more than their share of biblical references.

The famed singer-songwriter was mentored early on by his maternal grandfather, “a rabbi and Jewish scholar.”  The Hollowverse reports that Cohen then “carried his Jewish faith with him” throughout life.

Recently deceased at age 82, Cohen was also deeply involved with Zen.  Seeing no theological conflict between Zen and Judaism, Cohen became “a fully ordained [Zen] monk in 1996.” He had also declared:  I’m not looking for a new religion. I’m quite happy with the old one…

Often shying away from politics, Cohen did weigh in against the Vietnam War with his “Story of Isaac.”  These lyrics compare fathers who send their sons to war with Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice Isaac.


Copyright November 12, 2016 by Linda Van Slyke   All Rights Reserved

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