Sacks on Cohen

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I can understand that it may well seem to some that an inordinate amount of time has been spent reacting to the death of Leonard Cohen (who was, after all, 82 years old when he breathed his last). But I think it’s not about mourning, as such, and it’s not about sentimentalizing. There’s important meaning to be drawn from Cohen’s passing, and the way of his passing, so artistically and philosophically urgent and vital to the end, and to wave it all away would be to waste it.

Jonathan Sacks was the Chief Rabbi of Great Britain for many years, and has been both a very engaging and towering figure, one who has managed to stand athwart the secularism and atheism of his age and circumstances while politely insisting that belief is not irrational.

His quite moving reflection on the import of Leonard Cohen’s work is available below via YouTube. His view on the tenor of these times is perhaps no more reliable than anyone else’s, but his appreciation of the biblical power of Leonard’s songs is well worth a few minutes attention.

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