Hallelujah: Do You Live The Divine Song?


Hallelujah: Do You Live The Divine Song?
Shavuot 5783/2023

(Inspired by Leonard Cohen)

Now I have heard of a secret chord
That Moshe learned and it pleased the Lord,
And he brought it down in human words,
But its essence stayed up in the Heavenly Court.

Above it is fire,
Below it are letters,
The seventh, the tenth,
And six-hundred-thirteenth matters.

All holy ways and means that baffled Moshe,
That brought him to great deeds.
Composing a song while walking along.
When they crossed the sea,
Which should have transformed all of me,
But lo, I did not see.

Hallelujah, Hallelujah,
Hallelujah, Hallelujah.

His faith was strong and did not need proof,
But his people stayed aloof.
He struck the stone
And the Lord said: “You will be alone.”
He broke his throne, but the Law was to stay.
While Moshe was sent to the Heavenly lay,
But lo, I stayed uninspired and unfired.

Hallelujah, Hallelujah,
Hallelujah, Hallelujah.

Well, maybe there’s a God above,
As for me—I need no proof.
For the constant mystery of all of life baffles my mind.
There is no difference between a flower
And Sinai, at the holy hour.
They are all made of the same sound:
Divine and Thine.

A way to live I desire
In the desert of this land.
A life of mitzvot and spirit, music and lyric.
This is what my ancestors experienced on the mound,
What they heard and learned to count.
I heard the fire and saw the voice.
But oh, I continue to be without choice.

Hallelujah, Hallelujah,
Hallelujah, Hallelujah.

And I understood
That it determines my foot wherever I go.
When I am high or low,
Through the ups and the downs
The inner struggle will stay.

There is no escape from Thee,
So, I require the Law and the spirit
To keep me my merit.
But I ask my friend:
“Have you heard the Divine Song?
And if not, where are you going and will you live the Holy Tongue?”

Hallelujah, Hallelujah,
Hallelujah, Hallelujah.

About the Author
Rabbi Dr. Nathan Lopes Cardozo is the Founder and Dean of the David Cardozo Academy and the Bet Midrash of Avraham Avinu in Jerusalem. A sought-after lecturer on the international stage for both Jewish and non-Jewish audiences, Rabbi Cardozo is the author of 13 books and numerous articles in both English and Hebrew. Rabbi Cardozo heads a Think Tank focused on finding new Halachic and philosophical approaches to dealing with the crisis of religion and identity amongst Jews and the Jewish State of Israel. Hailing from the Netherlands, Rabbi Cardozo is known for his original and often fearlessly controversial insights into Judaism. His ideas are widely debated on an international level on social media, blogs, books and other forums.
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