Reposted with thanks to The Times of Israel 

[Leonard] Cohen was not a prophet, nor the son of a prophet.  He was actually the son of a beloved Jewish Montreal family and the grandson of a religious man with whom he used to study the prophets — the Book of Isaiah to be exact — in the original Hebrew.  But in his way, as much as rock and roll and popular culture can allow, he brought a prophetic message to the radio as effectively as any figure of our time, notwithstanding his pal Bob Dylan.

Cohen called himself “the little Jew who wrote the Bible” in “The Future,” which describes a world so exhausted from itself that it cries out for return to an old world order to help take the edge off of tomorrow’s uncertainty: Stalin, St. Paul, the Berlin Wall.  Does this sound familiar?

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Stephen Hazan Arnoff, WGF Alum (Class 13), writes and teaches about culture, helps nonprofits grow, and lives in Jerusalem. He blogs at Stephen holds a doctorate in Midrash and Scriptural Interpretation from the Jewish Theological Seminary of America and publishes and lectures widely on art, religion, music and Jewish life.  He can be reached at