Tuesday, March 31, 2009

More than one way to be a Jew

Jesse Paikin (who was the Regional Youth President when I was working in Toronto) has a blog, and he posted a wonderful piece today about Jewish pluralism.

There will always be those who say that the way they practice Judaism is the only valid way to do so. They're wrong:

[speaking about songwriter Leonard Cohen] And yet, there are those who would accuse him of reneging against his Judaism. You see, Leonard Cohen also embraces a Zen-oriented lifestyle which - for some - is sufficient grounds to expunge him from the Jewish people. Heavy.

In his 2006 “Book of Longing,” Cohen responds to these accusations with poetic eloquence:

Anyone who says
I’m not a Jew
is not a Jew
I’m very sorry
but this is final.

The pen is mightier, indeed.

If someone would like to embroid that poem on a pillow, or get in on a mug, or anything like that, and give it to me, that would be cool...

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