So, as we inevitably await for the retail holiday bonanza seriously rounding the corner in about two months (for for realsie sales about Christmas in July) I wanted to talk about the song Hallelujah by Leonard Cohen.
Its often used as a sort of Christmas song, which is outright one of the most bizarre things I’ve ever seen. They omit verses often, etc, and while its been done to death I’ll still admit there are good ones out there (Jeff Buckley still made the best one, hands down)
Now, some of you might know that I am Jewish. Growing up, Leonard Cohen was kind of my artistic hero, being an incredible Jewish poet and really leaning into the emotional appeal to his artwork.
So here is a line from Hallelujah:
You say I took the name in vain
I don’t even know the name
But if I did, well really, what’s it to you?
There’s a blaze of light in every word
It doesn’t matter which you heard
The holy or the broken hallelujah
Ya see, one of the biggest tenants of Jewish faith is Ketuvim, which is translated roughly to “writings” and the books of the Ketuvim are some of the most famous ones (Psalms, Esther, etc) but the largest tenant of these books are conversations to yourself and G-D, questioning faith and the concept of being alive. Leonard had a deep understanding of this, exploring topics like sex, mistakes, love, friendships, etc - and Hallelujah just about covers every major topic possible.
So, fun trivia fact if anyone ever mentions Hallelujah and Christmas together, is that it is absurdly jewish. And beautiful.